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MQ-25 engine inlet analysis pays dividends, says Boeing

23rd April 2021 - 16:58 GMT | by Tim Martin in London

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The MQ-25 has been designed to extend the combat range of US Navy fighter jets (Photo: Boeing)

Boeing's MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueller has benefitted from engine inlet analysis as the manufacturer looks ahead to low-rate production.

Boeing has revealed that it is using ‘additional test instrumentation’ on MQ-25 test asset T1, to examine how best to pair the unmanned aerial refueller’s ‘unique’ engine inlet shape with the Rolls-Royce AE 3007N turbofan powerplant.

Those plans are ‘going well’ according to a company spokesperson, who added that T1 tests are ‘providing a much deeper understanding of the aerodynamics as we validate performance at various points of the envelope’.

The ongoing inlet analysis follows a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report from June 2020 that found the ‘current shape of the [engine] inlet causes aerodynamic conditions that may result in

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