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Fighter engine boasts P&W engineering

The latest version of Pratt & Whitney's engine for the F-15 and F-16 fighter - the F100-PW-232 - benefits from engineering advances made in the F119 development programme for the USAF's F-22 Raptor as well as extensive operational experience with the F100-PW-229 which is statistically the safest engine in USAF history.

Features from the F119 programme built into this latest version of the F100 engine include integrally bladed rotors. This is where the blades are made from the same piece of metal as the disc they extend from; resulting in reduced weight and improved performance compared to non-integrally-bladed rotors.

Another improvement is the engine's bowed stators, designed using advanced computational fluid dynamics, which have helped to create a fan with excellent aerodynamic performance and stall margins. The fan on the PW-232 is larger than that on the PW-229, providing options for increased thrust or a longer interval between inspections. With a cast, one-piece inlet case, the fan is more reliable too, especially in sandy or dusty environments.

The F100-PW-232 offers several thrust level options: a 29,000lb (131kN) thrust rating for 6,000 total accumulated cycles (TACs) inspection intervals, an increase of 40% over current increased performance engines; a thrust growth rating of 32,500lb for an inspection interval of 4,300 TACs or the equivalent of a 12% thrust enhancement relative to the current engines; and a time-limited V-max thrust rating of 34,000lb.

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