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F414 growth demonstrator engine completes testing

The F414-based advanced technology demonstrator engine, XTE77/SE2, has successfully completed a test program that demonstrated an advanced two-stage, all-blisk (blade and disk) fan and new high-pressure turbine (HPT) design. The engine ran to 100% of maximum steady core speed and successfully completed all program objectives during more than 20 hours of testing.

The new fan design incorporates 3D-aerodynamic forward-swept airfoil technology, which provides approximately 10% higher airflow, improved efficiency and reduced parts count compared with current F414 fans. This second phase of testing builds on work completed in 2005 to verify an advanced, six-stage compressor configuration.

"These demonstrations verify critical F414 Enhanced Durability Engine (EDE) technologies that can deliver added mission capability and lower life cycle cost," said Tony Mathis, F404/F414 general manager at GE Aviation.

GE has tested growth versions of the F414 since 2004. Through application of advanced 3D-aero airfoil designs, low-loss structural frames, and the latest hot-section materials and cooling concepts, the F414 EDE offers up to 20% thrust increase over today's F414-400 engine, or up to three times the life of today's hot section at current thrust levels. The ongoing demonstrator program also includes research into high-cycle-fatigue reduction technologies, and foreign object damage-tolerant fan and compressor airfoil designs.

Demonstrator testing was funded jointly by GE and the U.S. Navy (USN) under the U.S. Government Integrated High Performance Engine Technology (IHPTET) program, which targets technologies aimed at increasing thrust-to-weight ratios, reducing fuel burn, and reducing cost of sustainment through time-on-wing and durability improvements. GE is working with the USN to plan the next phases of testing, which are aimed at further performance and durability improvements through application of next-generation aero and HPT cooling schemes, advanced materials, and low-emissions technologies.

The F414 is the powerplant for the dual-engine F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. With more than 500,000 flight-hours, the F414 engine continues to exceed USN reliability goals. The F414-powered F/A-18E/F Super Hornet has expanded its presence in the USN fleet, with 19 active squadrons available for carrier deployment. To date, more than 650 F414 engines have been delivered in support of the USN's plan to purchase engines and spares for 552 twin-engine F/A-18E/F and EA-18G aircraft.

The F414 is also a potential powerplant for growth versions of the Saab Gripen, KAI/LMTAS A-50 light fighter (a derivative of the T-50 advanced trainer), and other combat aircraft under development.

Press release issued by GE Aircraft Engines on December 12, 2006


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