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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madrat

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Unread post27 Jul 2022, 12:31

You don't rush these options. Neither is ready for prime time. Forcing choice now is raw politics rather than a sound decision.
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steve2267

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Unread post27 Jul 2022, 14:50

I partially disagree, in that I believe the F135 Engine Enhancement Package by P&W is ready to go. While it may still require a formal engineering development program, P&W has already performed extensive testing, some of which had been funded by the USN, to develop & verify the enhancements P&W previously called GO 1.0 and 2.0. They just need JPO / Pentagon to fund the formal work. I think P&W has been ready for several years with the EEP mods.

There may be some wrap-up AETP testing at Tullahoma yet to complete.

I do agree the worst thing that could happen now is to let politics dictate what path to take.

This decision is complicated by the Bee -- what to do if the AETP route is taken? How do you then get all the Bees to Block 4 and beyond.

But isn't AETP also supposedly going to power the NGAD? If so, why not run with the P&W EEP mods to get to Block 4. As AETP matures into the NGAD propulsion solution, have whoever wins design it to also fit the F-35 (if that does result in a huge cost increase).
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post27 Jul 2022, 21:49

Another take on KENDALL remarks re 'START YOUR ENGINES' debate.
Kendall Says F-35 Engine Decision Needed Soon; Won’t ‘Limp Along’ on R&D
26 Jul 2022 John A. Tirpak

"...Kendall said he, personally, “very much desire[s]” to have “the AETP solution” in the F-35 because “you get significant range extension out of that” as well as “more capability that we need” for the F-35. He didn’t specify the added capabilities, but industry officials have said some would entail additional electrical power for F-35 electronic warfare and directed-energy systems as well as additional thrust and some improvement in stealth....

...“Now is not the time” to introduce a new variable into the F-35’s struggle to reach affordable sustainment costs, the lawmakers said, also noting Kendall’s own testimony earlier this year that the AETP is likely to be a $6 billion development program to reach operational status."

Source: https://www.airforcemag.com/kendall-say ... ong-on-rd/
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Unread post27 Jul 2022, 23:02

steve2267 wrote:I partially disagree, in that I believe the F135 Engine Enhancement Package by P&W is ready to go. While it may still require a formal engineering development program, P&W has already performed extensive testing, some of which had been funded by the USN, to develop & verify the enhancements P&W previously called GO 1.0 and 2.0. They just need JPO / Pentagon to fund the formal work. I think P&W has been ready for several years with the EEP mods.

There may be some wrap-up AETP testing at Tullahoma yet to complete.

I do agree the worst thing that could happen now is to let politics dictate what path to take.

This decision is complicated by the Bee -- what to do if the AETP route is taken? How do you then get all the Bees to Block 4 and beyond.

But isn't AETP also supposedly going to power the NGAD? If so, why not run with the P&W EEP mods to get to Block 4. As AETP matures into the NGAD propulsion solution, have whoever wins design it to also fit the F-35 (if that does result in a huge cost increase).


Odds likely favor getting both the F135 Upgrades and the new Adaptive Cycle Engine. (XA100?)

Actually, they need to acquire the ACE to power at least some F-35s. As the NGAD are not likely to be acquired in large numbers. So, they need future XA100 powered F-35s to increase engine production and drive down costs. Otherwise, each NGAD will cost $300 Million each!
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Unread post06 Aug 2022, 02:27

GE, Pratt & Whitney Publicly Pitch F-35 Engine Plans as Decision Looms
04 Aug 2022 Greg Hadley

"[a lot of stuff posted before so not repeated but perhaps worth reading entire article at URL]... Pratt & Whitney, meanwhile, is adamant that neither the XA100 nor its own AETP engine, the XA101, will work on the F-35B.

“No matter what anyone tells you, it’s not going to fit inside a STOVL,” Latka said. “There’s a third duct in the XA engines, both ours and our competitor’s, and that physically doesn’t work. … There’s still a tremendous amount of design work to do on the aircraft because the new engine is 1,000 pounds more, and all of that structural analysis hasn’t been done yet.”

Tweedie [David Tweedie, GE’s general manager of Advanced Combat Engines] declined to confirm how much heavier the XA100 is but said GE has worked with F-35 maker Lockheed Martin and the Air Force to ensure that the added weight will be “certainly tolerable and not a challenge from an integration perspective.”...

...Latka also claimed that the future block upgrades won’t be necessary over the course of the F-35’s life cycle—projected to reach 2070—because the core upgrade at the heart of the Enhanced Engine Package will produce more than enough thermal management to handle future systems that may be added to the fighter.

“In the future, if you want to bring even more into the jet, you don’t even need to do this again,” Latka [Jennifer Latka, vice president of the F135 program] said. “You’ve still got margin and headroom, and it allows the partnership to remain across the As, Bs, and Cs and the international partners because everybody maintains the same configuration [of] propulsion system.”"

