T55 Engine: Making What’s Already Great, Better

October 3, 2016 | Author: Tom Hart

When it comes to supplying the U.S. Army with the most advanced technology, new isn’t always the only option. In the case of the Honeywell T55 engine, upgrades can be the most natural step for fleet advancements to improve power and efficiency while keeping costs down.

Honeywell’s T55 family of military turboshaft engines was first born, as its designation indicates, in 1955. Since then, the T55 has gone through six decades of improvement and development to keep up with the needs of the Army.

Now, in 2016, Honeywell continues the tradition of making what’s already great, better, by embarking on a new program that will update the power and efficiency of the T55 engine for current and future U.S. Army Chinook heavy-lift helicopters.

The T55 improved power and efficiency (IPE) upgrade program will not only increase power and efficiency for Chinook helicopter operators, it will also be the most cost-efficient way to do so. Think about it this way: When a brand-new laptop comes out every six months, you don’t just buy the new one. You take a holistic look at what can be done and, more often than not, you just upgrade your current laptop’s software or operating system. This makes your laptop even more powerful and efficient than before, without spending an arm and a leg. That way, you still have the same laptop you’ve always loved, just better.

So why is the upgrade necessary? The Army is looking to the future of the Chinook helicopter and so is Honeywell. By remaining forward-looking and future-thinking, we are equipping the Army with new technology and upgrades before its current technology becomes outdated.

Our T55 IPE program will increase power efficiency by approximately 25 percent to give Chinook helicopters the power they need to meet future mission requirements in the most demanding environments around the globe. At 6,000 shaft horsepower, the T55 IPE provides an increase of 1,300 shaft horsepower compared with the current T55 engine, while providing around an 8 percent reduction in fuel consumption.

The T55 IPE upgrade also increases flight range and high, hot operation capability. This allows the Army to fly at higher altitudes at hotter conditions and with heavier loads, all the while giving operators more flexibility to support their missions.

Engine upgrades like the T55 IPE will showcase that improved performance and power don’t have to come from replacing engines entirely and therefore don’t need to come with high costs and increased downtime as well as an entirely new learning curve to support a new engine. At Honeywell, we aim to not only provide the most advanced technology, but to do it in a way that meets industry needs while keeping things simple and cost-effective.

It’s our mission to continue improving our products and services through upgrades, such as with the T55 IPE. We do this so the military can be equipped with the latest and greatest technology, improving mission success and keeping operators safe.

For more information, please check out the Honeywell T55 engine website.

Tom Hart

Tom Hart

Vice President, Defense and Space, Honeywell Aerospace