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JSF and A400M at risk?

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JSF and A400M at risk?

Old 16th Sep 2009, 21:55
  #441 (permalink)  
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I'm in the uncomfortable position of not being able to say that though it hasn't happened, it needn't happen in the future. It's a political and budgetary call.

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Old 17th Sep 2009, 21:24
  #442 (permalink)  
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mate did you notice the prediction for 2009?? from those budget supporting documents..??


150.1 Billion on social security payments.

I want to scream.
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Old 17th Sep 2009, 21:28
  #443 (permalink)  
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Ten percent of that is 3.5 x CVF QE2 class carrier projects.

But instead we give it to Somalians instead.


and then we spend money paying Naval wages and taking our equipment to counter Pirates. Guess where they are from?

Brown supposedly has a PhD. Obviously his thesis investigated "how to mismanage a nation and **** it in the ****".
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Old 19th Sep 2009, 13:07
  #444 (permalink)  
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Abercrombie: F135 Mishap Shows Second JSF Engine a Must

Congressional supporters of building a second engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter are seizing upon a faulty test of the fighter's primary power plant to drum up support. In a Sept. 14 "dear colleague" letter, Rep. Neil Abercrombie, House Armed Services air and land subcommittee chairman, said a mishap during a test of the F-35's main engine, being built by Pratt & Whitney, shows two engines are necessary. The incident took place Sept. 11.

"Sophisticated fighter engine technology requires the engineering 'A team' on the job. A dual-sourced engine is good for readiness and good for competition," Abercrombie wrote in the letter, obtained by Defense News. "With current plans calling for 80 [percent to] 90 percent of the manned fighter fleet to be based on F-35A, B and C, two engine sources are required," he added. "Friday's [F135] engine failure makes this crystal clear."

Abercrombie sent the letter to members of the House Appropriations and Armed Services committees.

General Electric and Rolls Royce are developing the alternate power plant, the F136.

Abercrombie told colleagues the Pentagon is moving too fast to buy planes "without adequate testing." Those opposed to building both power plants say the F135 is performing well, the subcommittee chairman said, but "they fail to say that only 140 actual flight test hours have been logged, and there have been three engine failures, including one last Friday."

The push by Abercrombie comes amid several controversial weeks for the F-35 engine debate. With Pratt's F135 program reportedly up to $2 billion over budget, Pentagon acquisition, technology and logistics chief Ashton Carter has ordered a special team to conduct a soup-to-nuts review of the F135 effort. GE and Rolls on Sept. 1 handed Pentagon and F-35 program officials the first 100 or so F136 engines on a fixed-priced contract, as opposed to a cost-plus arrangement. The latter kind of contract typically is dramatically more expensive for the government.

While the Bush and Obama administrations have argued that the alternative is not needed and attempted to terminate that effort, Congress for the past several years has kept it alive. House and Senate conferees who will hammer out a final version of 2010 defense spending legislation will decide the fate of the alternative engine program for another year in coming weeks. If the GE-Rolls engine initiative is kept alive long enough by the Pentagon and Congress, it is slated to enter a head-to-head competition with the Pratt & Whitney power plant in 2014. The winning engine would be delivered to DoD starting in 2016.

In his letter, Abercrombie touts the benefits of competition, borrowing a line from President Barack Obama's Sept. 9 speech to Congress on health care reform. "My guiding principle is, and always has been, that consumers do better when there is choice and competition," the subcommittee chairman quoted Obama as saying. "That's how the market works."
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Old 20th Sep 2009, 04:56
  #445 (permalink)  
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Hmmm... kinda like the TSR.2 wing-break?

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Pratt: F135 Fan Fix Simple, Cheap

Posted by Graham Warwick at 9/18/2009 4:49 PM CDT
Pratt & Whitney says it's standard industry practice - clip the tip of a blade to remove the piece that's susceptible to damage. And that's what the manufacturer plans to do with the fan blades on its F135 engine for the F-35, after a piece of the tip of a first-stage fan blade broke off during durability testing.

Pratt says the "potential cause" of the piece breaking off was an aerodynamic disturbance caused by a worn bushing ahead of the fan. The bushing is a cylindrical metal part used to seat, or locate, a component in the fan inlet case. Tear-down of the engine revealed all the bushings were severely degraded and some were missing.

That's not as bad as it might sound, because the blade damage occurred 2,455 cycles into a 2,600-cycle durability test of the initial service release (ISR) engine for production F-35As. That's the equivalent of eight years of in-service operation, Pratt says. When the tip broke off, the engine was 5 hours into a supersonic high-cycle fatigue test designed to deliberately excite blade vibration.