Photo: "GE Aviation’s XA100 engine, top, and Pratt & Whitney’s F135 engine. Photos from U.S. Air Force/Jill Pickett; and GE Aviation." https://www.airforcemag.com/app/uploads ... ngines.jpg (6.4Mb)


Source: https://www.airforcemag.com/ge-pratt-wh ... rnborough/
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Unread post07 Aug 2022, 23:59

We hear virtually nothing about the P&W XA101? Which, speaks volumes........
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Unread post08 Aug 2022, 03:21

Corsair1963 wrote:We hear virtually nothing about the P&W XA101? Which, speaks volumes........


Does it now?
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post08 Aug 2022, 03:40

steve2267 wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:We hear virtually nothing about the P&W XA101? Which, speaks volumes........


Does it now?



The fact that all of the talk centers around the GE XA100 ACE. While, P&W promotes the Enhanced F135. Surely must make most wondering. What is going on with the XA101???

Sure speaks volumes to me........


Respectfully,


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Unread post08 Aug 2022, 07:17

Corsair1963 wrote: What is going on with the XA101???


Meeting all its test objectives. P&W has been very pleased with its performance with regard to the AETP program requirements.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post09 Aug 2022, 00:40

steve2267 wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote: What is going on with the XA101???


Meeting all its test objectives. P&W has been very pleased with its performance with regard to the AETP program requirements.


Yet, P&W seems to be pushing the Enhanced F135 instead of the XA101 for future F-35s?


The problem I see with that. Is whatever is selected to power future F-35s. If, an ACE is selected. Will very likely also power the future NGAD.

So, sounds like P&W is really betting it all on the Enhanced F135 winning future F-35 orders! If, they're wrong they could lose a lot of F-35 orders and all of the NGAD orders!

:?
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Unread post09 Aug 2022, 03:33

Corsair1963 wrote:
Yet, P&W seems to be pushing the Enhanced F135 instead of the XA101 for future F-35s?


Maybe, but why not? They have a profitable thing going. Why not keep it going, from a P&W perspective?

Corsair1963 wrote:So, sounds like

Apparently to you.

Corsair1963 wrote:...P&W is really betting it all on the Enhanced F135 winning future F-35 orders!


I had no idea you had such insider knowledge of P&W strategy, access to executive memos & e-mails, and all the company engineering and test data.

I do not see this as a given.

P&W has stated that they the XA101 is meeting (and exceeding) all its test objectives. They sound pleased with its performance. They have also stated that XA101 technology can be back-fed into the F135.

To paraphrase some old army types... logistics wins wars, the latest gee whiz motor wins air show contests.

P&W raises very good points regarding:
  1. logistics -- if you put an ACE in the F-35A, what goes in the F-35C? What goes in the F-35B? What does that do to your logistics tail? Do you fund the ACE in the F-35A, but the F-35B gets stuck with the old F135 and never has the thermal capacity for full Block 4 capabilities (and beyond)?
  2. risk -- what happens if ACE doesn't pan out? F135 is already the most reliable, most power gas turbine ever stuffed in a tactical combat aircraft. Ready to kiss that all good bye if the ACE winner runs into problems? What's the old saw, something about changing horses mid-stream?

P&W has long experience with the F135 and F-35. I'd say they're pretty knowledgeable. They are pretty adamant an ACE won't fit in the F-35C. GE, on the other hand says no problem. One is probably right, and the other wrong. But who to believe? And what to do about the Bee? GE kind of beats around the bush, hinting that they think they can get the XA100 to work with the Bee. I dunno. I'm not sold.

IMO, the smart play is to run with the full EEP package for the F135, which P&W is on record as stating it is cost neutral for existing and future aircraft. Yes, the JPO will need to pay P&W to complete the development costs of the full EEP, but P&W has done extensive testing and risk reduction for all the technologies they would put into an F135 EEP motor. And one is going to have to pay a manufacturer for such developmental costs whether it be P&W, or GE, or Rolls Royce, and whether it be F135, F101, F100 etc.

Get the EEP -- most straightforward, least risk, all aircraft benefit, logistics remain as simple as possible. Let NGAD fund the maturation of AETP / ACE and burn down all the risk. Later on the JPO can look at stuffing an NGAD ACE into future blocks of F-35s.

IMHO.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post09 Aug 2022, 04:15

steve2267 wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:
Yet, P&W seems to be pushing the Enhanced F135 instead of the XA101 for future F-35s?


Maybe, but why not? They have a profitable thing going. Why not keep it going, from a P&W perspective?

Corsair1963 wrote:So, sounds like

Apparently to you.

Corsair1963 wrote:...P&W is really betting it all on the Enhanced F135 winning future F-35 orders!


I had no idea you had such insider knowledge of P&W strategy, access to executive memos & e-mails, and all the company engineering and test data.

I do not see this as a given.

P&W has stated that they the XA101 is meeting (and exceeding) all its test objectives. They sound pleased with its performance. They have also stated that XA101 technology can be back-fed into the F135.

