F135 Upgrades, Reengining Considered In New F-35 Propulsion

All about the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the (cancelled) General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136
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Corsair1963

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Unread post14 Sep 2021, 01:37

steve2267 wrote:I find it odd that Congress on the one hand expresses its displeasure at sustainment costs and threatens to curtail purchase numbers unless those costs are reigned in, and yet seem to be more than willing to freely spend BILLIONS of dollars on unproven / not-fully-developed engines.

The F110 motor was far more mature than the AETP/AETD development motors.



True but the Adaptive Cycle Engines (ACE) were being developed for the NGAD Fighters anyways. In addition the US Government wants and needs a healthy GE and P&W. While, fostering competition to improve quality and drive down costs...Also, let's not forget the US wants to maintain it's vast technological edge.


So, maybe we will see the US funding both. That is an upgraded P&W F135 for the majority of F-35's. While, pursuing the ACE for some F-35's and the forthcoming NGAD.

Doesn't sound like the NGAD will be built in large numbers. If, that is the case they will need some orders from the F-35 Program. In order to provide enough economy of scale....

Let's not forget P&W will still get the Lion Share of the F-35 orders. Plus, the forthcoming B-21 Stealth Bomber. So, not like P&W is being given a bone or something.....
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Unread post16 Sep 2021, 06:55

Adding New AETP Engine to F-35 Means Air Force Alone Would Pay for It [LONG article best read at URL]
15 Sep 2021 John A. Tirpak

"The Air Force would have to bear the full development and integration cost of putting new Adaptive Engine Technology Program engines in its F-35 fleet because the other services can’t fit the powerplants in their versions of the fighter, F-35 Program Executive Officer Lt. Gen. Eric T. Fick told reporters Sept. 15.

“If it’s a one-service, … unique solution, the cost of that solution will be borne by that service,” Fick said. Asked if moving forward with the AETP on the F-35 will depend on whether the Air Force is willing to bear that cost, he replied, “I think so.” The Air Force could go it alone on the AETP, he said. But the longstanding agreement among F-35 partners is that “you have to pay to be different.”

Fick, speaking at a roundtable with defense reporters in his Arlington, Va., office, said he has visited GE Aviation’s Evendale, Ohio, plant to see its XA100 version of the AETP engine and came away “very impressed” and “energized” by the effort. Pratt & Whitney’s version of the AETP is called the XA101. Pratt & Whitney is the sole builder of the F-35’s F135 engine.

For the Air Force’s F-35A, “the technology could be remarkable,” Fick said. But, GE and Pratt & Whitney’s AETP engines would “require significant modifications” to fit in the Navy’s F-35C and are “completely a non-starter” for the Marine Corps F-35B, which has vertical takeoff/landing capability. Both engine makers have said the AETP engines will not fit in the F-35B. It might be possible to alter the AETP engine to fit in the F-35C, and if so, “some cost sharing there might be possible,” Fick said.

But at a minimum, choosing to put AETP on any part of the F-35 fleet would mean at least two powerplants to manage for the fleet, and possibly three, Fick said.

“We know we have a demand,” and the Block 4 version of the F-35 will need improved performance from the F135 engine, Fick said. Although the first three capability increments of Block 4 can function with the existing engine, “we know that, going beyond that, we need to do something different,” and the all-up Block 4 can’t fully exploit its new capabilities without more power....

...It would be unfair for the “Navy, Marine Corps, and [international] partners all footing part of the bill” to integrate an engine in the F-35 that only the Air Force can use, Fick said....

...The discussion about a unique engine for the Air Force’s F-35A raises again the question of whether, after 20 years, it’s time for the services to each have their own program office to manage their own variants of the fighter. But Fick said, “that would be unhealthy.” While commonality among the variants is much lower than once envisioned, the differences are “mainly in the way they take off and land,” he asserted.

The commonality in cockpits, “switchology,” weapons, mission systems, “all those are identical” and continue to provide savings and interoperability that have a huge return on investment, Fick said."

Source: https://www.airforcemag.com/adding-new- ... ay-for-it/
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Unread post16 Sep 2021, 07:03

I have my doubts that the F-35C would “require significant modifications” to take ACE. (XA100 or XA101) Which, was design from the start to fit the F-35. That said, the small numbers acquired may not make it worthwhile. As the USN/USMC are the only customers for the type.


Oh, and I am sure they said the same thing adapting the F110 to the F-14, F-15, and F-16..... :wink:
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Unread post16 Sep 2021, 23:07

Corsair1963 wrote:I have my doubts that the F-35C would “require significant modifications” to take ACE. (XA100 or XA101) Which, was design from the start to fit the F-35. That said, the small numbers acquired may not make it worthwhile. As the USN/USMC are the only customers for the type.


Oh, and I am sure they said the same thing adapting the F110 to the F-14, F-15, and F-16..... :wink:


I'm guessing you are right about the F-35C. As far as I know, the main differences between the F135-100 (AF) and -400 (Navy) is some additional corrosion resistant external components or component coatings. Otherwise the engines are the same.

For the F110, it was designed to be a drop in replacement for the F100. Same mounts, Same airframe interface, same installation support equipment. Completely different at Intermediate and Depot maintenance.

For the F-14, there was some significant development work needed to fit into the TF30 space. The TF30 was significantly longer, airframe interface completely different, no F100 support equipment in the Navy to work with. They also had some significant gearbox issues to work thru with the landing gear dynamics of carrier landing (there is an official Navy term for the landing gear reaction with wheel spin up on the high friction deck surface - I forget the term). And they had major gearbox corrosion problems once they changed from the original Mg-Thorium housing allow (slightly radioactive, but corrosion resistant) to QE22 magnesium alloy. They had several engine fires due to salt water corrosion eating thru the top of the gearbox. The change from the TF30 to F110 was a a more significant improvement in airframe performance than for the F-15 or F16 (pretty much everything that was expected of the F401), but there were a lot of challenges.
P&W FSR (retired) - TF30 / F100 /F119 /F135
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Unread post17 Sep 2021, 01:22

The F-35A & F-35C engine are exactly the same out of the aircraft with the F-35A benefitting from the extra anti-corrosion materials/coatings. There is a benefit for several reasons including whatever. Someone would have to explain about the issue under discussion. Perhaps making the new F-35C engine corrosion proof adds cost to it and the F-35A?
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Unread post17 Sep 2021, 01:58

NAVAIR has long been more attracted to improvements in durability and maintainability than thrust addition; when they get both, that is an obvious bonus.

Block 4 will present some challenges maintaining VLBB while adding capability.
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