New data shows powerplant is shorter than rival with dramatically higher bypass ratio
New details of Ishikawajima-harima Heavy Industries’ (IHI) XF7 engine for the Kawasaki P-X maritime patrol aircraft show significant technical advancements for a powerplant of its size.
Meanwhile, preparations are under way for the start of a second series of tests in December following the completion of a preliminary flying phase on a modified Japan Air Self Defence Force (JASDF) C-1 flying testbed (FTB).
Speaking at a Society of Experimental Test Pilots meeting in California, JASDF Air Development and Test Wing test pilots Takahiro Seki and Koji Ebina said the XF7 weighs around 2,000kg (4,400lb), including the test article pylon, and is rated at 13,000lb thrust (58kN).
Until now IHI has declined to provide any details about the indigenously developed engine, but has described it as being similar in performance to the General Electric’s CF34-8E.
The new data indicates the bypass ratio for the Japanese engine is dramatically higher, however, at 8:1, versus 5:1 for the CF34, while maximum diameter is only slightly larger at 1.44m (4.7ft) against around 1.32m for the GE engine.
The XF7 is 2.76m long overall, making it significantly shorter than the 3.26m-long CF34-8 variant used on Bombardier’s CRJ700 and Embraer 170 regional jets.
Developed by the Japan Defence Agency (JDA) to power the P-X, the XF7 could power commercial aircraft in the future as long as it is exempted from the country’s defence export ban.
Five prototype XF7 engines are being tested, including the one on the Kawasaki C-1 flying testbed, which is due to undertake a further two-month flight-test effort by February 2006. Two more prototypes will be delivered to the JDA later this year for propulsion-system testing, followed by seven next year.
GUY NORRIS/LOS ANGELES