F-35 Lightning II News

The GE/Rolls-Royce JSF team preparing for first full-engine test in 2004

July 22, 2002 (by Anonymous) - The GE/Rolls-Royce F136 engine team for the U.S. Joint Strike Fighter Program (JSF) will undergo a series of rig and subsystems tests this year and in 2003 in preparation for the first full-engine tests in 2004.
The GE/Rolls-Royce F136 engine team comprises: GE Aircraft Engines in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Rolls-Royce plc in Bristol, England, and Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Philips ETG (PET) in The Netherlands; and FiatAvio in Turin, Italy.

On contract for the JSF program, the GE/Rolls-Royce team earlier this year completed analytical work to confirm the engine"s range and thrust parameters. Current development work is under the four-year, Phase III JSF program. This pre-System and Development Demonstration (SDD) phase, performed under a $411 million contract, runs through 2005.

"The centerpiece of our Phase III is to run full engines," said Robert Griswold, general manager for the JSF program at GE Aircraft Engines. "The turbomachinery will be production standard. This positions our team very well with a low-risk entry going into the SDD phase, which we anticipate to begin in late 2004 and run through 2012. Currently, plans call for delivery of the first F136 engine in 2011."

"Designed specifically for the JSF Program, the F136 will be fully interchangeable and affordable to meet the demands of all the aircraft variants," said Thomas Hartmann, vice president of JSF programs at Rolls-Royce. "GE and Rolls-Royce are two of the most experienced engine manufacturers working together, using the best components and technology from each company."

During Phase III, the F136 engines will be tested for the various JSF variants: Short Takeoff Vertical Landing (STOVL) for the U.S. Marine Corps and U.K. Royal Navy, Conventional Takeoff/Landing (CTOL) for the U.S. Air Force, and the Carrier Variant (CV) for the U.S. Navy.

The Phase III program follows a highly successful Phase II effort in 1997-2001, during which the F136 engine team completed the JSF Critical Design Review and ran 80 hours of engine core testing (during 2000) at Roll-Royce"s Indianapolis facility. In addition, Rolls-Royce performed front fan rig testing at full speed and pressure ratio, which verified fan flow and fan efficiencies.

GE Aircraft Engines, with responsibility for 60 percent of the program, is developing the core-compressor and turbine system components, and the augmentor. Rolls-Royce, with 40 percent of the program, is responsible for the front fan, combustor, and gearboxes. GE and Rolls-Royce are jointly developing an integrated high-pressure/low-pressure counterrotating turbine design. Philips leads a consortium of Dutch, Norwegian, and Danish companies that will provide propulsion system components. FiatAvio is responsible for structural components for the low-pressure turbine and will participate in the development of the accessory gearbox.

The F136 engine incorporates advanced technology and processes that GEAE and R-R obtained from the highly successful IHPTET (Integrated High Performance Turbine Engine Technology) programs.