GE completed its First Engine to Test phase for the GE38-1B in May 2010. This program focused on operability testing for stall margins, engine vibration, and FADEC functions. GE collected data on more than 600 parameters during the FETT phase. The GE38 features a more rugged compressor designed to icrease durability, while being resistant to sand erosion and salt water corrosion.
The engine continues in development for Sikorsky’s CH-53K heavy lift helicopter. The engine reached over 7,500 shp in testing at GE’s facility in Lynn, Massachusetts. Engine testing is expected to continue through 2011 under a SDD program contract, and will involve five ground-test engines and twenty flight-test engines. Initial Operational Capability (IOC) is scheduled for 2015.