Heavy Lift Helicopter Community Celebrates Propulsion First
The CH-53K’s engine, the GE38, took center stage at a ceremony held at General Electric in Lynn, Mass., last week.
Navy, Marine Corps and Sikorsky members of the Heavy Lift Community joined to congratulate GE employees on the completion of the first full GE38 engine test. This first engine test, which began June 24, focused on basic engine checkout and risk reduction with all engine test parameters operating within predicted values.
“It is my mission to enable the support of effective and affordable systems for the warfighter,” said Rear Adm. Steve Eastburg, program executive officer for Air ASW, Assault and Special Mission programs. “You did what you said you would do for the Navy and Marine Corps Team – develop the GE38 within cost and within the schedule you stated from the beginning.”
The next engine test, slated to begin late this year, will verify performance and durability.
Representing the U.S. Marine Corps, Col. Scott McGowan stated that approximately 10,000 Marines are serving in Afghanistan, and the “long pole in the tent” is heavy lift capability to support those needs. “Exciting new technology like the GE38 will allow us to bring in everything with one trip.”
Once delivered, the CH-53K will deliver nearly three times the external lift capability, with more than 15 percent additional cabin space at half the operational cost – all within the same footprint of the CH-53E aircraft it’s replacing.
The GE38 was selected to power the CH-53K in December 2006 and is expected to provide approximately 57 percent more power, 18 percent better specific fuel consumption with 63 percent fewer parts than the similarly sized T64 engine.
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