The only potential snagup is the Air Force's love for PW engines.
Hopefully not going too off topic but does anyone have some justification for the depth of the USAF/P&W relationship, is there a watershed moment when this relationship cemented?
P&W is the one engine maker that predates the Air Force itself, having built engines for the Army Air Force since before WW2. They also seemed to take the lead on larger jet engines early on. They were the OEM that Boeing selected for the B-52, KC 135, and all the 707 derivatives. GE didn’t really get into the big engine game till the CF6, which is on the VC-25s and C-5M. There have been plenty of other GE powered planes in the Air Force. Plenty of combat planes like F-86, F-4, A-10, B-1, B-2, and F-16 have used GE (GE actually overtook Pratt as the preferred F-16 engine), and the KC-135s are pretty much all CFM powered.
Thanks for the post.
It encouraged me to google up the GE aviation history wiki page ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GE_Aviation#History
Turns out they really didn't impact WWII much, but they did really impressive things starting later in the 40s:
Development funds were allotted in 1946 for a more powerful version of the same design, the TG-190. This engine finally emerged as the famed General Electric J47, which saw great demand for several military aircraft; a second manufacturing facility near Cincinnati was opened. J47 production ran to 30,000 engines by the time the lines closed down in 1956. Further development of the J47 by Patrick Clarke in 1957 led to the J73, and from there into the much more powerful J79. The J79 was GE's second "hit", leading to a production run of 17,000 in several different countries. The GE and Lockheed team that developed the J79 and the F-104 Mach 2 fighter aircraft received the 1958 Collier Trophy for outstanding technical achievement in aviation. Other successes followed, including the T58, and T64 turboshaft engines, J85 and F404 turbojets.
The TF39 was the first high-bypass turbofan engine to enter production. Entered into the C-5 Galaxy contest in 1964 against similar designs from Curtiss-Wright and Pratt & Whitney, GE's entry was selected as the winner during the final down-select in 1965. This led to a civilian model, the CF6, which was offered for the Lockheed L-1011 and McDonnell Douglas DC-10 projects. Although Lockheed later changed their engine to the Rolls-Royce RB211, the DC-10 continued with the CF6, and this success led to widespread sales on many large aircraft including the Boeing 747.
Producing 47,000 jet engines even before CF6 was on the market is pretty impressive, IMHO.
It's also kind of interesting how Cutiss-Wright was such a huge player in the piston engine era and failed to make the transition to jet engines.
GE got its early lead ( see link above ) by developing ( exhaust-driven ) turbochargers. At one level it seems to be a pretty natural transition to jet engines, on the other hand it seems they botched their earliest efforts in the early 40s but came on strong in the late 40s.