TomH
Posts: 950
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:13 am

J-57 Engine

Tue May 22, 2001 1:16 am

The Pratt & Whitney J-57 was the most significant western turbojet engine of the Cold War era. It was the mainstay of American jet powereplants in the 1950s when it equipped most B-52s and KC-135s as well as numerous fighters such as the F-4 Skyray, F-8 Crusader, F-100 SuperSabre, F-101 Voodoo, F-102 Delta Dagger.

Are any current American military aircraft still flying with this engine? If so, are there any plans to celebrate the retirement of this most successful engine design?


 
chdmcmanus
Posts: 372
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2001 12:53 am

RE: J-57 Engine

Tue May 22, 2001 2:38 am

Hello Tomh,

The J-57 was the military version of the JT-3. When Prat & Whitney developed the JT-3D, it was essentially the same engine with a fan section on the front, hence the "D" for ducted. The US military designation for the JT-3D is TF-33. The AF simply changed the J-57's out with TF-33's. The KC-135's prior to the "R" model still use them, as well as the B-52, and C-141. The USAF updated the "R" model 135's with CFM-56 motors. The B-52 was originally scheduled for an engine change in the next few years, but with the retirement of the C-141 and old 135 engines, the AF has warehouses full of TF-33's, so it is more cost effective to continue using them. So after a long diatribe, the USAF no longer uses the JT-3 (J-57), but the JT-3D (TF-33) is still being used quite effectively.

Regards,
ChD
"Never trust a clean Crew Chief"
 
TomH
Posts: 950
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:13 am

RE: J-57 Engine

Tue May 22, 2001 9:31 am

Chdmcmanus,
Thanks for the info, but I was talking specifically about the J-57, not the JT-3D turbofan derivative.
TomH
 
chdmcmanus
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RE: J-57 Engine

Tue May 22, 2001 10:26 am

Well, what more do you want to know, you asked if the J-57 was still used, I answered no. The thing I don't think you understand is the J-57 and the TF-33 are the SAME core engine. When the J-57 was used in fighters, an afterburner was added, cart start on BUFF'S and a fan for the -33's otherwise, they are essentially the same.

Regards,
ChD
"Never trust a clean Crew Chief"
 
TomH
Posts: 950
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:13 am

RE: J-57 Engine

Tue May 22, 2001 7:49 pm

Chdmcmanus,
As recently as 5 years ago Raytheon was still flying the A-3 testbed aircraft (they had several) out of BED. This were J-57 powered. My feeling was that they may have been the very last military aircraft flying with these turbojets. (OK, some sources, such as Webster's, feel the word Navy is not included in the definition of "military," but I am including it).I was also wondering if there were still some NB-52s at Edwards flying with J-57s. There may be other military (not warbird)examples out there in the US that are still powered by the J-57.

Back to my original point. It would be fitting to have some sort of celebration for the role this powerplant played in military aviation during the Cold War. But here in the States we don't much care about history, so it's likely to pass from the scene unnoticed.

Lets continue our discussion. Hopefully others will join in. From my side of the fence the following statements:

1. The JT-3 would not have existed if it were not for the earlier development of the J-57 military turbojet.

2. The JT-3C was the civil version of the J-57. I feel you are implying that the J-57 was the military version of a civilian engine, and if so, I disagree.

3. The TF-33s that are in storage come mostly from C-141s, as there were very few C-135Bs built.

Question: What other models of the Stratotanker were equipped with TF-33s? (I'm not talking about JT-3Ds-equipped ANG KC-135Es).

4. The adaptation of the turbofan to the KC-135 fleet wasn't really "simple." It was a long-delayed multi-program (C-135B, KC-135E, and finally KC-135R) upgrade.

Question: Do both the KC-135R and KC-135E have thrust reversers?


TomH
 
chdmcmanus
Posts: 372
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2001 12:53 am

RE: J-57 Engine

Wed May 23, 2001 2:07 am

Hello Again,
I agree completely about the history part, the C-141 is being retired after nearly 40 years of faithful and honorable service, and no one even notices. But that’s another thread unto itself.

