Pratt Unveils Sixth-Generation Fighter Engine, F135 Upgrade

All about the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the (cancelled) General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136
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Unread post09 Apr 2015, 21:18

Pratt Unveils Sixth-Generation Fighter Engine, F135 Upgrade Options


Pratt & Whitney has revealed details of a mid-to-long-term development road map designed to protect both its position as sole engine provider on the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) as well as its prospects for powering sixth-generation combat aircraft.

The ambitious plan builds on upgrades already under development for the F135 engine that powers the F-35, as well as a raft of advanced technologies currently being evaluated or studied for the next generation of adaptive, or variable-cycle engines. The strategic effort is also focused on sustaining Pratt as a major fighter-engine developer beyond the F135, the system development and demonstration (SDD) phase for which ends in 2016.

While Pratt makes it clear that there is currently no firm requirement for an upgraded F135, the company is working with the U.S. Navy on a fuel-burn improvement program for the engine, which combined with other turbine cooling technologies recently tested on the XTE68/LF1 demonstrator engine could be packaged as the first block of a two-step enhancement. “The Navy is working with us to develop technology for an engine test next year that would demonstrate a 5% fuel-burn reduction in the F-35,” says Pratt & Whitney’s Advanced Programs and Technology Director Jimmy Kenyon. This would be grouped potentially with blade-cooling technology demonstrated in late 2013 on XTE68/LF1, which Kenyon describes as “a fantastically successful test. It was the highest-ever turbine temperature in a production-based engine.”

The block one improvement will offer between a 7% and 10% improvement in thrust, as well as between 5% and 7% better mission fuel burn, and could be available around 2018. “So far, no one has decided they need the capability but we are making sure we are providing the options,” says Pratt & Whitney Military Engines President Bennett Croswell.

Although higher thrust and better fuel burn have obvious payload, range and mission advantages, Pratt expects the main benefit to come from trading the performance for lower operating temperatures and longer time on wing. “We are planning a life-extension for the F135, like we did on the [F100] -229 with an engine enhancement package where you had a 50% improvement in life. So we have set a goal to reduce sustainment costs for the F135 by a factor of 30%. A big piece of that will be increasing the life, which means reducing the number of depot overhauls you do over the life of the engine,” says Croswell. “The real focus for the Joint Program Office and Navy is on reducing life-cycle cost,” adds Kenyon.

For a longer-term block two upgrade path, Pratt is studying the possibility of configuring the F135 with elements of a technology suite in development for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP). Tipped for possible start-up funding later this year, AETP is primarily designed to prepare the ground for an adaptive, 45,000-lb.-thrust-class combat engine for sixth-generation fighter aircraft. However, the stated provisions for the program also make it a possible future reengining candidate for the F-35, the prospect of which is also driving advanced engine development work at General Electric.

Both Pratt and GE are currently engaged in AFRL’s Adaptive Engine Technology Development (AETD) program, a progenitor to AETP aimed at testing technology for a new generation of “three-stream” engines that can be reconfigured in flight. The adaptive concept is based on the principle of adding a third airflow stream outside of both the standard bypass duct and core. The extra airflow can be adapted to provide either additional mass flow for increased propulsive efficiency and lower fuel burn in higher bypass mode for cruise or, alternatively, for high-speed flight it can provide extra cooling capacity for the hot section of the engine, as well as for the fuel that provides a heat sink for aircraft systems.

AETD is set to end with demonstrations in 2016, by which time the follow-on program is scheduled to be underway. The four-year effort will mature adaptive engine technologies and reduce risk in readiness for a competitive engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) program. Pratt will conduct a preliminary design review of its AETD engine this month and has begun assembly of parts for a new high pressure-ratio core that will be tested in 2016. The manufacturer, which also has been rig-testing a three-stream adaptive fan, will attach the fan to an F135 for full engine tests at the company’s West Palm Beach, Florida, facility next year. The engine will also be fitted with a three-stream-compatible augmentor and exhaust system.

