Phyre Technologies has successfully completed the prototype testing and demonstration phase of its green on-board inert gas generating system (GOBIGGS).

The system is being developed as part of a contract awarded by Sikorsky Aircraft in 2012 for use in the US Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk multi-mission helicopter.

Undertaken in collaboration with Sikorsky, the US Army Aviation Development Directorate – Aviation Applied Technology Directorate and the Army Research Laboratory, the testing demonstrated the GOBIGGS’s capability to rapidly inert fuel tank ullage below flammable levels.

Phyre chairman Santosh Limaye said: "This TRL six demonstration unit is the culmination of years of development and testing.

"As a small company, we are honoured to be working closely with Sikorsky, ADD-AATD and ARL team members to design and build a system to improve the safety of the warfighter."

GOBIGGS is a catalytic-based, environmentally-friendly fuel tank inerting system designed to enhance UH-60’s survivability during forward deployed operations by considerably lowering the fuel tank’s vulnerability to an explosion.

Eliminating the requirement for bleed air from engines, the system is capable of reducing oxygen levels below 12% for commercial aircraft and 9% for military aircraft, with minimal operational impact.

The system can keep the fuel tank non-flammable across the flight profile, including ground, taxi, take-off, cruise and descent, as well as landing missions. It is also cost-effective compared with the existing OBIGGS technology.

The GOBIGGS development contract was awarded under the Aviation Applied Technology Directorate’s combat-tempered platform demonstration programme.

Powered by two General Electric T700 turboshaft engines, the UH-60 Black Hawk is a four-blade, medium-lift utility helicopter designed to conduct troop transport, medical evacuation, electronic warfare attack and assault support, as well as search and rescue missions.

Image: Phyre Technologies has developed the GOBIGGS for the US Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. Photo: courtesy of SSGT SUZANNE M. JENKINS, USAF.

Defence Technology