Sikorsky Aircraft has selected Phyre Technologies for the production and demonstration of a Green On-Board Inert Gas Generating Systems (GOBIGGS) unit for the US Army's UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.
Demonstrations will be conducted as part of the Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) combat tempered platform demonstration (CTPD) programme.
Commenting on the selection, Phyre chief executive officer Stuart Robertson said the venture with Sikorsky marked a next step in the GOBIGGS maturation, following successful demonstration at Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake in 2011.
"Over the past six-years, Phyre has invested substantial resources in the design and development of GOBIGGS as a next-generation fuel tank system, which will replace older and less efficient technology for fuel tank inerting in both military and civilian aircraft," Robertson added.
GOBIGGS is a catalytic-based, environmentally-friendly fuel tank inerting system designed to enhance UH-60 helicopter's survivability during forward deployed operations by considerably lowering fuel tank's vulnerability to an explosion.
Eliminating the need for bleed air from engines, the system is capable of reducing oxygen levels below 12% for commercial 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.
Powered by two General Electric T700 turboshaft engines, the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk is a four-bladed, medium-lift utility helicopter designed to conduct troop transport, medical evacuation (Medevac), electronic warfare attack, assault support, as well as search and rescue (SAR) missions.
Image: Two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters prepare to take off after delivering supplies and soldiers to the Forward Operating Base Hotel in Iraq. Photo: PHC (AW/NAC) Edward G Martens.