1991-04-01

Enhancing Fighter Engine Airstarting Capability 911190

In addition to designing fighter engines for stall-free idle to maximum power operation and stall recoverability, it is important to give proper emphasis to sub-idle operation for successful starting. This permits the pilot to confidently bring the engine on-line following an inadvertent flameout caused by either the airplane departing the flight envelope or by a fuel interrupt due to a malfunction. Thus reliable and fast airstart capability enhances flight safety especially of single engine airplanes. Flight testing, therefore, is substantially devoted to airstart evaluation. The paper first explains the influence of engine design features on airstarting, particularly the advantages of the low bypass ratio cycle F100-PW-229 (PW229) engine, which is an increased thrust derivative (IPE) of the highly successful F100-PW-220 engine. Enhancing airstarting capability of the PW229 using variable geometry features and digital control flexibility is discussed. The use of an empirical start model in predicting the improvements is illustrated. Also, flight test data of the F16/PW229 airstart characteristics are presented.

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