Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp., has been selected for funding by the Air Force Research Laboratory for the Adaptive Engine Technology Development program.
The AETD program is an initiative by the AFRL Propulsion Directorate to mature critical fuel-burn reduction technologies and engine design features that could transition into legacy and next generation military fighter aircraft.
“Pratt & Whitney is pleased to have been selected to participate in the AETD program and we look forward to delivering a solution that helps lower fuel costs, and increases operational capability for the warfighter,” said Bennett Croswell, president, Pratt & Whitney Military Engines. “By merging innovative adaptive engine and next generation technologies with the best features of our proven F119 and F135 engines, we aim to reduce fuel burn up to 25 percent more than the current generation of fighter engines.”
The AETD program will lead to demonstration testing of an advanced high operating pressure ratio core in late 2015, to be followed in 2016 by full engine testing of a three-stream adaptive fan and three-stream compatible augmentor and exhaust system. The introduction of the third flow path stream will allow the engine operating conditions and resultant bypass ratio to be modulated to optimize performance across all power settings and flight conditions. This will significantly reduce total mission-weighted fuel burn.
“We’re confident that our technical approach will ultimately give future combat aircraft added range and payload capabilities, while reducing the cost burden of expensive jet fuel,” added Croswell. “From an operational perspective, our end goal is to provide pilots more flexibility in accomplishing the mission.”