The U.S. air force in the fourth quarter of 2021 will choose the company which will be engaged in the development and production of engines for strategic bombers B-52 Stratofortress. As writes Breaking Defense, according to the plans of the military, mass production of new power plants and install them on your bombers will begin no later than the second quarter of 2027.
The U.S. air force is considering the replacement of engines of B-52 bombers from mid-2010 years. Currently, the military is exploring two options to re-engine aircraft: direct replacement motors or replacement of power plants with a decrease in their number (from the current eight to four). Option direct replacement is preferred.
Replacement engines is necessary for several reasons. In particular, the maintenance and repair of TF33 engines mounted on B-52 today, has already cost quite expensive. In addition, due to re-engine military calculate to reduce fuel consumption bombers in flight.
A tender to develop a new engine for the B-52 is from April of this year. Applications for participation in it have submitted three companies: Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce and GE Aviation. Pratt & Whitney, TF33 developed, offers military PW800 engines. Today these are installed on business jets Gulf Stream 500 and 600. Serial production of the power plant is 2017, when the company certified the PW800.
GE Aviation military offers two engines at once. One of them is the CF34-10 is manufactured since the beginning of 2010 years and today is the Brazilian passenger aircraft Embraer E-Jet and the Chinese Comac ARJ21. In addition, the company offered to the U.S. air force engine Passport issued in 2015. These power units are placed on business jets Bombardier Global 7500/8000.
Finally, Rolls-Royce is developing motor F130. It is created on the basis of the BR725 powerplant used, for example, the business jet Gulfstream G650. The first tests of the power plant took place in the fall of 2019.
According to the preliminary list of requirements published by the U.S. air force, according to the tender results, the military intend to purchase 608 new commercial engines for bombers B-52H, as well as some of their emergency number. It is assumed that due to re-engine strategic bombers B-52 will last until at least 2050.
Bombers B-52 was delivered to the US air force by a group of Boeing until 1962. Currently the us military have 76 such aircraft, the age of the youngest of which has passed for 57 years. Combat radius Stratofortress is about 7.2 thousand miles, a ferry range of 16 thousand kilometers. The aircraft is capable of speeds up to 950 kilometers per hour and carry a bomb load weighing up to 31 tons.