A reinforced engine has been developed for the CH-47 CHINOOK by Honeywell, who also supplied the previous engine, an innovation which has increased the output of the Lycoming T55-GA-714 engine from 3,529 kW to 4,412 kW mainly through a new compressor. The designation has thus changed to Lycoming T55-GA-714C, meaning two CH-47 engines will have a combined output of 8,824 kW and according to the manufacturer, fuel consumption is to be reduced by ten percent. The 25 percent increase in output is expected to increase speed and payload, with the current CH-47 ER payload standing at just over twelve tons.
Installation will take place on a CH-47 test stand at Fort Eustis in Newport News, Virginia, under the supervision of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation and Missile Centre. The new engine does not require structural modifications to the airframe while operation and maintenance will not change either. If a new engine is selected, existing engines can be retrofitted or new engines can be produced, though a schedule for the demonstration was not announced. Boeing’s CH-47 ER is – along with Sikorsky’s CH-53K – a candidate in the competition for the Bundeswehr heavy transport helicopter with the selection of the winning aircraft scheduled for early 2021.