GE Awarded $6.6 Million USAF Contract for New Exhaust System
EVENDALE, Ohio - The United States Air Force (USAF) has awarded GE Aircraft Engines (GEAE) a $6.6 million development contract to design and validate an F110 Engine Ejector Nozzle Kit for USAF F-16C/D fighter aircraft.
The F110 Engine Ejector Nozzle Kit, to be developed as a retrofit kit for existing and future GE F110-powered F-16C/Ds, will dramatically increase nozzle life and reliability while reducing nozzle maintenance costs and flight-line repair time. These benefits will significantly reduce USAF life cycle costs.
The USAF contract covers Phase One of the program, involving the nozzle's design, development, and ground and flight qualification. Flight testing of the Ejector Nozzle on an F-16C/D is expected to be completed in 1999, with completion of Phase One targeted for that same year.
The F110 Ejector Nozzle Kit provides improved durability through design features that draw air from the engine nacelle to cool the nozzle's divergent flaps and seals, substantially reducing nozzle temperatures. As a result, the Ejector Nozzle Kit will increase nozzle operating life up to fourfold compared with the average operating life of current exhaust systems.
In addition, the Ejector Nozzle Kit, with almost 400 fewer parts than the current F110 nozzle, will reduce maintenance time requirements by as much as 90 percent.
The Ejector Nozzle Kit will be easily retrofitted on F110-GE-100 and F110-GE-129 engines currently powering the 792 USAF F-16C/Ds in service worldwide. The Ejector Nozzle Kit development program, managed at GEAE's headquarters in Evendale, Ohio, includes an integrated product team involving the USAF and Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems of Fort Worth, Texas. Lockheed Martin will perform airframe/engine integration activities, including development of airframe parts necessary to accommodate the ejector nozzle.
The F110 Ejector Nozzle Kit is derived from GEAE's LO AXI( (Low Observable Axisymmetric) Exhaust System, which has been under development for the past eight years. In July 1996, the LO AXI( system was successfully demonstrated during ground-testing on an F-16C at the Air National Guard Base at Joe Foss Field in Sioux Falls, S.D. During those tests, the LO AXI( system reduced nozzle hardware temperatures by 500 degrees to 950 degrees Fahrenheit while operating at maximum afterburner conditions. The LO AXI( system was tested as part of the Joint Strike Fighter technology maturation program.