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747classic
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The PW F135, The Only Engine On The JSF?

Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:04 am

Voices are arguing for termination of the competing GE/RR F136 engine on the JSF.


I will give some arguments in favor of this engine competition :

- History has learnt that competition gives the best product against the best price. A nice example is the continuous battle for powering the F16. In the end this has produced far better engines for that fighter, than without a competing engine.
- An example of what could go wrong , when you are a sole supplier, is the TF30. This engine was the only engine offered on the F-14 and the F-111. Both airframes were retired too soon. Powered by the PW TF30 (one of the worst fighter engines ever produced) especially many F-14A aircraft were lost due engine related failures. Trying to improve this engine led to a (dis)investment of more than a billion US dollars. When, at last, an improved, second source, engine (GE F110-400) for the F-14 became available, it was already too late, despite the staggering performance improvements.

Seen the present cost over runs in the F135 project and the fact that especially the STOVL variant, F135-PW-600 is very complicated and prone to failures, IMO it would be good business sense to keep the F136 alternative alive. On the short term it's more expensive, but on the long term you can get a far better product. It will drive the competing companies to optimum results.


See also :
http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4269392

[Edited 2009-09-30 00:22:10]

[Edited 2009-09-30 00:22:42]
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kc135topboom
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RE: The PW F135, The Only Engine On The JSF?

Wed Sep 30, 2009 1:07 pm

I know the F-135 engine is being picked to save money. I don't know enough about the F-136 engine to say one way or the other.

For the TF-30, there really was no other engine available at the time, except for the GE J-79. The J-79 did not have enough growth left in it to grow to the higher thrust needed in later models of the F-111 or FB-111. I do agree the F-14 needed a better engine, and eventually got it, but retired soon after it was reengined.

The RAAF has upgraded their TF-30 equipped engines in their F/RF-111C/Gs (the "G" was formerly the FB-111A), with slightly more thrust and more reliability.
 
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RE: The PW F135, The Only Engine On The JSF?

Wed Sep 30, 2009 1:12 pm

Seems we already have $2B of taxpayer money invested in F-136:

http://www.itemlive.com/articles/2009/09/30/news/news03.txt

Will be interesting how this one plays out.
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RE: The PW F135, The Only Engine On The JSF?

Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:16 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 2):
Seems we already have $2B of taxpayer money invested in F-136:

If the F136 program is terminated, you throw away all the work done on the F136. Two billion invested and nothing gained.
The final design of the F135-600 for the F135B is still not ready and has a lot of open issues. The total F135 project is already 2 billion US$ over target!!!
I would like to have an alternative engine and than make a fly off between the two of them. The JSF is no small program but the future mainstay of the combined air-forces of the USA.(and other allies)

On the short term it will be more expensive, but in the end it will pay itself back. And for each new batch of JSF deliveries you can have a new competition of the (improved) variants of each engine, like on the F16. It will keep both competing companies awake and complacency will be punished immediately.
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
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RE: The PW F135, The Only Engine On The JSF?

Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:29 pm

It'd be interesting to do a program audit of both the PW and GE/RR programs to see how much more $$$ they need to get to production status and to estimate the price/performance they will achieve along with other metrics such as maintainability.

Interesting that GE is doing much of the work in Lynn, MA (Lynn, Lynn, the city of sin!).

Where is the PW work being done?
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
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747classic
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RE: The PW F135, The Only Engine On The JSF?

Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:31 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 4):
Where is the PW work being done?

East Hartford, Middle Town (Connecticut.)

Here is quote from the F135 site :

"Pratt & Whitney's F135 propulsion system powers the new advanced, single-engine tactical fighter, the F-35 Lightning II, developed by Lockheed Martin. The F-35 has unique capabilities for conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL), carrier-variant (CV), and short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL). The same F135 engine will power all three variants."

The "Achilles heel" is that hundreds of aircraft operating in three (3) different services depend on one engine type. If an emergency AD for the F135 is issued, all aircraft could be grounded and the air defense capability of the US (USAF,USN. Marines) will be severely impaired.
Retaining a competitive sourcing strategy is IMO the best solution to prevent future problems.
See also :
http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...o-worry-us-militarys-top-f-35.html
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: The PW F135, The Only Engine On The JSF?

Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:02 pm



Quoting 747classic (Reply 3):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 2):
Seems we already have $2B of taxpayer money invested in F-136:

If the F136 program is terminated, you throw away all the work done on the F136. Two billion invested and nothing gained.
The final design of the F135-600 for the F135B is still not ready and has a lot of open issues. The total F135 project is already 2 billion US$ over target!!!

We will not loose anything of the developement by cancelling the program. All that data will be saved.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 4):
Interesting that GE is doing much of the work in Lynn, MA (Lynn, Lynn, the city of sin!).

I use to live in Lynn, Massachusetts (I worked in the GE Federal Street Plant before joining the USAF, now closed). I wouldn't want to live or visit Lynn now. It is a nasty little city of some 10 sq miles with about 100,000 people living there. I worked for DFW Airport (18 sq miles), which is almost twice the size of Lynn, MA.

Back on topic. I think the F-136 engine will eventually get built. When both the F-15 and F-16 first came out, they only had one engine, the F-100. It was later in the program when the GE F-110 engine was added to the programs.
 
spectre242
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RE: The PW F135, The Only Engine On The JSF?

Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:30 am

I agree that the F136 engine will be good for the JSF long term and maybe even short term. As has been said above, it will reduce program risk and long-term service life risk. Competition will also help to control engine procurement costs over the life of the program.

Quoting 747classic (Reply 3):
The final design of the F135-600 for the F135B is still not ready and has a lot of open issues. The total F135 project is already 2 billion US$ over target!!!
I would like to have an alternative engine and than make a fly off between the two of them. The JSF is no small program but the future mainstay of the combined air-forces of the USA.(and other allies)

It's not a case of having a one time "flyoff" (if that is what you meant), it about developing, buying and operating both engine types across the JSF fleet for risk reduction and price control.



Another near term risk not mentioned above is with the engine trust on the STOVL F-35B. Max thrust ratings are very important for this aircraft, more so than the other two, because every pound of extra thrust they can get from that engine system translates directly into extra payload which can be brought back on board the ship with a vertical landing (i.e. unused bombs, fuel). I'm not saying that the thrust rating of the F-136 will necessarily be better than the F-135's (we have a long way to go), but based on what has come out of the programs so far, there is enough perceived risk to make the case that the JSF program should hedge its bets in that area.

However, in saying all that, I don't know how realistic the F-136 engine is, short term at least, because frankly the US is in a recession NOW, with budget problems NOW, and big ticket defense programs are under a lot of scruitiny NOW, from both Dems and Reps. And when even the Secretary of Defense comes out and says the JSF does NOT need the F-136 engine, whether you agree with him or not, it's politically going to be hard to keep funding it, considering all the above. He killed the F-22, and he will kill the F-136.

At the end of the day, the F-136 would be a great thing to have, but it probably won't make or brake the JSF program, and the powers that be have clearly decided that they do not value it enough to spend their resources (money) on. Unfortunate, but reality. Maybe it will come back in 10 years.
 
Max Q
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RE: The PW F135, The Only Engine On The JSF?

Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:00 am

No question there should be two engines. P & W is just not the company they used to be, they seem to be having a lot of problems developing their engine.


Far too many eggs in one basket otherwise.
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747classic
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RE: The PW F135, The Only Engine On The JSF?

Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:10 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 8):
P & W is just not the company they used to be

Sadly, I have to agree on that.

In the civil market P&W has lost practically all mayor engine battles and missed the boat, so the only thing left for them is the military market.
In this market much support for P&W is coming from the top of the military for "old times sake", despite the troublesome, far over budget, F135 program.
And now P&W is advocating to stop the funding of the competing F136, because, deep in their hart, they are afraid of the potential of this engine.

Quoting Spectre242 (Reply 7):
It's not a case of having a one time "fly off" (if that is what you meant

A healthy competition (no "fly off") on every new batch of orders will get the best results for the taxpayer en will lead to two competing, but proud companies.

[Edited 2009-10-01 01:10:54]
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
Blackprojects
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RE: The PW F135, The Only Engine On The JSF?

Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:27 pm

If the F-136 Engine is killed off the UK Order for JSF is going to get Interesting as our Order is for the JSF fitted with the F-136 and not the F-135.

If we do not get our Engine it leaves the UK with a way out if we want to Pull the plug on the JSF Program.

I hope the Presidents Soothe sayers realise what hapens if the UK order gets Chopped. as the UK order is the Biggest non US Order for the JSF.
 
