Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP) | A revolutionary propulsion mechanism for the F-35 • 100 KNOTS



A new type of jet engine is under development, according to a public announcement made by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) on March 26, 2007, which will now “allow pilots to go from high-speed combat maneuvers to long-range persistence. mode as gently as a bird in flight.

The program was indeed called Adaptive Versatile Engine Technology, or ADVENT, and its main objective was to develop the engines of combat aircraft of the future. ADVENT would aim to create the technology required for a revolutionary three-flow adaptive cycle engine, unlike the fixed two-flow turbofans that had powered (and now power) Air Force fighter fleets since the 1970s.

Representative | GE Aviation

The milestone was reached on March 25 at the Arnold Engineering Development Complex in Tennessee, which was a joint venture between GE and the Air Force, using GE’s XA100 engine.

The Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP) was launched in 2016 with the goal of creating adaptable engines for sixth-generation fighter propulsion as well as the potential reconfiguration of the F-35 using the currently used F135 turbojet. The P&W engine was named XA101 and the General Electric demonstrator received the designation XA100.

The GE XA100 adaptive cycle engine

The XA100 offers a step-change in propulsion that maximizes the capabilities of the F-35A and F-35C for decades to come. It was developed, manufactured and tested under the US Air Force’s Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP).

Fuel savings

Lower fuel costs and less reliance on tankers are made possible by a flexible three-stream design, increasing overall fuel consumption by 25%.

Increased thrust

Provides fighter pilots with more of what they need and when needed – 10% overall thrust increase

Improved heat absorption

Results of better heat absorption facilitated by 3D printed additive heat exchangers

Increased range and acceleration

Enables a 30% increase in range and allows pilots more agile tactics and aggressive pursuit during dogfights

Next Generation Mission Systems

The third stream of this engine will significantly improve thermal management as new mission systems are added to the F-35, enabling mission system growth for decades to come.

Advantages of the plane

Compatibility with over 90% of the registration F-35 program is made possible by the unique design that allows it to fit both the F-35A and F-35C without requiring structural modifications to either or the other cell.

XA101 adaptive ventilator being tested at the Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC) | Wikipedia

The Pratt & Whitney XA101 is an American adaptive cycle engine demonstrator developed by Pratt & Whitney for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II and will serve as the basis for the propulsion system of the United States Air Force’s sixth generation fighter program , known as Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD).

The Adaptive Versatile Engine Technology (ADVENT) program, a subset of the larger Versatile Affordable Advanced Turbine Engines (VAATE) program, marked the beginning of the US Air Force and US Navy’s pursuit of the idea of adaptive cycle engine in 2007.

Design and specifications

The XA101 is a three-flow adaptive cycle motor that, depending on the situation, can alter bypass rate and fan pressure to increase fuel efficiency or thrust. In order to improve fuel efficiency and act as a heat sink for cooling, it achieves this by using a third bypass flow around the entire motor, with the ability to control the part of the airflow in the core from the motor or through this third stream. With this feature, the high-speed, low-altitude component of the F-35’s flight regime can be used more frequently.

Future use of directed energy weapons is also made possible by increased cooling and power generation. Air from the third stream can be diverted to the core and fan streams to improve performance when more thrust is required.

Type Three-flow adaptive cycle motor
Maximum thrust 45,000 lbf (200 kN) class (with afterburner)

The Air Force test cell will perform more tests in the coming months as it tries to gather performance information across the flight envelope, according to reports.



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