June 16, 2003 -- EVENDALE, Ohio--Flight testing of the F110-GE-132 engine, the highest-thrust engine for the Lockheed Martin F-16 multirole fighter, has begun at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Plans call for the engine, powering an F-16 Block 30 aircraft modified for flight testing, to complete a 25-flight, four-month initiative that is designed to provide full compatibility with the airframe and explore all parameters of the envelope under various flight conditions.
"These initial flights mark an important milestone in delivering added mission capability to today's fighters. The engine performed admirably throughout its first flights and demonstrated outstanding flight performance and handling characteristics," said Russ Sparks, vice president and general manager, Military Engines Operation at GE Aircraft Engines (GEAE).
During initial testing, the -132 completed typical check-flight maneuvers, plus several dry and afterburner throttle transients. Follow-up tests will focus on flight envelope expansion, including performance and operation of a new radial augmentor designed to significantly reduce maintenance man-hours and costs. Tests will also encompass air start surveys and operability transients.
The F110-GE-132 was launched in 2000 with its selection for eighty Block 60 F-16 aircraft by the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.). Derived from the highly successful F110-GE-100 and -129 engines that power 70 percent of F-16C/Ds worldwide, the F110-GE-132 produces up to 32,500 pounds (144 kN) of thrust.
Initial deliveries of the -132 have been made to the Lockheed Martin U.A.E. Program.
The F110-GE-132 takes advantage of GEAE's extensive technology base, which includes: a long-chord blisk fan derived from the F118 engine (B-2 bomber); a radial afterburner derived from the F414 engine (F/A-18E/F fighter) and enhanced for the F136 (Joint Strike Fighter); and a composite outer duct based on the duct of the F404/F414 engines.
The -132 will greatly enhance the F110 engine family, which continues to expand its global presence. Recently, the air forces of Chile and Oman selected the F110-GE-129 to power their new fleets of F-16C/D aircraft. In addition, the F110 engine family has been selected to power F-16s for the United States Air Force (USAF), the United States Navy (USN), Bahrain, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Turkey and the U.A.E., as well as Japan's F-2 fighter. More than 2,600 F110 engines have been ordered worldwide since the engine was first selected by the USAF in 1984.
GEAE, an operating component of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), is the world's leading manufacturer of jet engines for civil and military aircraft, including engines produced by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of Snecma Moteurs of France and GE. GEAE also manufactures gas turbines, derived from its highly successful jet engine programs, for marine and industrial applications. In addition, GEAE provides comprehensive maintenance support, through its GE Engine Services operation, for GE and non-GE jet engines in service throughout the world. Visit GEAE online at: http://www.geae.com.