US Army develops new engine for Black Hawk and Apache helicopters


The US Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center's Aviation Development Directorate (ADD) is developing a new military helicopter engine that would provide 50% more power at the same weight as the current fielded engine.

The advanced affordable turbine engine (AATE) demonstrator programme aims to develop a turboshaft engine with reduced fuel consumption and improved shaft horsepower.

This engine configuration can be fitted into the Black Hawk and Apache installation envelopes, as well as current and Future Vertical Lift rotorcraft.

It is said to improve range and payload capability and increase hot and high operational capability for Apache and Black Hawk platforms.

"ADD provided the engineering oversight and contract monitoring functions for the design, fabrication, and testing of the AATE technologies."

AATE agreements technical agent Anastasia Kozup said: "ADD provided the engineering oversight and contract monitoring functions for the design, fabrication, and testing of the AATE technologies, leading to the successful demonstration of advanced engine systems for rotorcraft."

Two cost share arrangements for the engines have been awarded to General Electric and Advanced Turbine Engine Company, a joint venture of Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney.

The AATE programme culminated in 2014 with the completion of full engine system demonstrations, which included performance, durability, and sand tests.

The demonstrations significantly mitigated the risks involved with transitioning advanced turboshaft engine technology to a planned programme of record, known as the Improved Turbine Engine Program, the US Army said in a statement.


Image: Artist rendering of GE Aviation's advanced helicopter engine design for the army. Photo: courtesy of US Army.