GE38 / T408
The T408 on a CH-53K King Stallion
Type Turboshaft
National origin United States
Manufacturer GE Aviation
First run December 26, 1989
Major applications Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion (T408)
Developed into CFE CFE738

The General Electric GE38 is a gas turbine developed by GE Aviation for turboprop and turboshaft applications. It powers the Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion as the T408.[1]

Design and development

The GE27 was developed in the early 1980s under the "Modern Technology Demonstrator Engines" (MTDE) program sponsored by the United States Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate.[2] Sporting a 22:1 pressure ratio, which was a record for single-spool compressors at the time, the GE27[3] was GE's unsuccessful submission to power the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft. The GE27 also had a compressor air flow of 27–28 pounds per second (12–13 kg/s) and a turbine temperature of 2,400–2,500 °F (1,320–1,370 °C; 2,860–2,960 °R; 1,590–1,640 K).[2] The GE27 first ran in late 1984, but it unexpectedly lost the V-22 engine competition to the Allison 501-M80C, which was not a participant in the MTDE program.[4]

In the late 1980s, GE used the GE27 as the basis for the commercial development of turboshafts, turboprops, turbofans, and propfans under the GE38 name. GE formed a 50/50 venture with Garrett (then a division of AlliedSignal) to develop the turbofan variant[5] called the CFE (Commercial Fan Engines) CFE738, which used the GE27's gas generator core.[2] One of a range of advertised GE38 unducted fan (UDF) sizes,[5] the 9,620 lbf (4,360 kgf; 42.8 kN) takeoff thrust GE38-B5 was for a time the baseline engine for the West German-Chinese MPC-75 regional airliner.[6] The GE38 became the T407 military turboprop in partnership with Lycoming Engines for the Lockheed P-7A, with a maximum takeoff power of 6,000 shp (4,475 kW). First run on December 26, 1989,[7] the T407 engine was scheduled to undergo flight testing on a Lockheed P-3 Orion testbed aircraft in the summer of 1990,[8] but the US Navy canceled Lockheed's P-7 contract on July 20, 1990.[9] The commercial version of the T407 was the GLC38 (General Electric/Lycoming Commercial 38), which was unsuccessfully offered for several turboprop airliners in the late 1980s and early 1990s.[2]

The new T408 (GE38-1B) is slated to power the new Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion three-engined helicopter for the US Marine Corps. It has a power rating of 7,500 shp.[10] The GE38 completed its first round of ground testing in May 2010.[11] Two test engines have completed over 1,000 hours of ground testing by November 2011. Five test engines will be used in the 5,000-hour test program.[12] In September 2019, GE delivered the first production T408 engine to the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) for the CH-53K.[13] GE also offered the engine to power the U.S. Navy's Ship-to-Shore Connector air-cushioned landing craft.

The T408 was also tested by the U.S. Army and Boeing as an alternative powerplant on an NCH-47D Chinook testbed helicopter. The helicopter configuration was ground tested beginning in late 2019, followed by an initial flight on September 22, 2020.[14] Conclusion of the test trials was announced on May 12, 2021.[15]


T408-GE-400 (GE38-1B)
Turbofan variant of the T407-GE-400, used on the Dassault Falcon
Proposed turboprop engine variant of the GE38-1B[17]
An 8,000 shp (6,000 kW) class derivative engine under consideration by the U.S. military in 2006[18]
A contra-rotating, ungeared, unducted fan (UDF) derivative with a bare engine weight (including the UDF) of 2,395 lb (1,086 kg), a UDF diameter of 85 inches (2.1 meters), and a blade count of 11 on one propeller and 9 on the other; provides a takeoff thrust of 9,644 lbf (4,374 kgf; 42.90 kN) with a thrust-specific fuel consumption (TSFC) of 0.240 lb/(lbf⋅h) (6.8 g/(kN⋅s)), and a cruise thrust of 2,190 lbf (990 kgf; 9.7 kN) with a TSFC of 0.519 lb/(lbf⋅h) (14.7 g/(kN⋅s)); proposed for the MPC 75 German-Chinese regional airliner in the late 1980s[6]
Proposed turboprop variant of the T407-GE-400


Specifications (T408)