Anyway,
After one of the treaties, the number of operational MSB’s was severely limited, so the AF got rid of all additional BUFFs, by virtue of removing the tail and painting an X on the upper wings for the satellites, or relegation to the AMARC. It's my understanding that the only ones that remain are the operational acft.
1) I agree
2) I'm not disputing you, I just can't find any reference in my old MX books or the P&W website about a JT-3C, just the JT-3 model.
http://www.pratt-whitney.com/ClassicEngines/html/ClassicEngines.html
3) You are right about the ANG/AFRES 135's, there are 161 of the TF-33 '135s, and I believe they are all in the ANG/AFRES. However, I believe most of the RC/EC 135's and all of the 707 variants (E-3, E-6, E-8, VC-137 etc.) use the TF-33. The E-6 Tacomo is the only one that I know of that uses the CFM-56.
http://www.theaviationzone.com/facts/kc135.htm#top
http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/military/kc135-strat/
4) I have no idea.

Ask JT-8D on the Tech ops forum, he may know about the –C model.
Regards,
ChD

"Never trust a clean Crew Chief"
 
TomH
Posts: 950
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:13 am

RE: J-57 Engine

Wed May 23, 2001 2:35 am

ChD,

I'm not an engine troop (helped change a couple J-79s, though), so I got the JT-3C model from my 1964 Janes, not memory. What surprised me was Janes didn't relate it to a specific block number of J-57. Duh, probably because it didn't relate to a specific block number. I recall that each progressive B-52 model had a different engine block number, with the exception of the F/G which were the same(P-43W). The differences between block numbers sometimes sounded quite minor, and at other times seemed quite significant. Still, I think if your B-52C required a J-57-PW-19W, that's what you hung on it. You may know that USAF had odd block numbers and USN had the even block numbers for jet engines.

My memory of the typical SAC base in the late 50s/early 60s is one where many dozens of blue P&W J-57 cannisters were sitting around the engine shops. Obviously those powerplants were coming and going to the manufacturer with regularity. I wonder if in some cases earlier blocks were upgraded to a higher block number during overhaul.

On 3 above, I believe the entire KC-135E program involved replacing the J-57s with JT-3s from airliners. The airliners were flown into D-M AFB and stripped of their engines, which (I assume) then went through overhaul and shipment to the firm repsponsible for the KC-135E conversion (Hayes, maybe?). So in my eyes, the KC-135Es have JT-3 powerplants, not TF-33s. Nit-picking, I suppose, but I'm comfortable with viewing it this way.

I think the last J-57 I heard was an RF-8 at NAF Andrews lighting off for an afternoon mission. Big difference in the report made by those unmodulated afterburners when compared to the relatively docile light-off from the current fighter generation. Then there was the J-75-but I would guess Mr. JT-8D might ring in on that one-if he knows the military designation, that is.

Later,
TomH
 
chdmcmanus
Posts: 372
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2001 12:53 am

RE: J-57 Engine

Wed May 23, 2001 3:19 am

Check out the links.
ChD
"Never trust a clean Crew Chief"
 
TomH
Posts: 950
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:13 am

RE: J-57 Engine

Wed May 23, 2001 4:10 am

Chd,

A quick look tells me the links are great. Lots of info there. I've always like the aviationzone, got quite a few of my pics up there. Looks like the JT3Ds from the airliners were remanufactured to TF33-102 standard. Thanksabunch for the chat.
Tomh
 
Aerotech
Posts: 254
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2000 10:44 am

RE: J-57 Engine

Wed May 23, 2001 7:48 am

Unless I'm wrong, but didn't the F-106 have the J-57? If so, they were used as manned/unmanned drones at Tyndall up until 98.
 
TomH
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RE: J-57 Engine

Wed May 23, 2001 7:57 pm

Aero,

The F-106 (and F-105) had the larger P&W J-75, which I think had a civil equivalent as the JT-4. Off the top of my head I think the J-75 cranked out about 24,000 lb thrust in AB compared to about 16,000 lb thrust for most J-57s. General specs can be seen on P&W's website (link above in Chds post).

I did a Tyndall deployment some years ago the QF-100 was still in use, the F-106 drones came along later.
TomH
 
TomH
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RE: J-57 Engine

Fri May 25, 2001 4:27 am

I have learned that NB-52B 52-0008, the oldest B-52 flying, is still operated by NASA at Edwards AFB. According to the historian at Edwards, it is powered by 8 J-57-P19Ws rated at 12,000 lb thrust with water injection.

The aircraft above is quite close to 50 years of age. I'm sure the story behind the maintenance of this old gal is quite interesting, especially the logistics of supporting the dated powerplants.

Pratt & Whitney would do well to provide appropriate members of the aviation community a chance to see and hear this aircraft before it is retired. An observation of this powerplant's significant contribution to military aviation makes a lot of sense. P&W, are you listening?

