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Video Exclusives

Plasma wind tunnel testing

Watch the first simulated re-entry of a full-sized spacecraft in a plasma wind tunnel as the The Scirocco facility tests the Qarman cubesat.

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18 July, 2018



Sonic boom acoustic tests

This video, from a NASA Social event at Armstrong Flight Research Center, shows an F/A-18 producing a regular sonic boom at 0:43 and and then a low “boom” by performing the dive maneuver at 02:34. NASA researchers are preparing for public tests of technology designed to reduce the noise of sonic booms

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03 July, 2018



Autonomous vehicles explained

Safran’s SimplyFly! light hearted series of video’s takes on autonomous vehicles - how will they work and what are the main challenges? Learn more about the topic by watching this video.

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20 June, 2018



 

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With Airbus' Zephyr drone pushing the limits of aviation to reach an altitude of 74,000ft in the stratosphere during test flights, we would like to ask - where do you think the atmosphere ends and space begins?

News

Pratt & Whitney validates growth option for F135 engine

Pratt & Whitney announced on May 31 the successful completion of performance testing of its Fuel Burn Reduction Demonstrator Engine. Based on this success, the company can now offer a Growth Option 1.0 upgrade configuration for the F135 engine, which powers the fifth generation F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft. The engine testing, conducted at Pratt & Whitney's West Palm Beach, Florida, facility, verified this upgrade can provide a 5% to 6% fuel burn improvement and a 6% to 10% thrust increase across the F-35 flight envelope.

While the current production F135 engine meets today's performance requirements, an F135 propulsion upgrade would enable future capability improvements associated with the F-35 weapon system's block upgrade program. Pratt & Whitney has been working through the Navy-sponsored F135 Fuel Burn Reduction (FBR) and Air Force-sponsored Component and Engine Structural Assessment Research (CAESAR) technology maturation programs to develop a suite of compressor and turbine technologies, which can be used to enhance the performance of the F135 engine by decreasing fuel burn, increasing thrust, and improving hot section durability.

The Growth Option 1.0 configuration is compatible with all three variants of the F-35 and limits hardware changes for the upgrade to just the F135 power module (compressor, combustor, turbine). Growth Option 1.0 hardware can also be seamlessly inserted into future production engines at a minimal increase in unit cost and no impact to delivery schedule. Should the customer desire, the redesigned internal components of the power module could bring the same benefits to fielded F135 engines by performing a power module change. Internal hardware upgrades for fielded engines would be accomplished during routine engine overhauls. The Growth Option 1.0 configuration is fully compatible with existing F135 global support sustainment infrastructure, mitigating significant investment in new facilities, processes, training or equipment.

June 7, 2017

Written by Michael Jones


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