In addition to providing topflight power for a broad range of commercial aircraft, GE's CF6 large turbofan engines (military designation: F103 and F138) power 16 military and VIP applications every day. Military CF6 applications include the E-4B, KC-10 tanker, A300, A310 Tanker, Airborne Laser, Air Force one, C-5M Super Galaxy, XC-2 Transport, AWACS, and KC-30 Multi role tanker transport.
The CF6-50 (F103), entered military service in the mid 1970's on the E-4B aircraft. In 1979, it was introduced on the KC-10 tanker, a modification of the commercial DC-10-30. The F103 has already powered the KC-10 through two and a half decades of recognized mission accomplishment, fueling it with one of the best dispatch reliability rates and lowest support costs of any major weapon system in the Air Mobility Command.
The CF6-80C2, an advanced development of the CF6-50 entered military service in 1991 on Air Force One, the official aircraft designated to transport the President of the United States. CF6-80C2 engines also power the 767 AWACS, A310 tanker, XC-2 transport and the Italian and Japanese B767 Tanker-Transport programs. The -80C2 engine has the most widespread use of any large turbofan engine with nearly 4,500 delivered or on order.
In 1969, the TF39 engine was designed to power the USAF C-5 Galaxy transport aircraft. It was the first high bypass turbofan, and led to the CF6. That legacy has now come full circle as the C-5 is now re-engined with the CF6-80C2L1F. The C-5M Super Galaxy, an upgraded version of the C-5 Galaxy with new CF6-80C2 engines and 70 other improvements is designed to extend the service life of the USAF's largest airlifter well beyond 2040. The –L1F engine incorporates nearly two decades of commercially developed performance and reliability enhancements providing an affordable, commercially-based solution that enables the venerable Super Galaxy to meet or beat every operational requirement transforming transport operations for the USAF. Although capable of 61,500 lbs. of thrust, the engine is de-rated to about 51,250 lbs. for the C-5M application. A 58% faster time-to-climb capability, 20% increase in cargo loads and 34% improvement in cost per flying hour are just three of the important elements that power the Super Galaxy to unmatched mission superiority. The -80C2L1F has also allowed the USAF to realize 8-20% fuel savings depending on the mission. This improved efficiency and higher thrust has allowed the C-5M to set 43 time to climb/payload/range world records. Finally, the –L1F is over 3 times quieter and the C-5M is the first stage 4 compliant aircraft in the USAF inventory. The noise reduction, fuel savings, and reduced emissions led to GE Ecomagination certification, a first specifically for a military application.
The CF6-80E is the newest and highest thrust model of the CF6 family and is capable of generating up to 72,000 lbs. of thrust. It currently powers the KC-30 Multi Role Tanker Transport, a modification of the A330 commercial aircraft.