GE Fighter Engines Well Positioned for the 21st Century
SINGAPORE - GE Aircraft Engines' (GEAE) family of fighter engines is expanding its global presence with infusions of new technology and new aircraft applications that assure a leadership role for these engines well into the 21st century:
- F110. The best-selling engine for F-16C/D aircraft, the F110's capability is being
greatly enhanced. Ground tests are under way at GEAE's Evendale, Ohio, facility on a program to
qualify an advanced version of the F110-GE-129 engine for F-16s and F-15s. Additional testing begins
in March at the U.S. Air Force's Arnold Engineering Development Center at Tullahoma, Tennessee.
Designated the F110-GE-129 EFE (Enhanced Fighter Engine), the engine will be qualified at 34,000 pounds of thrust and offered initially at a thrust rating of 32,000 pounds, with demonstrated growth capability to 36,000 pounds. Operating at today's thrust levels will increase the engine service interval up to 50 percent. Qualification of the EFE is targeted for December 1999, with production engine deliveries in 2000.
In addition, the U.S. Air Force Field Service Evaluation (FSE) program for the F110-powered F-15 is successfully entering its 11th month, having recently surpassed 800 engine flight hours. The program is scheduled to continue through 1998 and will involve more than 1,500 engine flight hours on two F-15E aircraft at Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas, Nevada.
Development work continues on a $6.6 million USAF contract, awarded in late 1997, to design and validate an F110 Engine Ejector Nozzle Kit for USAF F-16C/Ds. Flight testing of the Ejector Nozzle is expected to be completed in 1999.
- F414. GEAE expects later this year to be awarded U.S. Navy Full Production Qualification
status for its F414-GE-400 engine, which will signify completion of the highly successful seven-year
development program formally cited as "a model development program" by the U.S. Navy. The F414 will
have accumulated more than 12,000 test hours by the end of the development program.
Powering the Navy's new F/A-18E/F "Super Hornet" in a flight test program at the U.S. Navy's Patuxent River, Maryland, test center, the F414 has accumulated more than 4,300 engine flight hours on seven aircraft. Navy plans call for production of approximately 1,250 to 1,900 engines through the year 2017 with the engine expected to enter the Navy's carrier fleet in 2001. In addition, the F414 is being evaluated as a potential export fighter engine for beyond the year 2000.
- F404. Perhaps the world's most ubiquitous fighter engine, the F404 was recently selected
by the Air Force of the Republic of Korea to power the new KTX-2 advanced trainer/light combat
aircraft. The engine, a variant of the F404-402, is being modified to power the single-engine
KTX-2 by incorporating specific redundant features and a new control system with an advanced FADEC
(full authority digital electronic control).
In designing the engine, emphasis has been placed on commonality with the more than 3,600 F404 engines already in service with several aircraft, including the F/A-18.
GE is actively supporting Korea's Samsung Aerospace Industries Ltd., which, in association with Lockheed Martin Corporation, is developing this modern, cost-effective trainer/combat aircraft. GEAE is on contract for the full-scale development program, including engineering development and flight test engines, and has signed a long-term production agreement. Flight testing is scheduled to begin in 2001.
- YF120. The team of GEAE, Allison Advanced Development Company, and Rolls-Royce Military
Aero Engines Ltd. is aggressively moving toward engine testing early next century for the U.S.
Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Alternate Engine Program.
In 1997, the JSF Program Office awarded the GE/Allison/R-R team a $106 million, four-year, Phase II contract for the Alternate Engine Program covering airframe integration studies, core engine detailed design, engine hardware procurement, engine diagnostics development, and technology maturation.
GE, the lead systems integrator, is developing a multi-stage blisk compressor, radial augmentor and dual control system (derived from the F414 engine), and advanced exhaust nozzle. Allison and GE are jointly developing a coupled turbine system (an integrated high pressure/low pressure counterrotating design) that incorporates advanced cooling technology. Allison is also responsible for the combustor/diffuser system and the gearbox. R-R will design and manufacture the increased-airflow, three-stage, long-chord blisk fan.