Tom Hildreth

P.S. Please note that I am not implying that 52-0008 is about to retire. I do not have any info indicative of this.
 
chdmcmanus
Posts: 372
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2001 12:53 am

RE: J-57 Engine

Fri May 25, 2001 5:04 am

WOW, now that's interesting.
"Never trust a clean Crew Chief"
 
Guest

RE: J-57 Engine

Fri May 25, 2001 7:14 am

I'll tell you what's really sad, the possible replacement of the C-5's GE TF39-GE-1C turbofans! Every time I hear their distinctive "whine" I get goose bumps all over. What a great sounding engine!
 
TomH
Posts: 950
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:13 am

RE: J-57 Engine

Fri May 25, 2001 7:46 am

MikeN,
It sure is distinctive-almost a growl-and a doppler signature not likely to be confused with any other big fan. I hear them over my house almost daily on the AR631 refueling track. Of course at 24,000 ft. and throttled back most of my neighbors here in Vermont don't even know they are up there! Hush kits are for wimps, don't you think?
TomH
 
chdmcmanus
Posts: 372
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2001 12:53 am

RE: J-57 Engine

Fri May 25, 2001 8:07 am

TomH,
Your above 631? I'm up there all the time. A little off topic, but I've always wondered if you can tell it's an AR from the ground, or do they just blend together.

ChD
"Never trust a clean Crew Chief"
 
Guest

RE: J-57 Engine

Fri May 25, 2001 11:15 am

Tom,

I agree! I live right next to DFW International (the south end) and the jet noise never bothers me. We've got old DC-8's and B-727's in and out all the time and it doesn't phase me a bit. I guess I'm just used to it now.  Smile

Mike Neely
 
TomH
Posts: 950
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:13 am

RE: J-57 Engine

Fri May 25, 2001 8:49 pm

Chd,
The general populace doesn't know the track is there. Even those involved in GA are pretty oblivious to it-I've asked them. I think if the relatively quite A-10s that are often in the block were replaced by a noisier fighter type there would be more awareness. One time a commercial airliner plot was monitoring some comms on one of the Center freqs and was joking about dropping down for some free fuel. He was at FL310 or so, quite a bit higher. Maybe you can answer a long standing question I have had. I believe the block begins just east of Glens Falls-where is the eastern end of it? Around Portsmouth, I suppose? I monitor 295.8 AM when I have the time-beats listening to ambulances!Anyway, if I ever get my act together I hope to take some extreme telephotos of the action there and post them on a.net.
So, smile when your up there!
TomH
 
Guest

JT-3C

Sat May 26, 2001 11:20 pm

RE the earlier discussion about the JT-3C (J-57) engine, this was the original turbojet powerplant for the B707-100 and B720 aircraft. Most aircraft built with this powerplant were re-engined with JT-3Ds (TF-33) when this turbofan became available from 1961 onwards. United and Eastern did not re-engine their aircraft, and one or two examples still exist (none are still flying, though), such as this one at the George T Baker Aviation School at Miami:

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Bruce Highland


The early B707-300 series aircraft were powered by JT-4s turbojets, but production switched to the JT-3D turbofan after 1961. No re-engining from JT-4 to JT-3D was done on this series type that I know of - I believe there was a pylon incompatibility problem.
 
TomH
Posts: 950
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:13 am

RE: JT-3C

Sun May 27, 2001 12:56 am

Southflite,

Very nice depiction of the JT-3C nacelle. I remember well the early silencer shape that can be seen in your photo. In fact, I think my old B.720 shot below shows one of the UAL aircraft to which you refer.
Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Tom Hildreth



Would you assume the JT-4 was used on the B-707-300 series due to higher gross weights of these intercontinental versions of the B-707?


BTW, I had driven by the Baker school many times in the 1980s. Always wanted to get in there and take some pictures, but never got around to it. Shows what I didn't accomplish because I didn't try!
TomH
 
Guest

J57(JT3) Vs. J75(JT4)

Sun May 27, 2001 5:47 am

According to P&W's website, the J57 developed 13,500 lbs of thrust, whereas the J75 put out 17,500 lbs -> so yes, the extra 4,000 lbs of thrust would have been the reason why this powerplant was chosen for the larger B707-300 (and the hot-and-high -200 series for Braniff).

To see the spec's of out-of-production PW engines (and a list of the aircraft they were used on), go to PW's site http://www.pratt-whitney.com, select "Products" and then "Classic Engines" from the bottom of the list.

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