Turboshaft to be developed to give Coast Guard HH-65 helicopters more power

Honeywell is to develop a growth version of the LTS101 turboshaft aimed at modernising the US Coast Guard's Eurocopter HH-65 Dolphins and potential new commercial helicopters. The goal is a 25% increase in power, putting the LTS101 in the 615-635kW (825-850shp) class.

A requirement to upgrade the LTS101-powered HH-65 is expected under the Coast Guard's Deepwater re-equipment programme. An HH-65 re-engined with more-powerful Turbomeca Arriel 2C1 engines entered flight testing last month under a USCG-funded demonstration programme.

The Coast Guard is already flight testing a version of the LTS101 with a 14-18% higher output, but the Arriel provides 26-28% more power. To meet the potential requirement for higher power, Honeywell will launch development of the growth LTS101 at the beginning of next year.

There are two elements to the programme, a new compressor and full-authority digital engine control (FADEC), says LT101 product line manager Bob Miller. The dual-channel FADEC will take 18 months to develop and the compressor 24 months. The growth programme is modular, says Miller, allowing retrofit of engines in service.

"We have done major upgrades to the LTS101 since 1995, and most of the engine has been modernised except the compressor," says Miller. The first growth step, to 580kW, introduces a cooled turbine for higher power or longer life and will be certificated and available by year-end for operators of LTS101-powered Eurocopter Astars and BK117s.

The next growth step will require the new compressor with increased airflow and pressure ratio. "This uses current technology for low risk, so it will be developed on time," says Miller. The USCG Deepwater programme plan indicates the HH-65s will need to be modernised "in the 2007 timeframe", he adds.

Source: Flight International