Pratt says the "minor modification" to be made immediately to all ISR engines will be to clip the corner off the tip of the fan blade at its trailing edge, removing the piece that broke off and "alleviating the potential" for it to fail. This will not degrade the engine's performance, the company stresses.

Engines for flight-test F135s are not affected, although the bushings are the same, because they have a "first-generation" fan that has already passed the required durability testing. The ISR engine has a "second generation" fan with lighter integrally bladed rotors. The bushings will be inspected periodically for wear until a new design is developed under the F135 component improvement program.
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Old 20th Sep 2009, 07:17
  #446 (permalink)  
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So there's this simple cheap modification that eliminates a point of failure, obviously saves weight, and has no impact on performance.

In which case, why weren't the blades built that way in the first place?
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Old 20th Sep 2009, 13:54
  #447 (permalink)  
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Clipping blade tips is indeed a long-honored practice to fix fatigue vibratory problems. I can't count the number of engines that have had this implemented.

But there is ALWAYS a performance matter to be considered; that's why the blades weren't built that way in the first place. Clipped blades mean the on-wing life is reduced because the engine will run out of EGT margin sooner.

Trust me, if the F136 is cancelled, Pratt will have no incentive to quickly and properly fix the F135.
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Old 20th Sep 2009, 16:05
  #448 (permalink)  
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You will get tip losses from this. Sounds as if it was from the cold end, in which case, possibly not as much thrust at altitude and high temperatures. Below its when a fadec is limiting against max thrust limits, it wont make much of a difference (although fuel consumption will be up slightly). If it is caused by acoustics from the othjer failed components, it may be less of an issue as long as they can beef up the non-rociprocating parts and take a slight weight penalty or slightly mod the design. It gets expensive when you mod bits that start to spin round.

If they are making out that a full blade mod at this stage is going to be cheap, they are talking hoop. Any single element in a gas turbine modded can lead to vibs problems in other areas. Its one great big balancing act I am afraid.
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 12:55
  #449 (permalink)  
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Smile News getting better

It's great to read that A400M has been moved outside the FAL in Spain for ground testing before the arrival of flight-ready engines, and that an engine with fully-modified software will be runniing on the "Iron Bird" in Toulouse shortly (source Airbus Military via Flightglobal 22 Sep)).
Apart from the understandable political pressure on the teams to get flight testing under way well before the end of the year, it will be a big relief for them to be back, at last, to the pre-flight stage ...
"Ooo-blurdy-ray" and (nearly) "oof !!!" etc ...
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 13:05
  #450 (permalink)  
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It's the FADEC rather than engines they're waiting for. I doubt the engines that were fitted at roll-out have changed substantially since that date, apart from a few mods that may have come out of the FTB programme. I guess they've had enough time to do any mods while they've bene waiting for the FADEC to be completed.
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Old 23rd Sep 2009, 12:22
  #451 (permalink)  
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So right ...

You're absolutely right, Sook - in fact, the hardware seems to be under those red covers in the rolling-out shot. Let's hope the software is found OK and flight-worthy, and that the C-130 flights at Marshall's next week go off OK too.
Fingers crossed ...
Flightglobal today (01/10) has a shot of the modified C-130 on its last TP400 test flight from Marshalls, and another of A400 MSN 01 with all four engines and propellers installed. VERY nice to see ! Those propellers look more than impressive, and clearly bathe most of the wing in their "inwards rotating" slipstream.
Optimism seems to be strengthening down in Spain ...

Last edited by Jig Peter; 1st Oct 2009 at 16:15. Reason: Update on October 1st
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Old 2nd Oct 2009, 09:14
  #452 (permalink)  
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Airbus Engine Tests Completed

LONDON - The first flight of the Airbus A400M airlifter has edged closer following an announcement from Marshall Aerospace that it had completed the final phase of testing on the TP400 engine due to power the much-delayed transport aircraft.

The U.K.-based company said the flight trials of a single Europrop International-developed engine mounted on its modified C-130K test bed aircraft were completed Sept 30 after achieving 110 hours of engine running time. The test included 54 hours of flight trials.

Completion of the risk-reduction phase means the A400M is on track to meet the promises of Airbus executives that the airlifter would make its first flight around the end of the year. The fourth engine was recently fitted to the first A400M development aircraft at the Airbus military factory in Seville, Spain.

