GE Rolls-Royce fighter engine team hits afterburner on third new engine

Monday, 22 March 2010

The GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team has successfully hit full afterburner on its third new production-configuration engine, continuing a year of major progress and milestones for the F136 program.

The afterburner tests were conducted in an advanced testing facility at GE. All major objectives have been reached during this phase of testing, which included an engine nozzle common to both F-35 engine programs. The Joint Strike Fighter aircraft was designed from its inception to include interchangeability with the F136 engine.

Six F136 engines are scheduled for testing this year, to measure engine performance and endurance as the competitive engine for the F-35 program continues to demonstrate steady progress and significant milestones.

F136 performance is meeting all expectations in terms of thrust, temperature margins, and fuel consumption -- confirming the vital role that it will play competing in the Joint Strike Fighter program over several decades.

“We are marching along in development, making progress every day, and achieving full afterburner on our newest engine demonstrates the capability and success of the F136 team. It also means the F-35 program is another step closer to reaping the proven benefits of enduring competition in the engine program,” said Al DiLibero, President of the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team.

“This year will be the biggest yet for the F136 program as we ramp up our test program and move toward flight test. The F136 is designed specifically for the F-35 aircraft, with an engine core sized for the aircraft’s current and future needs,” said Mark Rhodes, Senior Vice President of the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team. 

  1. GE - Aviation, with responsibility for 60 percent of the F136 program, is developing the core compressor and coupled high-pressure/low-pressure turbine system components, controls and accessories, and the augmentor. Rolls-Royce, with 40 percent of the F136 program, is responsible for the front fan, combustor, stages 2 and 3 of the low-pressure turbine, and gearboxes. International participant countries are also contributing to the F136 through involvement in engine development and component manufacturing.
  2. The F136 engine will be available to power all variants of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft for the U.S. military and eight partner nations.  The F136 engine is a product of the best technology from two world-leading propulsion companies. The GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team has designed the only engine specifically developed for the F-35 aircraft, offering a larger core, extra temperature margin and affordable growth.
  3. F136 engine development is being led at GE Aviation in Evendale, Ohio (Cincinnati suburb); and at Rolls-Royce in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Bristol, UK. 
  4. The F-35 is a 5th-generation, multi-role aircraft designed to replace the AV-8B Harrier, A-10, F-16, F/A-18 Hornet and the United Kingdom's Harrier GR.7 and Sea Harrier, all of which are currently powered by GE or Rolls-Royce.
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