GE Aviation has been awarded a contract to perform conceptual design and trade analysis on the US Army’s rotorcraft advanced engine integrated controls system (RAEICS) programme.
The RAEICS project aims to develop a conceptual design of an advanced engine controls system over the next two years, which will enable innovative, high performance propulsion capabilities for future vertical lift (FVL) platforms.
In particular, the programme is expected to assess innovative engine controls technologies and architectures, and explore approaches to optimally integrate the advanced engine controls system with vehicle systems and subsystems.
GE, which has partnered with Sikorsky Aircraft to support the programme, already supports the army’s joint multi-role (JMR) / FVL development efforts through multiple programmes such as the future affordable turbine engine (FATE) programme.
GE Aviation advanced turboshaft programmes general manager Harry Nahatis said: "This RAEICS contract will enable GE to offer more innovative approaches to engine control systems for FVL."
Apart from conducting the testing of the FATE inlet particle separator, compressor, combustor and turbine components, the company is also manufacturing and assembling hardware for engine testing.
The company already completed the FATE detailed design review in November 2013.
The FATE programme seeks to demonstrate a 5,000 to10,000shp-class turboshaft, with an 80% increase in power-to-weight ratio, 35% reduction in specific fuel consumption, 45% lower production and maintenance costs, 20% lower development cost and 20% longer design life.
GE is also collaborating with the army on other advanced technology programmes, including the advanced variable speed power turbine, autonomous sustainment technology for rotorcraft operations, alternative engine concepts design and analysis programmes, as well as the advanced affordable turbine engine project.
Apart from technologies developed through RAEICS and FATE programmes, the company invests $1.8bn in advanced technologies, such as 3D aero designs, ceramic matrix composite materials, and additive manufactured components every year.