To paraphrase some old army types... logistics wins wars, the latest gee whiz motor wins air show contests.

P&W raises very good points regarding:
  1. logistics -- if you put an ACE in the F-35A, what goes in the F-35C? What goes in the F-35B? What does that do to your logistics tail? Do you fund the ACE in the F-35A, but the F-35B gets stuck with the old F135 and never has the thermal capacity for full Block 4 capabilities (and beyond)?
  2. risk -- what happens if ACE doesn't pan out? F135 is already the most reliable, most power gas turbine ever stuffed in a tactical combat aircraft. Ready to kiss that all good bye if the ACE winner runs into problems? What's the old saw, something about changing horses mid-stream?

P&W has long experience with the F135 and F-35. I'd say they're pretty knowledgeable. They are pretty adamant an ACE won't fit in the F-35C. GE, on the other hand says no problem. One is probably right, and the other wrong. But who to believe? And what to do about the Bee? GE kind of beats around the bush, hinting that they think they can get the XA100 to work with the Bee. I dunno. I'm not sold.

IMO, the smart play is to run with the full EEP package for the F135, which P&W is on record as stating it is cost neutral for existing and future aircraft. Yes, the JPO will need to pay P&W to complete the development costs of the full EEP, but P&W has done extensive testing and risk reduction for all the technologies they would put into an F135 EEP motor. And one is going to have to pay a manufacturer for such developmental costs whether it be P&W, or GE, or Rolls Royce, and whether it be F135, F101, F100 etc.

Get the EEP -- most straightforward, least risk, all aircraft benefit, logistics remain as simple as possible. Let NGAD fund the maturation of AETP / ACE and burn down all the risk. Later on the JPO can look at stuffing an NGAD ACE into future blocks of F-35s.

IMHO.


Honestly, I don't appreciate your sarcasm. Clearly, there is a larger market for the Adaptive Cycle Engines. If, a good portion of future F-35s get the new engine. Especially, when combined with the NGAD (6th Generation) Fighters!

In my opinion the ACE will go into the F-35 one way or another. While, I don't see the US Military selecting both designs. Say one for F-35s and the other for the NGADs.

So, my guess is the US Military will get both the enhanced F135. Which, would continue with some export versions of the F-35 and of course the F-35B for the USMC. This while GE wins the Adaptive Cycle Engine Contest.

Lastly, I doubt I am the only one here questioning the P&W Strategy.......... :|

IMHO
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Unread post09 Aug 2022, 14:07

Corsair1963 wrote:Clearly, there is a larger market for the Adaptive Cycle Engines. If, a good portion of future F-35s get the new engine. Especially, when combined with the NGAD (6th Generation) Fighters!

In my opinion the ACE will go into the F-35 one way or another. While, I don't see the US Military selecting both designs. Say one for F-35s and the other for the NGADs.

So, my guess is the US Military will get both the enhanced F135. Which, would continue with some export versions of the F-35 and of course the F-35B for the USMC. This while GE wins the Adaptive Cycle Engine Contest.

Lastly, I doubt I am the only one here questioning the P&W Strategy.......... :|

IMHO


Perhaps I should back up. I may be on a separate page than you.

Please tell -- just what is P&W strategy? And how do you know this?

Are you arguing this strategy is bad for Raytheon Technologies shareholders? Or merely stating that you personally do not like this strategy?

As best I can recall, everytime you write about the subject of AETP / ACE, you appear to dismiss the XA101 out of hand, and assume the XA100 will win. Is this your opinion? On what do you base it? GE fanboyism? Insider knowledge of test results from the two competing manufacturers? Number of press releases by the manufacturers? Number of news stories about the different manufacturers products, or developmental test articles?

GE may very well have the inside track, i.e. better technology, on the AETP program. If so, and they win the ACE competition, great, congratulations to GE and P&W will be forced to up their game again. But I have seen no competently written article by the so called aerospace press that suggests GE is ahead in the AETP / ACE competition. I've seen more press releases by GE. And more yay-rah-rah "news" articles about XA100. And I see a manufacturer who has lost the last two major fighter engine competitions fighting to get back into the business.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post09 Aug 2022, 14:39

Whatever P&W business intelligence think about AETP in F-35, they can't look like not believing in their current product. So in their eyes it's probably EEP vs AETPs first, and if the higher risk option is preferred then both companies AETPs would go head to head.

Maybe GE would get some sliver of goodwill due to P&W changing their horse mid-way, but for P&W it's impossible to not present F135 EEP as good enough. They can accept or at least would portray going for AETPs instead as the requirements changing, for which they also have a solution.

GE only has the go big or go home option.

This means that P&W could theoretically even have a superior AETP solution, but it's not necessarily wise to bring it forward too early if it could jeopardize the good thing they have going in all three variants.
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Unread post09 Aug 2022, 15:37

Well stated.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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