F135 Builds On P&W Legacy to Power the F-35

by Carter Palmer, Power Systems Specialist, Forecast International.

F-35B. Source: Lockheed Martin

Despite drawing equal amounts of praise and ire, the F-35 program is in a continual process of progressing as the airframe surpasses 100,000 hours of flight time.[1] An expensive piece of kit, the aircraft has conjured up arguments as to whether it is suitable in today’s military environment and if the price is commensurate with performance. Any aviation forum site chosen is rife with F-35 discussions; however, one aspect that seems to get less attention is the F135 turbofan engine that powers the fighter. Continue reading

Remembering the “Great Engine War”

by Carter Palmer, Power Systems Specialist, Forecast International.

F100 Engine. Source: Pratt & WhitneyCivil aircraft owners and operators are no stranger to engine options. Two or even three engines, as is the case with the A330, may be offered for a single airframe. However, when it comes to military aviation, this luxury is generally not possible. Military aircraft have one engine type – and whether this exclusivity yields better results is often debated in aviation circles.  The F100, the famed Pratt & Whitney powerplant, has long been party to this dispute. Continue reading

APUs Don’t Compete with the Big Boys, but They’re Important Nonetheless

by Carter Palmer, Power Systems Specialist, Forecast International.

Pratt & Whitey Canada's APS3200 APU

Pratt & Whitey Canada’s APS3200 APU

Turbines come in all shapes and sizes, but the unsung heroes of modern aviation are the turbines that start the turbines, the auxiliary power units, or APUs. These small, robust, and comparatively small powerplants provide essential power to both military and civil aircraft. Despite the fairly wide range of applications of APUs, the market is occupied by surprisingly few players. The forecast for these powerplants is rather steady. Unless there is a minor setback in the next 15 years, production should average about 3,000 units per year. Continue reading

Pratt & Whitney Engine Programs in High Gear

by Richard Pettibone, Aerospace & Defense Companies Analyst, Forecast International.

Pratt & Whitney PW1000G

Pratt & Whitney PW1000G

With the recent boom in commercial aircraft orders over, focus now turns to fulfilling the tremendous backlogs both Airbus and Boeing have accumulated. The boom was driven in large part by airlines’ desire for more fuel-efficient aircraft and the engines that power them. Continue reading

Airbus Beats Boeing at Farnborough – Closes Gap in Orders Race

by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent.

On July 13, 2016, Synergy Aerospace (owner of Avianca) placed an order for 62 A320neo jets. Photo Courtesy: Airbus SAS

On July 13, 2016, Synergy Aerospace (owner of Avianca) placed an order for 62 A320neo jets.
Photo Courtesy: Airbus SAS

Airbus comfortably won the orders race at the Farnborough International Air Show with 279 orders and commitments, ahead of Boeing’s 182. Both companies stated they were on track to meet their targets of matching orders with deliveries this year as the industry prepares for a period of flatter growth after the order boom in recent years.

Continue reading

The World Aviation Gas Turbine Market 2016 – 2030

by Edward Nebinger, Forecast International.

Platinum Forecast System TM logo rgbWe are pleased to present a brief summary of the latest forecast information on the world’s aviation gas turbines.  This information has been derived directly from the Aviation Gas Turbine module of Forecast International’s revolutionary Platinum Forecast System® 2.0, the only one of its type worldwide. Continue reading

Boeing Lands 125 Orders in May, Widens Lead in Orders Race

by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent.

On May 22, 2016, VietJet placed an order for 100 737 MAX 200 jets. Photo Courtesy: The Boeing Company

On May 22, 2016, VietJet placed an order for 100 737 MAX 200 jets.
Photo Courtesy: The Boeing Company

Boeing and Airbus delivered 71 and 57 commercial jets in May 2016, compared to 60 and 47 in the same month last year, respectively. In 2016 to date, Boeing and Airbus are still trailing last year’s delivery figures and had delivered 301 (310 in 2015) and 234 (243 in 2015) commercial jets, respectively, as of May 31. Continue reading

Pratt F135 Woes

By William Alibrandi, Forecast International

Pratt & Whitney’s F135 program has been under great scrutiny after several high-profile incidents, the latest involving an engine fire. While these have been a dark cloud hanging over the program, any new engine could have issues like this in development testing; it’s actually par for the course. The bigger problem may be with the F-35 Lightning program. The Pentagon decided to design, build, test and fly the F-35 all at the same time rather than in consecutive order as in past aircraft programs. Now, any problems with the F135 are exacerbated because the test schedule is so compressed, and any problems or flaws in the engine mean expensive rework – setting back the entire program. Arguably, if the normal development process had been followed, we might not be seeing as many engine-related issues with the Joint Strike Fighter.

The issue that resulted in the July 3rd grounding of the F-35 fleet has turned out to be an interference problem in the third-stage fan of the integrally bladed rotor (IBR) in the engine’s low-pressure compressor section. Normally an abradable strip maintains the tight clearances necessary to reduce pressure loss in this area, but the teardown has determined the rubbing to have generated excessive heat, causing micro fissures in the blades. The resultant failure caused the blades to come apart, resulting in the fire. The official word from the Pentagon is that the problem appears isolated, and all 98 F135 engines in service have been inspected. Pratt & Whitney’s president, Paul Adams, said the issue is not related to any previous incident. Pratt was already redesigning the first stage fan of the IBR and is switching from a hollow blade design to a solid blade. Plans for the redesign have been submitted to the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Program Office for approval.

F135