New Air Turbine Starter: More Torque, Less Lifecycle Cost

March 24, 2015

UH-60 flight crews can count on Honeywell’s newest Air Turbine Starter (ATS) upgrade to provide faster main engine starts, greater reliability and lower lifecycle operational and maintenance costs than the previous generation starters that now equip most Black Hawks.

The new Dash-10 ATS features a redesigned lube pump, output section, stator inlet duct and other improvements that enable better performance across the board. The external measurements are the same as the current unit, making the new ATS a true drop-in replacement. Like its predecessors, Honeywell’s new ATS uses low-pressure bleed air from the on-board auxiliary power unit, ground cart or cross-bleed from an operating engine to start the helicopter’s main engines.

Five Dash-10 starters are being flight tested under real-world conditions by the U.S. Army at Ft. Rucker, Ala. Each unit will accumulate 1,200 flight hours before undergoing removal, teardown and analysis by Honeywell, which will report its findings to the Army.

Two of the units have already completed the test-flight regime and have more than met expectations. Compared to the Dash-9 unit it is intended to replace, the Dash-10 ATS is now projected to provide a five-fold improvement in reliability as measured by mean time between unscheduled removal (MTBUR), with fewer ground aborts and maintenance actions required. This results in a significant reduction in projected life-cycle costs.

Light-off torque improvements of 9-14 percent give flight crews better starting capability when they need it most in cold weather and at high altitudes. Engines achieve self-sustaining speeds faster, hot and hung start potential is reduced, and crews see start-time improvements of 2-6 seconds, helping them get back in the air faster. Safety and maintainability are enhanced by several features including a new “fill-to-spill” oil neck, reduced oil level and a quick-drain valve that eliminates seven maintenance steps.

The new Dash-10 ATS is available now for retrofit in all UH-60 models.