March 5, 2008 (by Eric L. Palmer) - The GE/Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team has successfully completed its Critical Design Review, a major milestone in the F136 engine development program.
The General Electric/Roll Royce F-136 engine for the F-35 has passed it's critical design review.
The F136 engine is a 40,000+ lb. thrust combat engine that will be available to power all variants of the F-35 Lightning II
During Critical Design Review (CDR
), the US Government’s Joint Program Office for the validates and approves the design of the F-35 engine. During that review, every aspect of the engine design is analyzed and evaluated in order to proceed with the building of the first full development engines. The process involved 80 detailed component and module design reviews, involving technical experts from the JPO
, General Electric and Rolls-Royce.
Completion of CDR is an important step that signifies the F136 program is moving from early design phases toward production.
“The CDR, held at the GE
Evendale facility, was the culmination of over four months of detailed component, module and system reviews between the Fighter Engine Team and JPO propulsion teams. The F136 met the milestone requirements and this serves as an important step on the path towards a competitive engine for the F-35, which is on course to power their first F-35 flight by 2010. Challenges exist, but the F136 is well positioned to meet them,” said John White, Director of Engineering for the Joint Program Office.
F136 engine tests continue at a unique, new test facility, located at a GE center at Peebles, Ohio, as well as at the US Air Force
Arnold Engineering Development Center in Tennessee. The Peebles tests include an engine in Short Take Off, Vertical Landing (STOVL
) mode, while the AEDC tests are being conducted in Conventional Take off and Landing (CTOL
) mode, including the F-35 exhaust nozzle -- which is common hardware to both engine types for the aircraft.
The F136 engine is in the third year of a System Development and Demonstration (SDD
) contract with full funding for FY 2008 and more than half of the overall SDD funding already appropriated.
The SDD phase is scheduled to run through 2013; the first production F136 engines are scheduled to be delivered in late 2012 for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft. This occurs during the fourth lot of F-35 aircraft production, which is very early in the overall aircraft production program.