MINNEAPOLIS, MN – February 16, 2011– Donaldson Aerospace & Defense, a division of Donaldson Company (NYSE:DCI), announced today that the company has completed the build of a full-scale Engine Air Particle Protection System (EAPPS) for Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX), as part of the CH-53K Heavy Lift Helicopter Program. The EAPPS unit was completed in October 2010 following the successful conduct of the CH-53K helicopter aircraft Critical Design Review (CDR) in Aug 2010, and is now in developmental testing.
"We built the first full-scale EAPPS in just three months following the CDR," said Sheila Peyraud, General Manager, Aerospace and Defense at Donaldson. "Developmental testing began in November 2010 to support testing of the helicopter's GE38-1B engine in 2011. We are pleased that initial results in this phase of the program are exceeding expectations originally set during the conceptual design phase. Qualification testing will begin in May 2011."
The CH-53K helicopter is a derivative of the successful CH-53A/D/E/G heavy lift helicopters. This new platform allows the United States Marine Corps to fly in austere and remote environments while providing a substantial increase in lift capability and maintaining naval shipboard compatibility. Replacing the current inventory of CH-53E helicopters, the CH-53K aircraft is scheduled to achieve its Initial Operating Capability (IOC) in FY2018.
In 2007, Donaldson was awarded the contract to design, develop and qualify an inlet filtration system that would protect each of the CH-53K helicopter engines from damage caused by contamination. Using Donaldson's patented Strata™ Tube technology, the company has developed a light-weight, high efficiency filtration system that requires minimal maintenance. Each CH-53K helicopter will employ three EAPPS – one for each engine. The new aircraft program is planned to include production of more than 200 aircraft. Currently, the CH-53K helicopter is in the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase with all of the major subcontracts awarded and valued at over $1.1B. Once deployed, this advanced filtration system will protect the CH-53K turbine engines from sand and dust ingestion, which can cause premature engine degradation.
"Donaldson Strata panels are used successfully in many military applications, such as the Sikorsky CH-53D/E heavy lift helicopter, where high efficiency filtration is critical because of the demanding environments in which these engines operate," continued Peyraud. "The Strata panels have no moving parts to wear out or break and are self-cleaning, significantly reducing required maintenance. Additionally, Strata technology offers low airflow restriction with efficient contaminant removal at 97+ percent on coarse test sand – an ideal solution to protect the CH-53K helicopter's engine."