General Electric wraps up second XA100 engine test series
General Electric has announced the completion of a second XA100 adaptive cycle engine test phase in collaboration with the USAF.
The manufacturer said on 12 September that the conclusion of the tests at USAF's Arnold Engineering Development Complex also means that a final Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP) contract milestone has been met.
'We now stand ready to transition to an Engineering and Manufacturing Development program and bring this engine to the field with the F-35 before the end of this decade,' said David Tweedie, GE Edison Works’ VP and general manager for Advanced Products.
'This engine isn’t a concept, proposal, or research program. This is a flight-weight, highly product-relevant engine that would provide the F-35 with 30% more range, greater than 20% faster acceleration, and significant mission systems growth to harness the F-35’s full capabilities for Block 4 upgrades, and beyond.'
The XA100 stands to 'deliver a generational change in combat propulsion performance' due to three distinct innovations, according to General Electric.
Those being an adaptive engine cycle that provides a high-thrust mode for maximum power and a high-efficiency mode for optimum fuel savings; a third-stream architecture that provides a step-change in thermal management capability and extensive use of advanced component technologies, including ceramic matrix composites, polymer matrix composites and additive manufacturing.
'These revolutionary innovations increase thrust more than 10%, improve fuel efficiency by 25%, and provide significantly more aircraft heat dissipation capacity, all within the same physical envelope as current propulsion systems,' added General Electric.
The manufacturer faces competition from Pratt and Whitney's XA101 to supply USAF with an alternative engine to the F135.
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