A military-qualified T408 engine. Photo: GE Aviation GE Aviation
, in coordination with the US Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) – Aviation and Missile Center (AvMC), is nearing completion of the Future Affordable Turbine Engine (FATE) programme, a multi-year initiative to develop a 5,000- to 10,000-shaft horse power turboshaft engine.
The programme is jointly funded by GE and the US Army and was created to meet a series of aggressive weight, cost and performance goals. These include a 35% reduction in specific fuel consumption, an 80% improvement in power-to-weight ratio, a 20% improvement in design life and a 45% reduction in production and maintenance costs relative to currently fielded legacy engines.
As part of the programme requirements, GE has successfully tested two engines. The company has also completed several component tests, including the inlet particle separator, compressor, combustor and turbine. The full engine test programme completed over 130hr of testing and captured more than 2,200 steady-state data points.
Harry Nahatis, VP and general manager of GE Aviation’s rotorcraft and turboprops programmes, said: “We are pleased with the results from engine and component testing, which completed all primary objectives.
“Our FATE programme has used GE’s impressive stack of commercially developed technologies an has enabled the most advanced turboshaft development engine in our history.”
Technologies developed and demonstrated under the FATE agreement will serve as the technology pipeline to meet next generation turboshaft engine requirements. These technologies are being incorporated into new engines, including GE’s T901 engine, which the US Army selected to re-engine its Black Hawk and Apache fleet through the Improved Turbine Engine (ITE) program.
FATE technologies are also applicable for existing products such as the T700 engine, which has powered Black Hawks and Apaches around the world for the past four decades, and the military-qualified T408 engine, which is a contender for the Army Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA).