The General Electric Company has recently been in the process of developing two new turbofan aircraft engines-the TF34 and the F101. The TF34 has been developed for the U.S. Navy's S-3A antisubmarine warfare aircraft and has been selected by Fairchild-Hiller for the U.S. Air Force A-10A; the F101 is being developed for the U.S. Air Force B-1 strategic bomber.
Each of the new aircraft programs has the common requirement for subsonic endurance. The S-3A and A-10A requirements include subsonic operation only while the B-1 includes supersonic capability as well as subsonic. This basic mission-mix difference combined with major differences in engine/air vehicle installation features and different levels of technology applied due to the relative chronology in the respective development programs leads to contrasts in the design features of the major components of the engines. These major contrasts are presented without delving into the details of the applicable mission analyses and resulting cycle selections.
The development of new aircraft engines requires (in many cases) the concurrent development of unique manufacturing and nondestructive testing processes and materials. Laser drilling, inertia welding, delta ultrasonic testing, Ti-17, and René 95 are identified as representative facets of these development programs.