The sunset could be farther off than thought for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the mainstay of the U.S. Navy’s carrier-based fighter fleet. With initial operational capability of the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter that will eventually replace the F/A-18 now planned in early 2019, Boeing and partner Northrop Grumman are proposing an “Advanced Super Hornet” upgrade designed to operate until 2030 and beyond.
General Electric F414
Development is progressing on schedule for GE’s Passport 20 engine, which is scheduled for certification in 2015 and is expected to enter service in 2016 on Bombardier’s Global 7000 and 8000 ultra-long-range twinjets.
While GE has earned renown for its military and commercial engines, until recently its experience in the business aviation arena had been limited to the CF34, which has powered Bombardier’s large-cabin Challengers for the past 30 years (as well as the airframer’s CRJs and Embraer’s ERJ regional jets).
Boeing is flight-testing an F/A-18F Super Hornet with conformal fuel tanks (CFTs), an enclosed weapons pod (EWP) and “signature enhancements” designed to substantially increase the range and reduce the radar signature, compared with the U.S. Navy’s Block II Super Hornet.
Boeing’s confirmation in March that GE Aviation will provide the new GE9X engine to power its proposed 777X development marked the culmination of three years of preliminary work between the engine maker and the airframer in their quest to be in a position to promise a 10 percent reduction in fuel burn compared with the GE90-115B engines on the existing 777-300ER. Also promised is a 5 percent improvement in specific fuel consumption over rival widebody engines by 2020.
Despite being involved in the fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) joint program with Russia, India is developing a next-generation fighter of its own–the advanced multirole combat aircraft (AMCA).
Australia’s recent decision to buy 12 new-build EA-18G Growler electronic warfare variants of the F/A-18F has given manufacturer Boeing hope that it can sustain its Super Hornet production line in St. Louis, Mo., to 2016 and beyond.
GE Aviation (Booth No. 3900) is planning on testing the first full Passport 20 engine, slated to power the Bombardier Global 7000 and 8000, in the second quarter of next year. The design of the 16,500-pound-thrust turbofan was frozen in April this year. A series of thorough safety trials is well under way.
Development is well under way for GE Aviation’s 16,500-pound-thrust GE Passport 20 engine, which is set to power the Bombardier Global 7000 and 8000 business jets. The first engine is to begin ground testing in the second quarter of next year.
The naval prototype of India’s Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) made its first test flight on April 27. Already delayed by four years, the program still faces design concerns, including weight. Strengthening of the rear airframe for carrier operations, and the addition of an arrestor hook, has made the aircraft about 1,000 pounds overweight.
India’s big-ticket military acquisitions are expected to aggressively push schedules for the transfer of production to the country’s ambitious aerospace and defense industry. But the technology that India expects to be transferred through co-development work generated by offset agreements is raising concerns among vendors about possible violations of intellectual property rights (IPR).
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