GE begins assembly of second T901 engine for US military

General Electric Aviation (GE Aviation) is set to assemble a second T901 turboshaft engine to power the US Army’s next-generation Boeing AH-64 Apache twin-turbo-engine attack helicopters.

GE Aviation has committed to develop and build a total of eight T901 engines to power the upgraded AH-64 Apache attack helicopters under the Improved Turbine Engine (ITE) program.

With a single T901 engine already built, GE Aviation plans to start the testing phase of the second unit in 2023 at the manufacturer’s plant in Lynn, Massachusetts.

After the second engine has undergone 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 over 100 hours of running time. […] We were impressed with the performance and condition of the engine’s compressor, combustor and turbine sections, as well as the 3D printed fabricated parts and ceramic matrix composite components,” said the director. of GE Aviation’s T901 engine program, Tom Champion, at 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 replace the military T700 turbine 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 securing a $517 million contract with the US military under the ITEP program.

According to GE Aviation, the T901 will be developed to reduce maintenance costs for 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.

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