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Lycoming T53-L-1 (LTC1B-1) Turboshaft Engine


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Boeing Aviation Hangar room at Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Lycoming T53-L-1 (LTC1B-1) Turboshaft Engine

Collection Item Summary:

In response to an Air Force request in 1952 for a 373 - 522 kW (500- to 700-hp) turboprop engine, Lycoming produced two designs, both of which could be converted to turboshafts to power helicopters by removing the propeller gearbox. Lycoming was awarded a contract to develop a free-turbine turboshaft engine, designated LTC1 (military designation T53-L-1). It was military qualified in 1958, and the first production engine was delivered in 1959.

The front-drive, concentric-shaft design became a widely accepted U.S. standard for turboshaft engines. The T53 gave Lycoming its start in the aircraft gas turbine business and played a key role in the expansion of the Army's airmobile role during the Vietnam War. The T53 powered the Bell UH-1 Iroquois (Huey) and AH-1 Huey Cobra helicopters and the Grumman OV-1 Mohawk airplane.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


Dr Anselm Franz

Credit Line

Gift of Lycoming Division, Avco Corporation


From T53-L-1A: Length 121 cm (47.6 in.), Diameter 58 cm (23.0 in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America


Circa 1959

Physical Description

  • Type: Turboshaft
  • Power: 641 kw (860 hp) at 21,510 rpm
  • Compressor: Five-stage axial, single-stage centrifugal
  • Combustor: Reverse flow, 11 fuel nozzles
  • Turbine: Single-stage axial gas generator, single-stage axial free power


PROPULSION-Turbines (Jet)

Inventory Number


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