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Air Force studying third party funding for B-52 engine upgrade

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posted on Feb, 15 2017 @ 05:33 PM
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The Air Force wants to replace the engines on the B-52, but there is currently no funding for it in the budget. Testifying in front of Congress, Air Force Vice Chief of Staff, Gen Stephen Wilson said that replacing the engines would improve the range by 30%, and loiter time by 150%. The Air Force has sent out RFIs for a replacement program, but currently has no funding to follow through. One of the options being studied is third party funding.

Under that program, a public-private partnership, an outside source would pay to replace the engines on the existing aircraft, and the Air Force would use money from the fuel savings to pay them back over time. The existing TF33s burn 3,000 gallons an hour. A new engine could improve that by as much as 20-25%.


The Air Force wants new engines for its venerable B-52 Stratofortress bomber fleet, but there’s no money in the budget to pay for them, Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen Wilson said Tuesday.

Proposals for replacing the eight Pratt & Whitney TF33 engines on the B-52s, which burn about 3,000 gallons of fuel an hour, have been around the Pentagon for years. Replacement “makes great sense,” Wilson said. “If we had it in our budget, we’d buy it, but we don’t have it.”

Wilson was responding to questions at a House Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday from Rep. Ralph Abraham, a Louisiana Republican, who said that new engines would increase the B-52s’ range by about 30 percent and boost loiter time over targets by 150 percent.

www.defensetech.org...




posted on Feb, 15 2017 @ 09:09 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Whatever you replace them with will need to be a similar size, weight and thrust output to the current engine. Otherwise you could have all sorts of unintended problems. Wasn't there and issue withe the rudder or stab being structurally compromised if they went up on power Zaph? I seem to remember us discussing that a while back. Depending on which engine they choose the fuel burn saving could be even greater than 25%, perhaps as much as 30% if you pick the latest generation of engines coming online now. I also wonder how much of an issue integrating a modern FADEC engine will be? The proposal doesn't really highlight the vast amount of savings on manpower a modern motor would have on maintenance costs, sourcing parts and reductions in scrubbed flights due to engine failures, those alone would be huge. An interesting funding model that's for sure. It would also mean that there would be a guaranteed remaining life for the B-52 until they could pay back the cost of the engines. Otherwise whoever funds it would slap the USAF/US Govt with a big bill.

LEE.
edit on 15-2-2017 by thebozeian because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 15 2017 @ 09:17 PM
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a reply to: thebozeian

GE has proposed a one for one replacement with a CF34 variant. It has a slightly lower dry weight, with a slightly higher power rating than the current TF33s, without going overboard like putting a CF6 on board would be, with something like a 25% better fuel burn.



posted on Feb, 16 2017 @ 10:55 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Interesting thread, Z. Got me thinking about bypass engines. Of our fighters, which have bypass engines as opposed to straight turbojets? Is it just F-22 and F-35, or are there others? F-16?



posted on Feb, 16 2017 @ 11:07 PM
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a reply to: TheBadCabbie

Just about all of them use a turbofan engine. Fighters use low or medium bypass turbofans though. The CF34 has between a 5:1 and 6.2:1 bypass ratio. The F100, used in the F-15 and F-16 has a 0.63:1, and the F119 has a 0.30:1 ratio.
edit on 2/16/2017 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 16 2017 @ 11:43 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Okay thanks. Is turbojet only a thing of the past then, or does it still see use?



posted on Feb, 17 2017 @ 03:13 AM
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a reply to: TheBadCabbie

They're still used, but mostly in cruise missiles and smaller systems along those lines.



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