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Honeywell aims for helicopter power growth

Buoyed by the build-up in the HTS900-2 programme, sustained business for the T55-714 and new sales of the CTS800 developed through its Light Helicopter Turbine Engine partnership with Rolls-Royce, Honeywell is hoping for strong growth for its military turbine business.

Although hit by Bell Helicopter's recent termination of the HTS900-powered Bell 417 civil variant, the size of the US Army's surviving ARH-70A armed reconnaissance helicopter (ARH) order is "still a very strong market," says Honeywell technical sales director Rick Buchanan. "It would have been nice to have a commercial version, but it was only 25% of the ARH order, which will be up to around 550," he says. Powered by the 970shp (720kW) HTS900-2, the ARH-70A is a derivative of Bell's 407 light commercial helicopter. The US Army plans to buy 368 aircraft to replace its Bell OH-58B Kiowa Warriors, and the National Guard may buy another 120.

HTS900-2 testing continues, with six of the 20 major milestones completed towards a certification milestone in the third quarter. The engine is exceeding an army requirement to produce more than 730shp at an altitude of 4,000ft (1,220m) and an ambient temperature of 35°C (95°F).

Once threatened with the axing of the Boeing-Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche helicopter, the CTS800-4 is enjoying a renaissance with its development for the AgustaWestland Future Lynx. Some 140 1,360shp engines are to be built for 40 Lynx helicopters to be remanufactured for the British Army and 30 for the UK Royal Navy. First flight of the Future Lynx is scheduled for late 2009, with deliveries to start in 2011.

"The price is coming down, so there's growing interest from potential foreign military sales," says Buchanan. "We could see tremendous growth potentially." The CTS800-4 is involved in six campaigns including four military projects, two of which could lead to awards this year, Honeywell says.

Production deliveries of the T55-714 for Boeing's CH-47 Chinook will slow to around 80 engines this year, but the company is optimistic of securing additional business for the T55-715 version based around a new compressor and marine-engine derived core.

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