Data from GE Aviation.[19]

General characteristics



See also

Related development

Comparable engines

Related lists


  1. ^ Sikorsky Unveils CH-53K Helicopter; U.S. Marine Corps Reveals Aircraft Name
  2. ^ a b c d Leyes II, Richard A.; Fleming, William A. (1999). The History of North American Small Gas Turbine Aircraft Engines. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution. pp. 365372. ISBN 1-56347-332-1.
  3. ^ Zoccoli, Michael J.; Rusterholz, Kenneth P. (June 1–4, 1992). "An update on the development of the T407/GLC38 modern technology gas turbine engine" (PDF). Volume 2: Aircraft Engine; Marine; Microturbines and Small Turbomachinery. International Gas Turbine and Aeroengine Congress and Exposition. Cologne, Germany: American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). doi:10.1115/92-GT-147. ISBN 978-0-7918-7894-1. OCLC 8518815331.
  4. ^ "Navy surprise on V-22 power" (PDF). Propulsion. Flight International. Vol. 129, no. 3995. Detroit, Michigan, USA. January 25, 1986. p. 16. ISSN 0015-3710. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 19, 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Manufacturers positioning for coming competitive battles". Air Transport World. Vol. 23. September 1986. pp. 20+. ISSN 0002-2543. Gale A4426985.
  6. ^ a b MBB CATIC Association (July 1987). MPC 75 feasibility study - Summary report: B1 - Project definition (PDF) (Report). pp. B1–2, B1–13, B1–23, B1–25, B1–30 to B1–32, B1–37, B1–45 to B1–46, Appendix B1-4.1 pages 20 to 31.
  7. ^ Zoccoli, Michael J.; Klassen, David D. (June 11–14, 1990). "T407/GLC38: A Modern Technology Powerplant". T407/GLC38: 'A modern technology powerplant' (PDF). Gas Turbine and Aeroengine Congress and Exposition. Brussels, Belgium: American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). doi:10.1115/90-GT-242. ISBN 978-0-7918-7905-4. OCLC 7344745132.
  8. ^ Munson, Kenneth; Jackson, Paul; Gunston, Bill (July 1990). "Gallery of US Navy, Marine Corps, and Army aircraft". Air Force Magazine. Vol. 73, no. 7. p. 90. hdl:2027/osu.32435027300748. ISSN 0730-6784.
  9. ^ Vartabedian, Ralph (July 21, 1990). "Navy cancels $600-million Lockheed plane contract". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Archived from the original on October 29, 2020.
  10. ^ "GE Launches New Engine Program for U.S. Marine Corps Heavy-lift Helicopter". GE Aviation, January 24, 2007.
  11. ^ "GE38 Completes First Engine to Test Program". GE Aviation, May 6, 2010.
  12. ^ "GE38 Looking to Take to the Sea". GE Aviation, January 18, 2011.
  13. ^ Grillo, Thomas (October 25, 2019). "GE sends first T408 to Navy". Lynn Daily Item. ISSN 1532-5709.
  14. ^ Trevithick, Joseph (September 23, 2020). "CH-47 Chinook with far more powerful T408 engines has flown for the first time". The Drive.
  15. ^ Jennings, Gareth (May 13, 2021). "US Army concludes trial of Chinook fitted with King Stallion engines". Jane's.
  16. ^ Reim, Garrett (14 July 2020). "CH-47 Chinook flight tests with more powerful GE T408 engine could begin within weeks". FlightGlobal. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  17. ^ O'Connor, Bill (October 5, 2010). "Turboprop version of GE38 turboshaft due mid-decade". AINonline.
  18. ^ National Research Council (NRC) (2006). "Derivative engine programs". A review of United States Air Force and Department of Defense aerospace propulsion needs (Report). p. 95. doi:10.17226/11780. ISBN 978-0-309-10247-6. OCLC 1050643189.
  19. ^ Model GE38 Archived 2009-02-08 at the Wayback Machine. GE Aviation. Retrieved: 19 October 2010.
  20. ^ deBock, Peter (September 18, 2019). GE turbines and small engines overview (PDF). 2019 INTEGRATE Annual Meeting. General Electric Global Research. ARPA-E. Retrieved September 23, 2021.