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RE: The PW F135, The Only Engine On The JSF?

Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:04 pm



Quoting 747classic (Reply 5):
East Hartford, Middle Town (Connecticut.)

Some of my old stomping grounds...

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 6):
I use to live in Lynn, Massachusetts

Certainly a more lively place than E Htfd or Middletown CT....

Quoting Spectre242 (Reply 7):
I agree that the F136 engine will be good for the JSF long term and maybe even short term. As has been said above, it will reduce program risk and long-term service life risk.

Yet there's that small matter of the $$$ one needs to invest to get that benefit.
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RE: The PW F135, The Only Engine On The JSF?

Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:52 pm



Quoting BlackProjects (Reply 10):
If the F-136 Engine is killed off the UK Order for JSF is going to get Interesting as our Order is for the JSF fitted with the F-136 and not the F-135.

You'll probably be left to go it alone to complete development by RR, same as the Spey powered Phantoms. Contractually it will be interesting all right (understatement!!!) but I doubt that eventuallity is not covered for, most dual engine programmes seem to end up with the later engine in trouble fund wise (TF-30/ATE, F119/F120.
 
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RE: The PW F135, The Only Engine On The JSF?

Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:15 pm

F136 won't be in the Senate version of the bill, but could come back to life via the House-Senate conference:

Quote:
Inouye also went along with the administration's effort to kill a program to develop an alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Air Force's major new weapons system. There's strong political support for the alternate engine, which is funded by a companion House bill and would be built by the General Electric Co. and Rolls-Royce in Ohio, Indiana and elsewhere. The main F-35 engine is built in Connecticut by Pratt & Whitney.

"While we are not in complete agreement with the judgment of administration officials, we have generally concurred with the recommendations of our current leaders," Inouye said. A spokesman for the G.E.-Rolls-Royce consortium said it is confident of a "successful outcome" in House-Senate talks on a final bill.

Ref: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090909/..._co/us_congress_defense_spending_2
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bennett123
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RE: The PW F135, The Only Engine On The JSF?

Sat Oct 03, 2009 12:42 pm

IMO no F136 will probably mean no F35 or the carriers.

Could be interesting.
 
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RE: The PW F135, The Only Engine On The JSF?

Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:43 pm



Quoting BlackProjects (Reply 10):
If the F-136 Engine is killed off the UK Order for JSF is going to get Interesting as our Order is for the JSF fitted with the F-136 and not the F-135.



Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 14):
IMO no F136 will probably mean no F35 or the carriers.

I found a very interesting article (25 pages) about the possible F136 termination and also the possible answer from the UK, regarding this subject. They are not amused.
The rapport gives very good background info.(slightly dated : June 2008)

www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA482842.
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
Jabs
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RE: The PW F135, The Only Engine On The JSF?

Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:11 pm

Hi

Quote:

“While officials deserve prise for making the F-35 a single-engine airplane, they may be making a mistake in insisting on a single type of engine, the 40,000lbs (180kN) thrust Pratt & Whitney F135 turbofan, for all examples of the fighter. On both sides of the Atlantic, air leaders continue to debate the future of the alternate engine, the similarly powered F136, which would be built by General Electric in partnership with Rolls-Royce. Some observers see the F135 as a reliable engine that is being asked to do too much with dated technology, while the F136 is viewed as having more potential for growth. Policy in Washington has been consistent and the Obama Administration’s fiscal year 2010 defence budget proposal contains no funding for an alternate engine.”

“Six of the Best American Fighters”, by Robert F Dorr, AirForces Monthly October 2009, pages 50-63

Regards
 
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RE: The PW F135, The Only Engine On The JSF?

Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:46 pm

Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
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RE: The PW F135, The Only Engine On The JSF?

Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:50 am



Quoting STT757 (Reply 17):
House and Senate fund second JSF engine;

Hmmm...

Quote:
Congress has funded work on the second engine for 13 years, eager to support high-paying jobs and maintain competition in a weapons program that is valued at over $100 billion over time.

If Congress prevails in funding the engine this year, it would be the fourth straight year that it has overridden efforts by the Pentagon to scrap the program.

Funding for the second engine was in addition to the program budget, and did not reduce the Pentagon's $6 billion request to buy 30 F-35 fighters, said two sources, who were not authorized to speak on the record.

