T700 Engine Flight Test Experience on UTTAS and AAH 760934
A helicopter development “first” was pioneered by a joint U.S. Army/GE team by simultaneously developing a new turboshaft engine and four different experimental helicopters. The four aircraft were involved in two major flyoff competitions, UTTAS and AAH.
Both the UTTAS and AAH competitive programs are reviewed, including Army aircraft development objectives and associated engine performance, reliability, and maintainability goals. T700-GE-700 engine development history is traced from the early origins of UTTAS planning to the current pre-production maturity test program.
A key factor in successfully integrating a single engine configuration into four helicopters is a thorough, pre-field test propulsion system integration effort: factory engine environmental and “fleet leader” testing; repeated Army/GE/AVM design and test reviews; and factory performance and vibrational testing for each installation.
Engine reliability data and installation “lessons learned” from the 18,000 engine test hours accumulated during the UTTAS and AAH Programs are also summarized.