The future of the program had been in doubt earlier this year as a result of delivery and cost overruns. Airbus is in talks with partner nations Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain and Turkey over a new program schedule for the A400M, including guarantees on performance, delivery and price.

The talks are being held under the umbrella of an agreement that has seen a temporary suspension of a contract clause allowing customers to cancel the program.
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Old 2nd Oct 2009, 09:49
  #453 (permalink)  
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The wrong way to build the F-35

I'm quite unused to defending the actions of Congress, but when it comes to contracting the production of the new F-35 fighter, the Defense committees are right and the Pentagon is wrong.

The F-35 will be the only new US fighter plane for decades; with different versions for the Air Force, Navy, Marines and eight different allies, expected production will run more than 3,000 jets. Yet the Pentagon bureaucracy has fallen back on discredited, static "should cost" models to justify awarding a 30-year monopoly on the engines to a sole supplier.

Key members of the Defense committees, with decades of experience in defense issues, want to require competition for the contracts -- annual bidding by at least two suppliers. This would rightly ignore the testimony of appointed Defense Department officials whose tenure in procurement jobs has historically averaged about 18 months, and who certainly won't be around to pick up the pieces from yet another sole-source fiasco.....
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Old 7th Oct 2009, 10:49
  #454 (permalink)  
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Update to JSF Second Engine

Another article which might be of interest regarding the JSF.

October 6, 2009 House, Senate Negotiators Fund Second F-35 Engine
By Andrea Shalal-Esa, Reuters
WASHINGTON -- U.S. House and Senate negotiators defied a White House veto threat and agreed on Tuesday to include $560 million in the fiscal 2010 defense authorization bill for an alternate F-35 engine, several sources familiar with the talks told Reuters.
President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates have repeatedly said they oppose funding for the second F-35 engine, which is being built by General Electric Co and Britain's Rolls-Royce Group Plc given mounting pressures on the U.S. defense budget.
But administration officials issued more cautious statements on Tuesday, which several sources said signaled that the White House was easing off its veto threat.
"If the final bill this year once again calls for further investment in a second engine, the department will carefully evaluate the impact of that before making a recommendation to the president about whether or not to veto the legislation," said Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell.
"We need to see the whole bill," said Kenneth Baer, press secretary for the White House budget office.
The White House had said Obama's advisers would recommend a veto if the final bill would "seriously disrupt" the F-35 program, but that phrase left officials some "wiggle room," said one congressional aide, who asked not to be identified.
Morrell's response to the move was "pretty qualified," said a second congressional aide, noting that this case clearly differed from the F-22 fighter, which lawmakers agreed to halt after a direct and forceful veto threat from the president.
"People just weren't willing to fall on their swords for this one," said the second aide.
Congress has funded work on the second engine for 13 years, eager to support high-paying jobs and maintain competition in a weapons program that is valued at over $100 billion over time.
If Congress prevails in funding the engine this year, it would be the fourth straight year that it has overridden efforts by the Pentagon to scrap the program.
Funding for the second engine was in addition to the program budget, and did not reduce the Pentagon's $6 billion request to buy 30 F-35 fighters, said two sources, who were not authorized to speak on the record.
The conferees were due to meet again on Wednesday to finalize the compromise bill, which authorizes Pentagon programs, followed by a vote in the full House on Thursday.
Separately, the Senate approved a separate measure that actually funds Pentagon programs.
The Senate's fiscal 2010 appropriations bill included no funding for the second engine program, but Senator Daniel Inouye, who heads the Senate Appropriations Committee, favors funding the engine, which means the compromise version of that bill is likely to include some money for it as well.
Lockheed Martin Corp builds the F-35 fighter. Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp, which builds the airplane's main engine, has lobbied hard to shore up support for proceeding with just one engine for the fighter.
Pratt spokesman Jay DeFrank said the bill was not yet done, and the administration's reaction could still affect its final outcome.
GE spokesman Rick Kennedy said the GE-Rolls team had not been formally notified of what the congressional negotiators decided, but funding for the competing F-35 engine would be "a victory for acquisition reform."
Proponents of the second engine, which Congress first began more than a decade ago, argue that competition is imperative in a program involving over 3,000 engines. They say the Pentagon's own studies conclude it would save $2.2 billion over time by keeping both engine teams on their toes.
The initial House version of the fiscal 2010 defense authorization bill included $603 million in funding for the alternate engine, while the Senate included none.
Morrell last week said the department was also concerned about ensuring that Congress did not cut the number of airplanes in the program or shift development funds, which could increase the cost of the program in the longer term.
Additional reporting by Caren Bohan and Andy Sullivan.
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Old 7th Oct 2009, 16:25
  #455 (permalink)  
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Thousands of F-35 in our future skies

One engine problem grounds the lot......