The conferees were due to meet again on Wednesday to finalize the compromise bill, which authorizes Pentagon programs, followed by a vote in the full House on Thursday.

Pork lives on regardless of who is in the White House.

Well, at least F-22 seems to be stopped (for now?) and Vh-71 seems to be vanishing without a trace...
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RE: The PW F135, The Only Engine On The JSF?

Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:25 am

In other F35 related news (not wanting to start a separate thread).

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs...=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest

Quoting The article:
By mid-March there had only been 17 F-35 sorties flown in the FY. But if six more aircraft flew, and stayed flying, and started building up towards the already-stated 12 flights-per-airplane-per-month goal, you could see 80-150 more sorties by the end of the year. My best guess would have been 80. (It was all pretty squishy, so I didn't publish it.)

As it was, the program managed about 15 flights in the latter half of the 2009 fiscal year, ending it with 33 flights (by my count) - or about one-tenth of what was planned. Only one of the six jets that were supposed to fly before the end of FY09 has done so. (If you include CATBird test-bed flights the number for FY2009 may be higher - but not by much.)

[edit post]
 
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747classic
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RE: The PW F135, The Only Engine On The JSF?

Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:12 pm



Quoting STT757 (Reply 17):
House and Senate fund second JSF engine

I hope that the White House isn't using its veto , to stall further investment in the F136 engine.

Quoting ArniePie (Reply 19):
As it was, the program managed about 15 flights in the latter half of the 2009 fiscal year, ending it with 33 flights (by my count) - or about one-tenth of what was planned.

It seems that not only Boeing (787-748) and Airbus (A400M and A380) have problems with promises made versus actual achievements.
Do the managers at Lockheed Martin actual know what's going on at the working-floor ?
It smells like further delays ans increasing costs for the taxpayer in the US and abroad.
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
grandtheftaero
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RE: The PW F135, The Only Engine On The JSF?

Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:15 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 4):
Interesting that GE is doing much of the work in Lynn, MA (Lynn, Lynn, the city of sin!).

Wrong. Lynn provides some engineering and manufacturing support but most of the F136 work done by GE is done in Evendale, Ohio.
 
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RE: The PW F135, The Only Engine On The JSF?

Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:37 pm



Quoting GrandTheftAero (Reply 21):
Wrong. Lynn provides some engineering and manufacturing support but most of the F136 work done by GE is done in Evendale, Ohio.

Thanks for the clarification. I was going off the tone of the following quote from the above URL:

Quote:
The secondary engine is not only important to GE's military production as a whole but key to the folks at the River Works facility, which would garner some of the workload from the contract. Approval of this new product would offset the mothballing in three year's time of the F/A18 Hornet fighter line (whose engine, the F414, is produced at the River Works), providing continuing job opportunities for the Lynn-based workforce. GE-Lynn spokesman Richard Gorham previously referred to the second engine contract as "critical" to River Works operations.

But I can see this may be a pretty optimistic rendering of the facts.

I can imagine that GE Lynn is a high cost site and that GE may not want to keep steering work that way.

On the other hand, Congress in the form of the MA and MO senators just tucked a squadron or so more F-18s into the budget, so maybe that will mollify the folks in Lynn for a small while.
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Devilfish
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RE: The PW F135, The Only Engine On The JSF?

Sat Oct 10, 2009 4:36 am



Quoting 747classic (Reply 20):
Do the managers at Lockheed Martin actual know what's going on at the working-floor ?
It smells like further delays ans increasing costs for the taxpayer in the US and abroad.

Well, it appears they do (even if they say so themselves).....

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/art...nder-%2450m%2C-dutch-mod-says.html

JSF Program Is On Schedule

(Source: Netherlands Ministry of Defense, issued Oct 6, 2009)

(Issued in Dutch only; unofficial translation by defense-aerospace.com)


Quote:
"The JSF program is fully on track, and the price need not keep us awake. That was the message to the Netherlands from Lockheed Martin JSF Program Chief Tom Burbage and from Major General C.D. Moore, the director of the F-35 Lightning II program in Arlington, Virginia.

During an [Oct. 6] briefing in The Hague they stated that in principle it does not much matter how many aircraft the Dutch air force will buy. 'The Netherlands is a major partner, and so is its industry, and I assume that will continue,' Burbage said. The average price, according to General Moore, 'is in the high $40 millions'."
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