General Electric Aviation (GE Aviation) is preparing to assemble a second T901 turbine engine that is intended to power the US Army’s next-generation Boeing AH-64 Apache twin-turboshaft attack helicopters.
GE Aviation has committed to developing and building a total of eight T901 engines to power modernized AH-64 Apache attack helicopters under the Improved Turbine Engine (ITE) program.
With a single T901 engine already built, GE Aviation expects to launch the testing phase of the second unit in 2023 at the manufacturer’s plant in Lynn, Massachusetts.
Once the second engine undergoes performance testing, it will be transferred to another GE Aviation facility in Evendale, Ohio, where its properties will be evaluated under simulated altitude conditions.
“Testing of the first T901 engine was very successful, with the engine accumulating more than 100h of run time. […] We were impressed with the performance and condition of the engine’s compressor, combustor, and turbine sections, as well as the 3D-printed, manufactured parts and ceramic matrix composite components,” the director of GE Aviation’s T901 engine program, Tom Champion said during an Association for the US Army conference on October 10, 2022.
What is special about the T901 engine?
The new T901 engine is intended to be a replacement for the T700 military turboshaft engine, which powers the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk and Boeing Apache military helicopters.
The T901 project was launched in 2010. GE Aviation accelerated development of the engine in 2019 after it was granted a $517 million contract with the US Army under the ITEP Program.
According to GE Aviation, the T901 will be developed to reduce maintenance costs on military helicopters. It features higher durability rates and consumes significantly less aircraft fuel than its predecessor, the T700.
The first engine was tested in March 2022.