posted on Feb, 18 2019 @ 09:59 PM
a reply to: Blackfinger
Single engine operation no longer matters like it did 30-40 years ago. Reliability is now vastly greater and the only reason you go for two engines is
if you need a lot of thrust. But then we are talking really large fighters like F-22 or bigger. The added complexity and structural weight of putting
two engines in a small to medium sized fighter negates any perceived gain in reliability. Case in point of how things changed would be the evolution
of the basic F-5 small twin engine fighter to the later F-20 Tigershark prototype. Same basic aircraft, half the engines, same or better reliability.
And then there is the F-35. Single engine operation doesn't appear to be hampering its sales in the slightest. The F-16 wasn't shabby in the sales
department either and ended up outselling the twin engined Hornet by a healthy margin. If for example you look at the RAAF's history with first the
Mirage III and later the F/A-18 family Blackfinger, we lost probably more than a dozen Mirages at least to engine failure alone. Yet with the Hornets
I count only 5 aircraft losses across 3 major sub variants in nearly 35 years of operations. And of those I can only think of one that was due to
engine failure, which was a single engine failure leading to the write off anyway of an EA-18G.
Apart from large aircraft thrust requirements, I can think of four other reasons you would stipulate 2 engines. One, you dont have the design,
manufacturing or metallurgy skills to build a really high thrust reliable engine. Two, you are building a large and complex aircraft where engine
thrust is beyond current engine designs. Three, you need a very large electrical generator capacity for DEWS, advanced sensors, AESA etc that is not
practically achievable with current generator or accessory drive technological capability. Given we are just starting to see in the last couple of
years new and highly advanced breakthroughs appearing in generator efficiency, you can probably negate that one for the time being anyway. Lastly
fourth, for reasons both political and conservatively risk averse thinking on the engineering front, your customer has stipulated two engines.
edit on 18-2-2019 by thebozeian because: (no reason given)