Honeywell has started testing the first T55-GA-714C engine for the US Army’s latest CH-47 Chinook helicopters.

The testing began last month at its Phoenix facilities as part of the army’s cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) for the upgraded engine.

Honeywell noted that the CRADA programme and the T55-714C engine testing are scheduled to take place over a two-year period.

During this time, the advantages of integrating the new engine variant onto the Chinook platform will be confirmed, allowing the US Army to assess the capabilities of the company’s newest T55 engine.

In October last year, Honeywell won a five-year contract to maintain the T55-GA-714A engines for the US Army’s Chinook helicopters.

The contract included both repair and overhauling works to ensure the availability of spare engines for the Chinook fleet.

Honeywell Aerospace Engines and Power Systems president Dave Marinick said: “First engine to test is a significant achievement for the programme and is the culmination of detailed design work, component manufacturing, system integration and validation.

“Now, all the engineering is coming to life in the rigorous testing of this enhanced engine for the US Army.

“This engine is a natural incremental complement for the Chinook, keeping the platform relevant for the next generation of warfighters. We are confident that our 714C engine will exceed the expectations of the US Army.”

So far, the engine has tested for its maximum continuous power, mechanical operation, and procuring key performance data.

The company has noted that it is on track to deliver the engines as scheduled.

Designed for next-generation military operations, the T55-GA-714C engines will enable the Chinook helicopter to lift more troops and carry heavier cargo.