Honeywell Aerospace has been selected to provide additional engine repair and overhaul support for its T-55 turboshaft engine on the U.S. Army’s Chinook helicopters. The repair and overhaul work, which is performed in South Carolina, assures Chinook operators that Honeywell’s turboshaft engines will perform with the power, reliability and payload capability needed for a wide breadth of missions in the Army’s latest cargo helicopters.
As tactical challenges grow and the role of the Chinook expands, Honeywell’s T-55 turboshaft engine has helped advance the helicopter’s performance. Equipped with two of Honeywell’s T-55-714 engines, modern variants of the U.S. Army’s Chinook have three times more lift than the original helicopters fielded in the 1960s, are capable of lifting five tons, and have the available power (4,800 shaft horsepower) needed to maintain flight with only one engine. For Chinook pilots, this level of field reliability, power and performance has made the T-55 a valuable tool for the breadth of diverse Army cargo missions, from high and hot operating environments in Afghanistan to the polar regions of Alaska.
Furthermore, Honeywell Aerospace has signed a five-year contract with the U.S. Army to provide modernized signal processing units to support Honeywell’s innovative Health and Usage Monitoring System, which can detect and predict potential problems before they occur for the Apache attack helicopter.
The processing unit is a combat-proven solution that provides onboard sensing and processing capabilities, and is a crucial diagnostic tool in keeping the Apache fleet flying safely and efficiently.
“The Army’s fleet of Apaches has seen real and sustainable improvements in efficiency and operating costs with Honeywell’s health and usage monitoring technology, including a 30% reduction in cancelled missions and a 5 to 10% reduction in scheduled maintenance. This technology helps ensure Apache pilots and maintenance personnel have confidence that the equipment they rely on will be safe and ready for the missions that lie ahead,” said Carey Smith, President of Defense and Space, Honeywell Aerospace.
Honeywell’s Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) assesses, predicts and provides the Army with a detailed health assessment of the operating condition of the Apache fleet. By using sensors on moving components, such as the main rotor shaft, HUMS can detect potential mechanical issues before they happen. This provides the Army with better maintenance planning, less unplanned downtime, faster turnaround and increased aircraft availability to conduct missions.
With maintenance hours, mission aborts and asset costs declining with the help of HUMS, Honeywell is evolving its condition-based maintenance technology to meet the real-time need for data and insight.
As a result, Honeywell is building upon its established position as a leader in predictive maintenance technology for the Army’s current and future helicopter programs, including the Apache, Chinook and test aircraft for the Army’s Joint Multi-Role technology demonstrator program.