General Electric is planning to make the first full core engine test run of its JSF-F120 alternative Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) engine in early August, after successfully completing key component rig tests.

GE is widely expected to announce plans for the run at this month's Farnborough air show, but is likely to give few new details of its low-profile JSF programme, for fear of jeopardising future funding.

The team, which includes Allison Advanced Development (AADC), Rolls-Royce and Philips Machinefabrieken of the Netherlands, is currently conducting work for JSF under a Phase II programme award which largely covered component rig tests on a turbine design at GE, and a combustor and fan at AADC.

The team also has a $440 million, Phase III contract which includes an initial test phase worth $115 million and an optional follow-on worth $325 million.

GE says Phase III firm and option will include engine development work from October this year to September 2004, and will lead to full JSF-F120 engine testing for the winning JSF airframe contractor in December 2003.

The latest plan calls for the GE engine to be available for Lot 7, due for production around 2011.

Key elements of the powerplant include a multi-stage blisk compressor, an integrated high-pressure, low-pressure counter-rotating coupled turbine system and a three-stage, "long chord" hollow titanium blisk fan.

Source: Flight International