First GE38 engine delivered for Marine Corps CH-53K program
GE has delivered the first engine for the Sikorsky CH-53K Ground Test Vehicle culminating two years of successful testing that has convincingly demonstrated the engine's ability to provide the increased mission capability required for United States Marine Corps (USMC) missions.
"Every day, testing has validated our design philosophy and reinforced our confidence in our ability to provide increased mission capability at an affordable cost," said GE38 Program Manager Harry Nahatis.
Selected by Sikorsky in 2006, the GE38 provides 57% more power and 18% lower specific fuel consumption than the similarly sized GE T64 powering the CH-53E Super Stallion&trade, and has 63% fewer parts for lower Operating and Support (O&S) costs.
Today's delivery finalizes a year of intense GE38 testing. Three-hundred hours of cyclic durability tests -- conducted at nearly twice the customary severity levels -- validated hot section durability. High pressure turbine aeromechanics, heat transfer survey tests, lube vehicle qualification testing and sea level performance assessments demonstrated the GE38 engine's robust design and its ability to operate at all aircraft attitudes.
Test plans on the 2011 calendar include a series of ingestion tests plus high cycle fatigue testing to validate the engine's capability to operate in the CH-53K environment. Altitude testing -- designed to enhance performance and operability -- is underway in Evendale, Ohio. In addition, integration testing of the latest Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC) design is being conducted at Sikorsky's Software Integration Lab.
In all, GE38 testing includes five ground-test engines that will accumulate more than 5,000 engine test hours, plus 20 flight-test engines for the Sikorsky CH-53K development aircraft.
A cornerstone for a new turboshaft/turboprop engine family, the GE38 offers revenue potential of more than $4 billion including heavy-lift, turboprop and marine applications.
GE38 architecture has state-of-the-art aerodynamic features for more efficient operation, plus improved cooling schemes and materials for added durability. It can provide significantly lower fuel consumption for longer range and/or heavier payload compared to other engines in its class. Added power provides mission flexibility and enhanced hot/high aircraft performance, while its simplified design translates to improved reliability and a significant O&S cost reductions.
The GE38 features a more rugged compressor design to increase durability and resistance to sand erosion and salt water corrosion -- features ideal to withstand the USMC's tough operating environment.
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