“We are looking at how we can take technology from that engine and use it within an F135-based architecture. We could potentially get a lot of that capability improvement for a lot less cost because we are already starting with a known engine and looking at an upgrade,” says Kenyon. “So we are working on different trades about how much the technology would bring in, how much that would cost and what kind of capability it would provide us as we go forward. The great thing about AETP is you are going to build and test and really wring out this technology, so by the time we get to the end of it that technology will be pretty mature.” As a result, Kenyon adds that “getting it into an F-35 would really not be as difficult or expensive as it would be to now take it forward to a brand-new engine.”Block two would therefore take elements of the advanced engine—in particular a new compressor and turbine— and feed it into the F135 for as much as a 15% thrust increase and a 20% reduction in fuel burn. “The compressor has more stages. It fits and is compatible with the current engine,” says Croswell, who adds the upgrade could be available in the 2022 timeframe if development of this, and the associated block one improvement, is approved soon. Although there is “still flow capacity in the inlet that we are not using,” Croswell acknowledges that the tightly packed F-35 fuselage does not allow for much leeway when it comes to providing space for a third stream. “Lockheed would like us not to tear up the airplane a lot, so I don’t know if we can integrate a third stream, but we will do those trades. We have defined what we could offer, and it is not part of the block upgrade plan as yet.”

Pratt is also working with the Navy on the Variable Cycle Advanced Technology (VCAT) program, which is designed to identify and mature adaptive-cycle turbine propulsion technology for future carrier-based tactical and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems. The VCAT program, which leverages the AFRL variable-cycle work, is a partnership effort between the Office of Naval Research and ONR and the Navy’s Energy Task Force, and is exploring additional unspecified methods of using the turbine stages to adapt the cycle. VCAT technology “is not part of the block two strategy right now, but it could be,” says Croswell.

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— With Joseph C. Anselmo
and Jen DiMascio






http://aviationweek.com/defense/pratt-u ... de-options
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Unread post10 Apr 2015, 00:56

Those Block 2 figures for an upgraded F135 are quite impressive, almost approaching levels of what AETD is supposed to deliver.
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Unread post11 Apr 2015, 08:27



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Unread post14 Apr 2015, 03:51

Pratt & Whitney Developing Future Upgrade Options For F135 Engine


F135 engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney is working to leverage technologies developed through separate Air Force and Navy programs to reduce fuel burn and increase the performance of the Joint Strike Fighter engine, and could begin to transition those capabilities into block upgrades as soon as 2018.
In separate interviews conducted during an April 2 media day, Pratt's President of Military Engines Bennett Croswell and Director of Advanced Programs and Technology Jimmy Kenyon told Inside the Air Force the company could begin incorporating block enhancements to F135 production engines as soon as 2020.
The F-35 does not currently have a requirement for increased fuel burn or thrust, and the joint program office has not initiated a follow-on development program with Pratt. However, the company is involved in several other advanced engine development programs through the Air Force and the Navy that could have implications for the future performance upgrades.
The first, the Navy Fuel Burn program, was initiated in 2012, and according to Kenyon the company is on contract through the Navy's requirements organization -- the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations -- through 2016 to develop enhancements to the F135 to improve fuel burn by about 5 to 7 percent. The goal is that any changes would introduce minimal disruption to the program, particularly as the JPO and Pratt prepare to ramp up engine production over the next few years.
"Our Navy sponsor has taken a pretty strong stance on trying to make sure that it's retrofittable, it's common to all the variants, it's something you could actually go out there and reasonably, affordably effect," Kenyon said.
Pratt will conduct a rig test this year, and an engine test and technology demonstration next year. Kenyon noted that right now, the effort is not officially a part of the F135 program, but he and Croswell said the company is in discussion with the JPO about incorporating it into the program's block upgrade plan.
"To get it into the F135, there needs to be a requirement for it," Kenyon said. "So we're working on the cost-effectiveness of it. What are the life-cycle cost savings from reducing your fuel burn? What is the mission-effectiveness that you might get from the additional range or endurance you get out of the fuel burn improvement? What else can you do with those technologies?"
Croswell noted that the company is looking at improving the F135's thrust by up to 20 percent and its fuel burn by up to 15 percent through this Navy program and through two other Air Force technology development efforts: Advanced Engine Technology Development and Advanced Engine Transition Program. The service requested $246 million for the two programs in its fiscal year 2016 budget request.
Since 2011 Pratt has been involved with AETD, a program managed by the Air Force Research Laboratory that is aimed at maturing adaptive engine technologies to develop a more fuel-efficient future jet engine. Through AETD, Pratt and General Electric have conducted a number of technology demonstrations and are gearing up for a design review in late April.
"One of the goals of AETD is to develop an engine design, notionally a production engine or an engine that looks like a product that could eventually come out and then do a full design review on that engine and understand what the engine would look like, what the engine capabilities are, how mature the technology in the engine is and what are the risks associated with continuing the development beyond that," Kenyon said.
He continued: "We're really going through a pretty rigorous design review so that you understand very deeply what's in that engine. And that's a design review that we hold with the customer so that the customer can gain a lot of confidence in our design and in the viability of that design moving forward."
After the design review, there are some additional smaller demonstrations as well as two major demonstrations next year, Kenyon said.
The work Pratt and GE have performed on AETD will carry forward into AETP, which is a technology transition effort meant to move AETD technologies forward into a program of record for a next-generation jet engine. The service has said it will likely issue contracts to Pratt and GE as they are the only two companies that have moved through the entire AETP program.
Kenyon said the service has indicated that the companies' AETD design will be the design that carries forward into AETP. Although the engines aren't being designed toward a particular, known platform, both companies have designed their engine to fit into an F-35, though the program is not intended as an F135 follow-on or alternative engine development effort. Kenyon said that when AETD began, conversations about next-generation needs and technologies were relatively immature. As those conversations have evolved over the last year or two, the service has started to talk about making sure these engine technologies are adaptable to a variety of applications.
"That discussion on making sure we're able to go to different applications has become, I think, more and more focused," he said. "It's become more and more prominent, and I think more and more a part of what they want to do."
In terms of considering the implications of these Air Force and Navy technology programs for future F135 block upgrades, Croswell said that Pratt is simply trying to provide the JPO with options to save on sustainment and maintenance costs while also improving the engine's performance over time.
"What we're trying to do is provide options," he said. "Do they want more durability? Do they want better fuel burn? Do they want more thrust? We're going to put options on the table."

