EVENDALE, Ohio - The highly successful U.S. Air Force field service evaluation (FSE) of the F110-GE-129 engine powering the Boeing F-15E fighter has exceeded all objectives, with the engines expected to surpass 1,600 engine flight hours before the program ends in the fourth quarter of this year.

The USAF extended the FSE program beyond the 1,000 hours originally envisioned due to the engine's flawless performance and the high mission readiness rate of the aircraft/engine combination. The USAF considers the program complete, based on the fact that all objectives have been met or exceeded.

During the 17 months of the FSE, the two GE-powered F-15E aircraft in the program have compiled an outstanding 99.8 percent mission completion rate while accumulating 1,573 engine flight hours (EFH) and 536 sorties. The F110-GE-129 engines have experienced no removals, no shop visits, no inflight shutdowns, no stalls, no missed afterburner lights, and no aerodynamic integration issues while maintaining an average of 3.3 total accumulated cycles (TAC) per EFH. As a result, the two spare engines assigned to the program have never been used.

"These excellent results demonstrate both the reliability of the engine and, more importantly, the compatibility of the engine with the F-15 aircraft," said Tom Maxwell, manager of the F110 Engine Program of GE Aircraft Engines.

During 1990-1992, the USAF conducted a similar FSE program in which the F110-GE-129 accumulated 2,288 engine flight hours powering the single-engine F-16. This provided the basis for the successful introduction of the F110-GE-129 engine into the F-16 fleet.

The USAF's current F-15 FSE program represents a highly successful follow-up to the previous F-16 FSE program and demonstrates the mature reliability characteristics of the F110-GE-129 engine-the only engine to successfully complete both evaluations.

"This evaluation confirms the F110 engine as the superior powerplant for the F-15 and reaffirms our determination to bring the benefits of our engines to the F-15s of the USAF as well as other operators throughout the world," said Bob Griswold, general manager of the F110/F118/F101 Project Department of GE Aircraft Engines.

The F110/F-15 FSE program was initiated in April 1997 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, following completion of the qualification program at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

More than 2,200 F110 engines have entered service since the original F110-GE-100 was introduced in 1986, and the F110 engine family now powers 75 percent of the F-16C/Ds throughout the world, including those of the United States, Greece and Turkey, as well as the Mitsubishi F-2 support fighter of Japan. Since the F110-GE-129 was introduced in 1992, 420 F110-GE-129 engines have accumulated 275,000 engine flight hours.