The Advanced Turbine Engine Company (ATEC), a joint venture of Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney, is now ready to begin fabrication and testing for the Army’s Alternative Concept Engine (ACE) Technology Demonstration Program. ACE is a science and technology effort to develop and validate innovative engine technologies that will significantly enhance range, payload, speed, survivability and reliability for future Army aviation rotorcraft.
“With the completion of the Detailed Design Review process, we’re now ready to bend some metal, run some rigs, assemble an engine, and move toward testing,” said Craig Madden, President of ATEC.
In 2016, the Army awarded the competitively bid ACE program to ATEC. One of the technologies that ATEC will validate in the ACE program is an advanced Variable Speed Power Turbine (VSPT) for efficient engine operation over a wide range of output speeds. The VSPT is a key technology that will enable the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) family of aircraft to meet demanding mission requirements while reducing operating costs and the logistical footprint of the engine.
“In addition, we will be able to validate advances in sand separation and sand tolerance technologies,” Madden said. “Taken together, both will ultimately provide the warfighter with significant performance and operational support advantages.”
With fabrication beginning in the near future, the intent is to commence engine demonstration testing in the second quarter of 2021. Additional testing is scheduled for the fourth quarter of the same year.