The mission requirements laid down in 1968 for advanced Air Force and Navy air superiority fighters dictated a quantum step forward in performance of their propulsion systems, particularly in terms of thrust-to-weight ratio and inlet-engine compatibility. Design features incorporated in the F100/F401 engines to meet the weight requirement include high aerodynamic stage loadings, a high temperature turbine with advanced cooling techniques, and a balanced beam exhaust nozzle concept which significantly reduces the weight of this component. Weight has also had a strong influence on selection and development of materials, metallurgical processes, and fabrication techniques. Inlet compatibility/stability considerations are addressed by fundamental aerodynamics, together with stability augmentation devices, such as variable camber inlet guide vanes, variable compressor geometry, and a fully modulated augmentor with smooth transition throughout the augmentation range.
Description of the physical and performance characteristics of the two engines, which utilize a common gas generator, or core, is provided.