Sustainment Goals
Along with looking at enhancements to improve the performance of the F135, Pratt has set goals for reducing sustainment costs by 30 percent by developing an enhanced engine program similar to what it established for the F100 engine, which powers the F-15 and F-16.
The package, Croswell said, focuses on extending the life of the engine and performing enhanced repairs rather than installing new parts. The company is currently simulating the engine's lifetime performance by running it above its specified life in order to determine which parts may need design changes in order to last.
"We'll just continue to run the engine and determine what parts don't have that life, and then we'll make design changes so that we bring the whole engine along to a higher life capability," Croswell said.
The work that's happening now in the System Development Demonstration phase, which ends next year, will move into a Component Improvement Program, which will then shape the engine enhancement package, Croswell said, noting that the company is about five or six years away from knowing what that package will look like. -- Courtney Albon


http://insidedefense.com/inside-air-for ... 135-engine
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Unread post14 Apr 2015, 04:38

P&W is smartly covering it's bases. If it beats out GE and gets to build the 6Gen engine, well and good. It could propose retrofitting the new engine into the F-35 fleet OR offer an upgraded F135 featuring significant performance and sustainment benefits. Giving the customer the choice.
If it loses to GE, then obviously the upgraded F135 option becomes even more important to P&W.
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Unread post14 Apr 2015, 14:15

popcorn wrote:P&W is smartly covering it's bases. If it beats out GE and gets to build the 6Gen engine, well and good. It could propose retrofitting the new engine into the F-35 fleet OR offer an upgraded F135 featuring significant performance and sustainment benefits. Giving the customer the choice.
If it loses to GE, then obviously the upgraded F135 option becomes even more important to P&W.


Yup. And this is why this bit is very important

The goal is that any changes would introduce minimal disruption to the program, particularly as the JPO and Pratt prepare to ramp up engine production over the next few years.
"Our Navy sponsor has taken a pretty strong stance on trying to make sure that it's retrofittable, it's common to all the variants, it's something you could actually go out there and reasonably, affordably effect," Kenyon said.


If you can squeeze out 7-10% better performance in the 2020-2030 time-period and those changes could be incorporated (be it at a cost) and retrofitted into existing engines then that is a huge improvement (if it indeed is possible) in performance and would track very well to other capability enhancements in block 4 and block 5.
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Unread post14 Apr 2015, 18:56

The upgrade for the F-135 must lead to an upgrade for electrical power generation.

