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New helicopter engine undergoes testing

  |   Oct. 22, 2013 at 10:02 AM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- A 3,000 horsepower turboshaft engine, designed for use primarily on UH-60 and Apache-64 military helicopters, has successfully completed endurance testing.

Advanced Turbine Engine Company, a joint venture of Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney, said this week the engine is to be offered to the U.S. Army for the Army Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP).

"The first engine ran very well," said Jerry Wheeler, vice president of ATEC. "It has given us high confidence that the Army's expectations are achievable, and that the HPW3000 will be able to meet or exceed ITEP's goals.

"We ran our first HPW3000 engine over the course of the summer for durability testing and we've experienced great results. We are now evaluating these results and we will be conducting performance and sand ingestion tests on a second engine to further validate the hardware."

The Army is looking for an engine for its Black Hawk and Apache helicopters that has 50 percent more power than current engines, 25 percent more fuel efficiency and a 20 percent boost in engine life. It also wants production and maintenance costs reduced by as much as 35 percent.

Black Hawk and Apache helicopters comprise about 75 percent of the services' fleet of rotor aircraft.

"The direct impact of fielding a 25 percent more fuel-efficient engine for the entire fleet represents an annual savings of $1 billion in operating and support costs versus the current engine," said ATEC President Craig Madden. "Providing extended range and payload also reduces the need for forward area refueling, which also saves time to perform the mission and reduces risks to troops in harm's way."

"We're confident the HPW3000 will meet the Army's requirements. We are ready to compete."

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