By Jaclyn NixOctober 27, 2011
Corpus Christi, TX - Corpus Christi Army Depot and partner, Honeywell International, celebrated the completion and delivery of the 500th T55-GA-714A engine overhaul at the depot's T-55 engine shop September 12, 2011.
Realizing an opportunity to improve turn-around-time, drive down cost and support the Warfighter with quality engines and components, CCAD established a partnership with Honeywell in 2005; included are technical, engineering, logistics and supplies support. The first T55 engine overhaul was completed in May 2006.
"It took the whole team to make this happen and I'm very proud of the workforce," said Col. Christopher Carlile, who was also a Chinook pilot. "Just about eight months ago we had the ceremony for the 400th engine and now we are doing about 100 every six to seven months. I would have to say that 120 engines per year isn't an issue. I thank the whole team effort for that."
"Reaching this milestone exemplifies the significant role CCAD continues to play in support of our Soldiers, Airmen and Marines that rely on the CH-47 for combat effectiveness," said Rod Benson, CCAD Director of Engine Production.
Two Honeywell T-55 engines power the CH-47 Chinook and MH-47 Special Operations helicopters. The updated and overhauled engine's capabilities allow it to withstand harsh weather conditions such as high altitude and temperatures found in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"Honeywell is very proud to be a partner with CCAD," said Tom Davis, Vice President of Honeywell U.S. Army Programs Defense and Space. "We've enjoyed the last five years and we look forward to many years to come. It's appreciated by Honeywell, and it's important to the Warfighters."
The 500th engine was inducted May 2011 and began the thorough overhaul process. The engine starts at Pre-Shop Analysis and disassembled after which, parts are sent to subassembly for cleaning and repair and then routed back to the assembly shop. Once reassembled, the completed T-55 heads to engine test, and after meeting requirements, is readied for shipment prior to final sale.
"We are doing everything we can to support the troops," said Stephen Bachmeyer, T55 Engine Supervisor.
The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is a heavy-lift, transport helicopter with a wide loading ramp at the rear. Two T55 engines power the bird for capacity up to 25,000 pounds, into the skies above.
The Chinook's primary use is the delivery of the troops, artillery and battlefield supplies. It is also known for supporting disaster relief, search and rescue, fire fighting, parachute drops, heavy construction and medical evacuation.
Col. Christopher Carlile; William Braddy, Deputy to the Commander for Production; Kresten Cook, Deputy to the Commander for Support; Roderick Benson; Tom Davis; Mike Boies, Honeywell Site Manager; AFGE and IAM Union Presidents, Joe Gonzales and Eddie Alvarez, respectively and the T-55 team attended the ceremony.