GE F414 Engine Receives Green Light To Power Super Hornet
LYNN, Massachusetts - The F414-GE-400 engine cleared the final hurdle required to power the U.S. Navy's F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in an upcoming three-year flight test program.
The F414 has been awarded Preliminary Flight Qualification (PFQ) status by the U.S. Navy, the official engine flight clearance required for first flight of McDonnell Douglas' Super Hornet. The F414-powered Super Hornet, which was rolled out with much public fanfare last month, is scheduled to make its maiden flight in December.
"PFQ status represents nearly four years of intense effort by thousands of people at GE Aircraft Engines," said Dick Ruegg, F414 program manager at GE Aircraft Engines. "The F414 is performing as expected, and is on budget and on schedule. It is one of GE's model engine development programs."
The F414 program was launched in 1992 with a $741 million engineering and manufacturing development contract from the Navy. Since then, eight F414 development engines have accumulated more than 5,000 hours of testing.
Two F414 flight test engines have been installed on the first F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. By year's end, seven F414 flight test engines will have been delivered to McDonnell Douglas. A total of 21 flight test engines will ultimately be delivered to support the flight test program.
Designed to modernize the Navy's air-to-air and air-to-ground attack capabilities, the Super Hornet enters the Navy carrier fleet at the end of this decade.
Rated at 22,000 pounds of thrust, the F414 provides 35 percent more thrust than GEAE's F404 engine, which powers more than 1,200 F/A-18 aircraft worldwide. The F414's nine-to-one thrust-to-weight ratio is one of the highest of any modern fighter engine.