General Electric (GE) has started testing on its second XA100 adaptive cycle engine at its altitude test facility in Evendale, Ohio.
The XA100 is GE’s final planned prototype engine developed as part of the US Air Force (USAF) Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP). The engine prototypes assembled under the AETP are designed to directly fit into the F-35 jet.
Notably, GE started testing its first XA100 engine in December last year.
The XA100-GE-100 engine comes with an adaptive engine cycle to offer a high-thrust mode for maximum power and improve fuel efficiency.
The engine’s third-stream architecture is designed to increase the combat effectiveness of future systems.
Additionally, the prototype’s development included extensive use of advanced component technologies, including ceramic matrix composites (CMC), polymer matrix composites (PMC), and additive manufacturing.
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A product of GE Edison Works, the XA100 can also operate on any USAF-approved biofuels.
The testing on the second engine will provide GE with additional test data and will help in improving the machine’s advanced componentry and three-stream design.
After the completion of the first phase of testing, GE plans to proceed with the testing of the engine at USAF’s Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC) to complete all planned AETP testing activities.
GE Edison Works Advanced Combat Engines general manager David Tweedie said: “The USAF and Congress have invested more than $4bn in adaptive cycle engine development over the past 14 years to mature its associated technologies.
“We’re confident this phase of the programme will significantly reduce risk and prepare GE for a low-risk engineering and manufacturing development programme, consistent with Air Force objectives.
“Getting our second prototype engine into the test cell means we’re one step closer to getting this transformational technology into the hands of the warfighter.”