Proven Experience, Program Upgrades Spark GE F110 and F404/414 Popularity
FARNBOROUGH AIR SHOW -- GE's F110 and F404/F414 fighter engine families have successfully powered combat aircraft since the 1980s. Backed by close to 19 million combined flight-hours of experience, plus innovative technologies and service packages, these programs are enjoying unprecedented success as customers are increasingly relying on a growing range of platforms to satisfy mission demands.
F110 Engine Family
More than 2,850 F110 engines have been ordered worldwide since initial selection by the U.S. Air Force (USAF) in 1984, making it the best-selling engine for Lockheed Martin F-16C/D fighter aircraft. In addition to the USAF, 12 international forces fly F110-powered aircraft.
The Turkish Air Force has finalized arrangements for 30 new F110-GE-129B-powered Advanced Block 50 aircraft. Engines are being assembled at Tusas Engine Industries, Inc. in Eskisehir, Turkey. The latest-generation F110 engine, the F110-GE-132 (32,500fn/145kn thrust), has been delivered to the United Arab Emirates. With its new blisk fan configuration, the F110-GE-132 has 66 percent fewer parts in the fan and higher airflow than previous designs.
F110 engines are also enjoying strong momentum in the twin-engine F-15 arena. The Royal Saudi Air Force has completed re-engining of 71 Boeing F-15 aircraft, with combined agreements calling for more than 150 F110 engines and a logistics support package. In selecting the GE engine, the RSAF cited the F110's durability in a harsh operating environment, safety and reliability, and cost-effective operation.
The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) is taking delivery of F110-GE-129C engines to power 24 new F-15SG aircraft. The -129C model incorporates GE's Service Life Extension (SLEP) hardware, which includes highly successful three-dimensional aerodynamic (3-D aero) technology derived from the CFM56 engine plus upgrades to the combustor and high-pressure turbine. These enhancements can provide up to a 25 percent improvement in cost-per-flying-hour, plus a significant time-on-wing increase.
The SLEP upgrade has exceeded expectations for both reduced cost-per-flying-hour and increased time-on-wing criteria with the USAF. GE and the USAF estimate the potential savings of SLEP to a USAF fleet of 800 F110 engines at approximately $1 billion. Other countries that have selected the SLEP option include Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Japan and Turkey.
Building on the successful SLEP initiative, GE is qualifying 6,000 Total Accumulated Cycle (TAC) versions of the F110 for the F-16 (F110-GE-129D) and F-15 (F110-GE-129E) applications. Upgrade kits will be available to all customers operating the SLEP configuration of the F110-GE-129. The extension of the scheduled intervals from 4,300 TACS to 6,000 TACS represents a 40 percent reduction in scheduled maintenance costs and reinforces GE's commitment to deliver the most cost-effective engines and optimum F110 readiness.
F404/F414 Engine Family
One of the most versatile engines in military aviation history, nearly 4,000 F404 engines power F/A-18 Hornets of the U.S. Navy (USN) and Marine Corps (USMC), as well as Hornets of the air forces of Australia, Canada, Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Spain and Switzerland. F404 derivatives also power fighter platforms in the Czech Republic, Hungary, India, Korea, Singapore, South Africa and Sweden. The F404 family of engines has accumulated more than 12 million flight-hours.
With more than 1 million flight-hours, the F414 engine continues to exceed USN goals for reliability and time on wing. F414-powered F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers have continued to expand their presence in the USN fleet, with 25 active squadrons. To date, more than 1,000 F414 engines have been delivered, supporting more than 415 aircraft in the fleet.
GE continues developing advanced versions of the F414, including an Enhanced Performance Engine (EPE) that provides a 20 percent increase in thrust and an Enhanced Durability Engine (EDE) for extended component life at current thrust levels.
The latest F414 advanced-technology demonstrator engine forms the EDE/EPE baseline. The engine has completed a test program that utilized a two-stage, all-blisk (integrated blade and disk) fan, an advanced six-stage high-pressure compressor (HPC) and a new high-pressure turbine (HPT) design. The engine ran to 100 percent of maximum steady-state core speed and successfully completed all program objectives during more than 20 hours of testing.
The advanced-technology core will complete additional testing this year as part of a fuel savings technology demonstrator engine program that GE is running under contract to the USN to reduce specific fuel consumption (SFC) for the Navy's twin-engine F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fleet by 3 percent and save two million gallons annually.
The F414 recently powered the 'Green Hornet,' an F/A-18 Super Hornet fueled by a 50/50 biofuel blend, marking the first time a USN fighter had taken to the skies with a non-petroleum fuel source. Applied to today's military aircraft, the 'Green Hornet' initiative can increase capability by reducing reliance on fossil fuels from foreign sources and decrease volatility associated with long fuel supply transport lines.
Other "green" efforts include a noise reduction kit for the F414 that includes a chevron exhaust nozzle, where each serrated lobe penetrates into or out of the primary flow and generates a secondary stream to reduce engine noise. Testing has shown a 2-3 decibel reduction, which is equivalent to turning off one of the F/A-18's two engines.
The USN fleet of F414 engines is backed a Performance Based Logistics (PBL) package that gives full spectrum engine support. GE, in combination with the USN Fleet Readiness Center Southeast in Jacksonville, Fla., provides Depot Level support. GE also provides logistics support for Intermediate and Organizational maintenance levels. PBLs have been instrumental in helping the USN achieve high readiness levels while optimizing its spares investment.
The F414 fleet continues to grow in the international arena. With an order for 24 F414-powered F/A-18F Super Hornets, Australia became the first international customer for the Super Hornet and also signed the first international F414 PBL agreement. This logistics support contract covers all aspects of logistics, intermediate and depot maintenance, and engineering support for the remaining life of the F/A-18 Super Hornet fleet.
The F414G has powered the Saab Gripen Next Generation aircraft in more than 150 flights since May 2008. A single-engine variant of the proven F414-GE-400, the G model, delivers over 20 percent more thrust than the current F404/RM12 engine, enabling added performance, range and payload.
A single-engine variant of the F414 has also been offered to India for its Light Combat Aircraft Mk II alternate engine campaign. This engine retains the reliability and proven design features of the USN F414, while meeting India's single-engine mission requirements.
GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of jet engines, components and integrated systems for commercial and military aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings. F
CFM is a 50/50 joint company of GE and Snecma (Safran Group).