GE Aviation in Lynn, Massachusetts, recently began utilizing an improved sand ingestion test facility to determine turboshaft engine sand separation efficiency. GE is designing advanced engine inlet systems to protect the turbomachinery of next-generation turboshaft engines.
The facility improvement is part of GE Aviation's five-year, $3.5B plan to invest in new plant and equipment in the United States.
The facility improvements will help GE execute its Advanced Affordable Turbine Engine (AATE) program with the U.S. Army; GE is partnering with the Army to design and test an improved inlet particle separator (IPS) for its GE3000 engine, which is designed as a "drop-in" replacement for GE's T700 engine powering Black Hawk and Apache helicopters.
An engine's performance deteriorates over time due to mechanical wear and environmental contamination, such as dust and sand. GE invests more than $1B each year in research and development to improve commercial and military engines for greater fuel efficiency and performance, which includes improved durability in tough environmental conditions.