Future combat environments: implications for the engine development process

by John Birkler

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This paper reviews reliability and durability features of various aircraft engines; discusses design features that may enhance maintainability and assesses the extent to which they have been incorporated in existing engines; and assesses how demands for more supportable engines are influencing the amount of testing and the calendar time required to develop new engines for use in fighter and attack aircraft. The author concludes that emphasis on reliability and durability is changing the nature of the engine development process, and that maintainability must receive comparable development emphasis if the next generation engine is to operate successfully in more stringent combat environments.

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