GE begins testing FATE engine for large helicopters


GE Aviation has started testing the first full version of a large turboshaft engine in development by the US Army as a potential option to power a new generation of high-speed rotorcraft.

The Future Affordable Turbine Engine (FATE) began full-scale rig tests more than five years after the army selected GE to develop the 5,000shp-10,000shp engine.

It fits into the same power class as the Honeywell T55, Rolls-Royce AE1107C and GE’s own T408.

But the FATE is required to deliver an aggressive series of performance goals, including an 80% improvement in power-to-weight, 45% reduction in production and maintenance costs, a 35% reduction in specific fuel consumption and a 20% extension in design life, GE says.

“The FATE program is the most advanced turboshaft development program in GE’s history, incorporating an extensive use of state-of-the-art technologies for the next generation of propulsion,” says Harry Nahatis, GE Aviation’s general manager of Advanced Turboshaft Programs.

The army wants to develop a new family of high-speed rotorcraft with top speeds over 200kt. One version of the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) family could replace the Boeing AH-64 Apache and Sikorsky UH-60 after 2030. Alternatively, the FATE engine also could be selected to re-engine the Boeing CH-47 Chinook, which relies on two T55s.

The FATE is a key part in GE’s growth strategy for military rotorcraft. Three T408 engines, which GE branded commercially as the GE38, power the Sikorsky CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter for the US Marine Corps. GE also is competing for the Improved Turbine Engine Programme (ITEP). The US Army plans to select either the GE3000 or the HPW3000, which is being developed by a Honeywell/Pratt & Whitney joint venture, to replace the smaller GE T700, the engine that currently powers the AH-64 and UH-60.

Original post


GE’s T408


Specifications (T408)

Data from GE Aviation

General characteristics

  • Type: Turboprop / Turboshaft
  • Length: 57.5 inches (1.46 m) (79.5 in with Torque Tube)
  • Diameter: 27 inches (0.69 m)
  • Dry weight: 1,104.7 pounds (501.1 kg)


  • Compressor: 5+1 Axi-Centrifugal Compressor (5 Axial stages and 1 Centrifugal stage)
  • Turbine: a 3-Stage Power Turbine, a 2-Stage-Single Crystal Cooled HP Turbine
  • Oil system: synthetic



Honeywell T55


The Honeywell T55 is a Family of military turboshaft engines. The most prominent aircraft application is the Boeing CH-47 Chinook and MH-47 helicopters. The new CH-47F uses more powerful Honeywell T55-GA-714A engines that improve fuel efficiency and enhance lift performance. The T55-714A uses the latest engine technology and provides 4,168 continous shp – powering the CH-47F to speeds of up to 163 mph (263 km/h). To date, more than 4,000 T55 engines have been produced and the engine has accumulated over 6 million engine operating hours.

The T55-714A features a seven-stage axial compressor, a two-stage free power turbine, a two-stage gas producer turbine, centrifugal compressor, and a reverse-flow atomizing combustor. All models can be configured with a Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC) system.

Engine Specifications: Honeywell T55-714A

Manufacturer: Honeywell International, Inc.
(originally produced by Lycoming Engines – Textron)
Power: Continous: 4,168 shp; Max: 4,867 shp
Overall Pressure Ratio at Maximum Power: 9.32
Compressor: Axial flow/centrifugal
Compressor Stages: 7-stage axial/1-stage centrifugal
Turbine: 2 HP + 2 PT
Engine Control: FADEC
Length: 47.1 in (1.2 m)
Diameter: 24.3 in (61.6 cm)
Dry Weight: 830 lbs (376 kg)


Rolls-Royce AE1107C


  • Shares a common core with the AE engine family
  • Currently in service with the United States Marine Corps (MV-22) and United States Air Force (CV-22)
  • Battle-proven, robust, state-of-the-art turbine architecture capable of meeting the needs of future medium and heavy lift platforms
  • Marine derivative, MT7, selected to power the US Navy’s Ship to Shore Connector

The AE 1107 is a state-of-the-art, 7,000 shp, commercial engine. Having received FAA certification in 1998, the AE 1107 provides power for the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor transport. When installed in the V-22, the AE 1107C-Liberty engines are housed in wing-tip, tilting nacelles with bottom-mounted accessories for easy access.

Rolls-Royce has delivered more than 700 AE 1107 turboshaft engines. The AE engine family is in production with a well-established supply chain and parts repair network with various locations around the world. 

Specification AE 1107C-Liberty AE 1107C-Near Term Power Growth AE1107C-Long Term Power Growth
Power shp (kW) 6,150 (4,586) 7,650 (5,705) 9,000 (6,710)
Pressure ratio 16.7 16.7 16.7
Length in (m) 78.1 (1.98) 78.1 (1.98) 78.1 (1.98)
Diameter in (m) 34.2 (0.89) 34.2 (0.89) 34.2 (0.89)
Basic weight lb (Kg) 971 (440) 971 (440) 971 (440)
Compressor 14HP 14 HP 14 HP
Turbine 2HP, 2PT 2HP, 2PT 2HP, 2PT
Applications Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey

*Technical data (ISA SLS)


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