Cheaper, more efficient engines are in the works for the U.S. Army’s Black Hawk and Apache helicopters.
A two-year contract with Advanced Turbine Engine Co., a joint venture of Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney, aims to support the design of an advanced 3,000 shaft horsepower turbine engine – ATEC’s HPW3000.
ATEC was hired as part of the Army’s Improved Turbine Engine program, directed at producing an affordable new engine for the copters. New Army specifications require 50 percent more power and 25 percent more fuel efficiency, while also living 20 percent longer than current Black Hawk and Apache engines. These engines must also meet stringent performance goals in high altitudes and hot conditions – 6,000 feet and 95 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a statement from Pratt & Whitney.
The more efficient engine features dual-spool architecture, which provides optimized engine efficiency, decreased maintenance costs, extended engine life, and greater power, the Pratt & Whitney statement said. Savings from fuel consumption and lowered operating and support costs could save the Army $1 billion annually over the current fleet, Pratt & Whitney estimates.
“The HPW3000 underscores our dedication to developing an engine that will support Army aviation superiority over potential adversaries,” said Craig Madden, ATEC’s president, in a statement.
“We are very confident in the engine design and in the results we’ve seen in testing so far. With the extensive improvements in helicopter performance it brings, the HPW3000 will mean greater mission success and safety for U.S. warfighters.”
Preliminary engine designs for the HPW3000 are expected in 2018 with development to follow.
ATEC is headquartered in Huntsville, Ala.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense