By David Monniaux - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
By David Monniaux – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Source: Wikimedia

The Cormorant Search and Rescue helicopter, built for the Canadian Air Forces, made its first flight at Agusta’s facility in Vergiate, Italy. The flight was flawless. The aircraft is powered by three GE T700/T6A1 turboshaft engines that each produce 2145 shaft horsepower (shp). The Cormorant, built to replace the retiring fleet of Labrador helicopters, flew for 15 minutes and completed a fly-by at a speed of 110 knots for an assembled delegation of the Canadian Program Management Office. The T700/T6A1 turboshaft engine is co-produced by GE and FiatAvio, and the aircraft is built by GKN Westland and Agusta. The Cormorant contract is for 15 Search and Rescue helicopters. Under an agreement with GE Canada, ACRO Aerospace, based in Richmond, BC, is currently carrying out the assembly, inspection and testing of up to 40 GE T700 engines for the new Cormorant Search and Rescue helicopters. The T700 turboshaft engine, and its commercial variant, the CT7 turboprop engine, power 24 types of civil and military helicopters, regional airliners, military transports, and multipurpose aircraft worldwide. More than 11,000 engines accumulating more than 30 million hours in service, often in extreme environments, have established the T700 as the most reliable helicopter engine in the world. General Electric, founded by Thomas Edison over 100 years ago, is one of the worldÂ’s most diverse manufacturing, services and technology companies, comprising 21 global businesses that include GE Aircraft Engines, the worldÂ’s largest producer of turboshaft, turboprop, and turbofan engines for commercial and military aircraft and aeroderivative engines for marine applications. GE Canada and GE Capital Services employ more than 11,000 Canadians.