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Air Force releases timeline and scope of B-52 re-engining

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posted on Dec, 20 2017 @ 04:29 AM
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The Air Force is officially moving ahead with the plan to replace 608 TF33 turbofan engines used on the B-52H. They have formally rejected the Pratt&Whitney suggestion to simply rebuild and improve the existing engines, as well as to cut the aircraft down to four engines. The current engines are not sustainable beyond 2030.

The process will go through one of three processes. Either an integration contractor will be selected, or a one or two stage bidding process will be selected. The replacement engines can not alter the takeoff performance, or weapons release envelope. As part of the process, the aircraft will get new generators and wiring to improve electrical capacity.

The schedule calls for a 17 year process, and if a two stage process is selected, IOC will be in 2029, with FOC in 2034.

www.flightglobal.com...
edit on 12/20/2017 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 20 2017 @ 05:22 AM
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I know they did tests with the F-108s in the past, not sure what the tests showed but it must have been something good if they are finally getting around to starting the upgrade process for the F-108s or something similar. 17 years to upgrade on the other hand...

Edit: I think they might have even test flew with a TF39 at one point if I am not mistaken.
edit on 20-12-2017 by Pyle because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 20 2017 @ 05:29 AM
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a reply to: Pyle

They're not going to the F108. They rejected going to four engines. They're doing a 1-1, similar weight, similar thrust, significant fuel burn improvement. They found that they can't do a four engine replacement.

They flew the TF39, CF6-6, and CF6-50. They weren't for the B-52 though, they were just because nothing else was big enough to test them at the time.
edit on 12/20/2017 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 20 2017 @ 08:26 AM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: Pyle

They're not going to the F108. They rejected going to four engines. They're doing a 1-1, similar weight, similar thrust, significant fuel burn improvement. They found that they can't do a four engine replacement.

They flew the TF39, CF6-6, and CF6-50. They weren't for the B-52 though, they were just because nothing else was big enough to test them at the time.


Sticking with 8 engines seems to be a waste of an upgrade even with the better fuel consumption. Let me guess the wing design is causing problems with the bigger engines on the outer pylons?



posted on Dec, 20 2017 @ 08:34 AM
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Hey Zaph I'm just stopping by with what may seem a silly question. Has the USAF thought about what would happen when the B52 retires? Is there a time frame of how long they can keep these aircraft flying before it comes too expensive. Would there likely to be a replacement? Just curious thanks



posted on Dec, 20 2017 @ 10:46 AM
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a reply to: Pyle

The wing and rudder. If the B-52 were to be designed today, with that rudder, it wouldn't have gone into service without a major redesign. If they went to four engines, even if the wing could take it, the rudder would become useless in an engine out situation.



posted on Dec, 20 2017 @ 10:46 AM
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a reply to: ThePeaceMaker

With an engine replacement, they'll be able to stay in service close to another 40 years.



posted on Dec, 22 2017 @ 04:38 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
Wow that's impressive ... b52 will be close to 100 years old by the time that comes around



posted on Dec, 22 2017 @ 07:13 AM
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a reply to: ThePeaceMaker

One of the retirement plans I saw put it at 98 years from first to last flight.



posted on Dec, 22 2017 @ 10:04 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
That's damn impressive if I must say, what's your thoughts on it do you think the B52 will hit 100 years old while still being in service ?



posted on Dec, 22 2017 @ 11:55 AM
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a reply to: ThePeaceMaker

They're gonna get close. The Raider is looking at near 2040 for FOC.



posted on Dec, 22 2017 @ 01:35 PM
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The first two B-52 test aircraft will receive new engines in FY22. This will include new power architecture, capable of handling 450-500 kVA peak power, new engine FADEC, while maintaining the current CG, and MTOW.

m.aviationweek.com...



posted on Jan, 2 2018 @ 02:10 PM
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Any chances the two B-52 test aircraft will be receiving other secondary updates to the airframe, newer radar,
rotary launchers, possible ELINIT/SIGNIT denial capabilities?

thinking these airframes are low on the MTBF / flight hours, or could they be the opposite as to provide data on similarly hour'd airframes for when others go through the updates.

At this point should they consider a non-clean sheet design to replace and augment B-52's as they will need to be retired consistantly, or do the costs associated prevent this from being an option, and these upgrades are kind of a last ditch effort to keep them current within the battlefield space?.



posted on Jan, 2 2018 @ 03:06 PM
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a reply to: BoutThere

The big upgrade is going to be an entirely new electrical system. They're going to do a step upgrade. Engines and electrical first, then they'll work with EW, AESA, and other systems. They just got new rotary launchers in the last few months, so they're not going to get them again in the near future.



posted on Jan, 2 2018 @ 08:35 PM
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Ooohhh missile trucks



posted on Jan, 3 2018 @ 07:09 PM
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Due to the step upgrades, would that not create a long term development path? or are they hoping to accelerate it depending on how the wiring and engine upgrades proceed.

Having a B-52 as a missile truck opens up F-35's to hopefully be carrying all munitions internally, especially when you have the sensor fusion and relay sharing of tactical data that the F-35 can provide directly to the missile truck.

Can the B-52's carry two rotary launchers? or is the bomb bay of insufficient length?

I can see quick adoption within a more defense critical environment with the F-35 being the target designator and never having to increase its radar visibility by launching



posted on Jan, 3 2018 @ 07:24 PM
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a reply to: BoutThere

They carry one Common Strategic Rotary Launcher, that carries the AGM-86 cruise missile. It gives them a total carriage of 20 weapons with the external rails. They just underwent the MIL-STAN 1760 IWBU rotary launcher that increases their internal JDAM capacity. It increases the rails to 16 JDAMs, and the internal carriage to 8.

A lot of the big upgrades are already done, which is where the extra power comes in. It will lay the groundwork for upgraded radar and improved digital EW systems. Those will be relatively fast upgrades once they go through. They just need the power to do it, which they'll get from the new engines.



posted on Feb, 4 2018 @ 05:16 PM
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The Air Force held an industry day on the engine replacement program, and now Senator Heidi Heitkamp is leading a push for the OMB to include funding for all B-52 upgrades, including $65M for new engines.

www.heitkamp.senate.gov...



posted on Feb, 4 2018 @ 06:01 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

2040?!?!

*flips table and rage quits*



posted on Feb, 4 2018 @ 06:05 PM
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a reply to: anzha

More like 2035ish, and that's for FOC. It's going to be at least 10 years for the flight test program once it goes live to reach IOC. And they're looking at a few more years before they have a live prototype program going.




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