US Army tests GE T408 engine powered CH-47 Chinook

The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center completed first flight of a Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicop...


The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center completed first flight of a Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter powered by GE Aviation’s T408 engines, a milestone that could expand the capabilities of future Chinook heavy-lift missions. 

This first flight, a culmination of a five-year effort, consisted of hover and pedal turn testing to assess multiple critical aircraft parameters supported by live telemetry, is part of a research project to show how the integration of more powerful engines on the CH-47 Chinook helicopter supports future cargo helicopter capability needs. It also supports the US Army Future Vertical Lift modernization priority. 

Future flights are expected to include both hover and forward flight maneuvers at several gross weight configurations, through the end of the year.

The outcome of the program will determine the feasibility and reduction of risk with operating the CH-47 Chinook with a more powerful turboshaft engine.

Currently the Chinook fleet is powered by two Lycoming T55-GA-714A turboshaft engines rated at 4,733 shp (3,529 kW) each, while the T-408 is rated at producing more than 7,500 shp.

The 10k SHP to 15k SHP upgrade will significantly improve Army's heavy lift helicopter capability.

The General Electric T408 turboshaft engine powers the US Marine Corps CH-53 heavy-lift helicopter fleet.