Starter/ Generator; Hamilton Sundstrand
160 kW @ 270 Vdc

Batteries; Saft
28 Vdc; APU
270 Vdc; Li-ion, flight control surfaces

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Unread post18 Jun 2015, 16:09

At a Monday briefing here, the head of Pratt’s F135 program, Mark Buongiorno, told reporters the company didn’t want to release the information because the Adaptive Engine Technology Development (AETD) program’s engines were being tested for dimensions that matched those of the F-35. A more fuel-efficient AETD engine could overcome one of the longstanding concerns about the F-35 in an era of ever deeper anti-access/area denial defenses, its relatively short unrefueled range of a bit more than 600 nautical miles.

Then General Electric put out a release late yesterday about testing for its Adaptive Versatile Engine Technology (ADVENT) project, which achieved the highest combined compressor and turbine temperature operation “in the history of jet engine propulsion.”

http://breakingdefense.com/2015/06/ge-sets-aetd-record/
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Unread post18 Jun 2015, 17:36

zenith wrote:At a Monday briefing here, the head of Pratt’s F135 program, Mark Buongiorno, told reporters the company didn’t want to release the information because the Adaptive Engine Technology Development (AETD) program’s engines were being tested for dimensions that matched those of the F-35. A more fuel-efficient AETD engine could overcome one of the longstanding concerns about the F-35 in an era of ever deeper anti-access/area denial defenses, its relatively short unrefueled range of a bit more than 600 nautical miles.

Then General Electric put out a release late yesterday about testing for its Adaptive Versatile Engine Technology (ADVENT) project, which achieved the highest combined compressor and turbine temperature operation “in the history of jet engine propulsion.”

http://breakingdefense.com/2015/06/ge-sets-aetd-record/



"Pin drop"? Really? Am I the only person disappointed with today's "journalist" and the constant need to attempt to inject controversy into a subject where their is none? :roll:
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Unread post18 Jun 2015, 17:47

sferrin wrote:[.."Pin drop"? Really? Am I the only person disappointed with today's "journalist" and the constant need to attempt to inject controversy into a subject where their is none? :roll:

..it notes a lack of effort ... as one who is impressed with the F-135 and has flown with the Westinghouse J34-WE-34 we both know that the F-135 will be improved during the progression of the program...if not...GE will offer to "step in", as usual.. :)
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Unread post18 Jun 2015, 18:06

neptune wrote:
sferrin wrote:[.."Pin drop"? Really? Am I the only person disappointed with today's "journalist" and the constant need to attempt to inject controversy into a subject where their is none? :roll:

..it notes a lack of effort ... as one who is impressed with the F-135 and has flown with the Westinghouse J34-WE-34 we both know that the F-135 will be improved during the progression of the program...if not...GE will offer to "step in", as usual.. :)


"As usual"? Aside from the F100/408 GE (or any other manufacturer) has never "stepped in". And if it weren't for the conveniently-sized F101 already in production it likely wouldn't even have happened then. They'd have just improved the F100 (like they did).
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Unread post19 Oct 2015, 01:39

Towards Tomorrow’s United States Fighter Engine 3 page PDF attached
June 2015 Chris Kjelgaard NEXT-GENERATION US FIGHTER ENGINES TECHNOLOGY AI

"It appears increasingly certain the US Air Force and US Navy will want a variable-cycle engine for their next-generation fighters after the F-35. Pratt & Whitney is one of two leaders in US adaptive-cycle research. Chris Kjelgaard reports"
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F135 Variable Cycle Engine Update F-35 2015 prnPP3.pdf
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F135 Variable Cycle Engine Update F-35 June 2015.jpg
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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Unread post19 Oct 2015, 04:49

Excellent article Spaz. :thumb:
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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Unread post19 Oct 2015, 06:13

Cool beans. Would love to see this technology not just for the F135 but also for the F119.

Hey Russia! How is your "next gen suprcruise" engine for your PAKFA going?

:cheers:

sorry but I just HAD to make that petty comment.
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Unread post19 Oct 2015, 13:57

why is the F-22 not getting as much attention when it comes to major upgrades?

Is it because the fleet is too small that any upgrade seems like a waste of resources (but they managed to upgrade the U-2 fleet), or is the design so superior they can afford to delay some upgrades such as the HMD and side looking AESA.

I don't see the Raptor having any F-119 upgrades soon as the thing is already a monster, the F-35 on the other hand would benefit greatly from the above mentioned thrust increases and fuel burn reduction.
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