Argument in itself for a competitive alternate engine choice

Oh and Pratt make really reliable engines don't they....
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Old 7th Oct 2009, 23:06
  #456 (permalink)  
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To be fair, GE has suspended F136 testing. On a tailpipe inspection, some minor damage to turbine blades was found, but (to my knowledge) no operational symptoms; also no evident upstream distress. Perhaps FOD.

GE, Rolls Halt Tests on US F-35 Alternate Engine - ABC News
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Old 14th Oct 2009, 14:49
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The below taken from a South African newspaper.

"Armscor has admitted in Parliament today that the price-tag for acquiring eight A400m military heavy-lifting aircrafts has skyrocketed to R47-billion.

Armscor CEO Sipho Thomo told MPs that the initial estimated price was R17-billion, even though it is believed that the amount was as low as R7,5-billion.

Thomo said they had already paid R2,9-billion, and has admitted to withholding R1,1-billion because the aircraft would be delivered in 2016. This is pending the decision of cabinet this month whether to continue with the acquisition."

In UK Pound terms 4.05 billion for 8 aircraft, or 506.5 million each.
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Old 15th Oct 2009, 15:09
  #458 (permalink)  
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News South Africa: R47bn arms deal scandal rocks shocked MPs

In one of the most serious tests to President Jacob Zuma's cabinet yet, it will have to cancel a R47-billion freight aircraft transaction gone wrong within the next month, or pay the price of a potential arms deal scandal part II.

Armscor chief executive Sipho Thomo admitted to shocked MPs yesterday that the cost of acquiring eight A400M Airbus heavy-lift planes had rocketed from a steep R17bn in 2006 to a whopping "estimated" R47bn.

Parliament's committee on defence yesterday grilled Armscor and acting Secretary of Defence Tsepe Motumi about their annual reports. The Department of Defence received its 10th consecutive qualified audit report from the auditor-general, who noted that the government could have blown R2.9bn in an irregular tendering process on the Airbus planes.

The soaring cost of the eight aircraft came to light as MPs questioned Thomo about the R2,9bn paid out of the secret Special Defence Account.

Armscor has acknowledged that there had been no tendering processes and that the decision to buy the aircraft was made by the cabinet, after which it requested the state arms acquisition company to handle the process. Then-defence minister Mosiuoa Lekota announced the decision in 2005, and the deal was concluded the following year.

The aircraft is a new model that has yet to take to the skies. It is a joint project between France's Airbus and the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), with participation from British Aerospace (BAE), French armament electronics company Thales and South African aerospace companies Aerosud and Denel Saab Aerostructures. EADS, Thales and BAE were beneficiaries of South Africa's Strategic Defence Procurement Package that has cost taxpayers at least R60bn.

Thomo told the committee yesterday that the government had withheld a further R1,1bn payment to the aircraft - in addition to the R2,9bn - after Airbus told Armscor last week about the price escalation and that the aircraft were four years behind schedule. They are to be delivered in 2016, 10 years after the order.

Thomo said the cabinet had a one-month window period to cancel the order.

Armscor and the Defence Department delegation would not answer detailed questions about the fiasco, saying they needed to brief Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.

"Some of the questions are sensitive and we are not at liberty to discuss (this) in an open forum," Thomo said, adding that the cabinet could terminate the contracts. Our concern is that we don't have time - that decision needs to be made by the end of October."

Committee chairman Nyami Booi (ANC) noted that the payments would have to come from the defence budget, which was only R32bn a year.

David Maynier (DA) wanted to know what the total cost of the acquisition would eventually be, as well as the cost to taxpayers if the cabinet decided to cancel the deal. He called on the government to start terminating the procurement and to launch a "full and independent inquiry into the Airbus deal".
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Old 29th Oct 2009, 10:57
  #459 (permalink)  
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Bloomberg: U.K. Agrees New A400M Terms as Germany Stalls, Les Echos Says

Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) -- The U.K. has agreed to take 19 A400M military aircraft instead of the originally ordered 25, while paying the same amount of money, French daily Les Echos reported, without citing anyone.

Germany is refusing to renegotiate its A400M contract and French Defense Minister Herve Morin will discuss the issue with his new German counterpart Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, the newspaper said.
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Old 29th Oct 2009, 20:21
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No doubt we'll soon be paying well over and above the original price for only 15, five years later than originally promised. You heard it here first!!
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