It’s a milestone worthy of a celebration! Today, dozens of operators, airframers and members of the U.S. military will join GE employees and retirees at Aviation’s Lynn, Mass., facility for a ceremony to commemorate the delivery of its 20,000th T700/CT7 engine.
“After nearly four decades in service, the story of the T700/CT7 is still being written today – it’s remarkable how the engine continues to adapt to ever-evolving missions,” said Ed Birtwell, general manager of the Turboshaft/Turboprop Project Department. “Its longevity and success are only possible because of the engine’s performance in the field, our great customers, and the commitment of our employees to design, manufacture, assemble, test and support the best engines in the world.”
The engine also surpassed 100 million flight hours earlier this year. Both accomplishments speak volumes about the reliability and versatility of this workhorse engine that today powers 15 types of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft with more than 130 customers in more than 50 countries.
Developed for the U.S. Army to overcome the many shortcomings 1960s-era helicopter engines experienced in Southeast Asia, the T700/CT7 turboshaft was designed to operate reliably in any environment and be easily maintained. Upon service entry in 1978 in the Black Hawk, the engine quickly proved its mettle in helicopter service, and its operational benefits also made it an ideal turboprop powerplant.
Over the years, the T700/CT7 line has become increasingly more powerful and reliable. Many technological advances have been incorporated into the subsequent growth versions. Current models in the 2,000-3,000 shaft-horsepower range retain all the proven features and operating characteristics of earlier versions while delivering enhanced performance.
The highly reliable T700/CT7 design has proven itself in the harshest environments, logging more than five millions flight hours in hot-harsh combat zones like Iraq and Afghanistan. T700/CT7 helicopter engines power a variety of commercial and military applications including transport, utility and attack, medical evacuation, air rescue, special operations and marine patrol. They serve all five branches of the U.S. military and numerous international customers.
GE’s turboshaft production locations include: Lynn, MA (design, assembly, test); Rutland, VT (compressor vanes): Hookset, NH (blisks tubes, compressor vanes); Madisonville, KY (turbine blades, nozzles); Dayton, OH (tubes, brackets, ducts); Muskegon, MI (turbine shrouds, nozzles); Strother, Kansas (assembly, overhaul); Jacksonville, FL (electrical components).
20,000 engines delivered . . . and who knows how many more are on the horizon.