HAI Convention News

Honeywell vows return as major civil helo player

 - February 19, 2007, 5:56 AM

The new HTS900 turboshaft developed for the Bell 407X has not only thrust Honeywell into the spotlight here at Heli-Expo, it also has given the Phoenix-based company a platform on which to reclaim a place among the major players in the civil helicopter business.

“The HTS is the strongest message we can send that Honeywell is back,” proclaimed the company’s Engines Systems & Service division vice president of propulsion, Barry Eccleston.

While using basically the same systems architecture of the earlier LTS101, the HTS900 will incorporate new compressor technology for improved performance, giving it more than 925 shp at takeoff on a standard day at sea level, according to Bob Miller, head of Honeywell’s light utility helicopter engines unit. Miller said the engine will burn 3 to 6 percent less fuel than any of its earlier engines while generating 42 percent more power at ISA+35 deg C.

Equipped with a dual-channel FADEC, the engine also includes a next-generation impeller and new cooled gas producer (GP) and shroud assembly designed to deliver more power and a minimum of 15,000 component cycle lives. Honeywell targets place TBO at 3,000 hours, a mark Miller said he expects to raise to 5,000 hours once the product matures.

Miller estimated that the engine would yield 48 percent lower DOCs per shaft horsepower than the original version of the LTS101. The engine will come in both a 6137-rpm version and a 9598-rpm version for either single- or twin-engine applications. Miller said the low-speed model would come first, winning certification during the second quarter of 2006. He also said the company started running the first prototype in November and expects to deliver a ground test engine in June. “We’ve already started building the hardware,” said Miller.

Although it designed the engine largely to satisfy the requirements for the 407, Honeywell won’t limit its market to Bell. Eccleston confirmed that Honeywell has identified other applications and that he has engaged in “some general discussions” with Eurocopter.

The HTS900 would form the basis for yet another engine to power Bell’s proposed Modular Affordable Product Line (MAPL). For that application, Honeywell will have to increase the engine’s output by at least 75 shp.   

“[The HTS 900] is by no means the last example of investment in this market by Honeywell,” said Eccleston.