160th SOAR Pick Their MH-60M Black Hawks’ New Engine

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MH-60K Black Hawk(click to view full) U.S. Special Forces have been issuing contracts for modifications to Army standard equipment, and selecting an alternative engine for the “Nightstalkers” 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment’s new MH-60M Black Hawk helicopters. The GE CT7-8 B5 turboshaft engine has now been selected as that alternate engine. As noted, the initial 2005 contract to General Electric Company allocates $15.5 million in 2005 funding for the development program, which includes engine development and aircraft integration activities, and flight test engines and support. Flight-test engine deliveries are scheduled to begin in January 2006, with initial flight-testing planned for 2007. Extra power is important to MH designated Special Operations helicopters, as they need to be able to fulfill missions where failure or waiting for better conditions is not an option – even when confronted by heat, high altitude (such as the mountaintops of Afghanistan, where helicopter performance drops sharply), or other extreme operating environments. Rated in the 2,600-shaft-horsepower (shp) class, the MH-60M’s new CT7-8 B5 engine was certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2004. The CT7-8B5 features an advanced, higher-flow compressor designed with new three-dimensional aerodynamic (3D Aero) technology, a modern full authority digital electronic control […]

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