The Army engine intended to power current and future aircraft crossed a key milestone Tuesday when it ignited fuel to produce power for the first time, the Army announced Wednesday.
The General Electric T901, developed through the Army’s Improved Turbine Engine Program, will replace the existing TI700 engines in Black Hawk and Apache helicopters and power the Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft, the Army says.
The Army says the new engine will provide increased power, improved reliability and better fuel efficiency over its predecessor.
The T901 First Engine to Test will over the next few months undergo a “gradual break-in process that builds up to maximum power runs,” according to the announcement.
Over the summer, the Army will test the T901 against Army Military Airworthiness Certification Criteria standards, the announcement said.
The Army says the T901’s improved performance will counteract the additional weight that Apache and Black Hawk helicopters have tacked on over the years as they have added capabilities.