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Multipurpose american turbofan for jets of 80's and 90's


General Electric, USA

F404, augmented turbofan with low bypass ratio, was developed in min 70's on the base of J101-GE-100's core. Performance and reliability of F404 made a new standard for modern jet engines of wide range of military jets - starting with low-altitude strike planes and ending with hi-altitude interceptors. War proved engines accumulated more than 8 millon flight hours in service of US Navy, US Marine Corps, USAF and airforces of Australia, Canada, Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and others.

Construction (F404-GE-400):

  • 3-stage fan with variable vanes of first stator
  • 7-stage compressor with variable inlet guide vanes and vanes of first and second stator stage, airbleed is up to 7,25%
  • annular combustion chamber
  • 1-stage high-pressure turbine (air cooled)
  • 1-stage low-pressure turbine (air cooled)
  • afterburner chamber
  • convergent-divergent exhaust nozzle
  • control system: hydromechanical, electronical
  • lubrication system uses MIL-L-5624 or MIL-L-7808 oil, consumption is 0,4 liters per hour

F404 uses standard MIL-5624, JP-4, JP-5 or JP-8 fuel.


The first engine of F404 family, the F404-GE-400, was originaly proposed for naval F/A-18, and became one of the best and most widespread engines of that era. Modern materials, simplified diagnostics, well positioned access points and modular construction ensures high lifetime and low operation cost. Modular construction with six modules simplifies replacement of damaged parts and shortens maintenance time (e.g. on aircraft carrier). Visual inspection of interior parts can be accomplished via 13 entry points. The engine needs no special test and fine-tuning after reparation of it's core. Naval usage required corrosion proof components.

Pilots appreciate a free thrust handling, fast RPM response on acceleration or deceleration and smooth maximal thrust to afterburner transition. Engine is in service since 1981, production name is LM1600. Beside the F/A-18 of A, B, C and D version, the engine was used also on F-5G, experimental X-29 and X-31A. It's said that the F404 was one of the possibilities to power the French Rafale. Unaugmented variant of -400 was one of the competitior for upgrade of A-6E planes.

F404-GE-402EPE (Enhanced Performance Engine)

This variant has higher thrust and lower specific fuel consumption, which were achived by using the newest technologies and materials when designing the turbine and afterburner section. Of course with no negative influence on lifetime of this parts. Engine is beeing installed to F/A-18C/D since October 1982 and improves combat capabilities of this aircraft.


Probably bysed on -400 and intended for F-5G (F-20A) fighters.


Derivate of -400 without afterburner. Singapore with cooperation with GE replaced J65 engines of their A-4 Skyhawk motory J65 for F404-GE-100Ds and so made gave born to a new A-4S Super Skyhawk version. New engine gives the plane a higher airspeed, better acceleration and maneuverability and lowers the fuel burn. F404-GE-100D is for it's single-engine usage equiped with extra safety features to prevent malfunctions during the flight.


F1D2 is unaugmented derivate of basic -400, is used by two-engine stealth planes F-117A. The interesting thing is exhaust gas cooler which comprises of a flat nozzle 20 cm high and 165 cm wide.


Used to power prototyped of indian light combat plane LCA. Production planes will have indian engines GTRE GTX-35VS Kaveri


Next developement stage of F404, this time based on -402. Engine was developed by GE and KAI (Korean Aerospace Industries). The engine has safety features (for single-engine use) and FADEC. It should power light combat plane T-50 / A-50 developed in cooperation of KAI and LM (Lockheed Martin). Engine ought to be first tested in 2001, first flight of new plane were to be conducted in 2002 and production of engine had to start in 2005.


The RM12 engine was developed by GE Aircraft Engines and Volvo Aero Corporation to power Swedish JAS-39 Gripen fighter. RM12, specially designed for single-engine use has a few different characteristic compared to it' father F404-GE-400. First of all the fan has been strengthen to sustain a hit of 0.5 kg bird, the airflow was highten by 10% and the turbine was made of modern materials to stand higher temperatures. All of this increased the overall performance by 10-20%. Engine has FADEC with hydromachanical backup and backup ignition system. The RM12 has fast power setting response, unlimited number of power cycles, smooth to-afterburner transition and is very reliable. .

Type - -100 -100D -102 -F1D1 -400 -402 RM12
Weight kg   826 1035 785 991 1035 1055
Length cm   226 391 211 391 391 391
Maximal diameter cm   89 89 89 89 89 89
Inlet diameter cm   79 79 79 79 79 79
Bypass ratio -          0,34 0,27  0,31 
Fan pressure ratio x         3,9    
Overall pressure ratio    25 26  25  25  26  27
Airflow kg/s   64 66 64 64,2 66,5 69
Temperature - max turbine inlet  °C           1348 1444  
- max turbine outlet   °C          797  869  
Thrust - maximal (SLS) kp   4990   4763 4808 5420 5507
- with afterburner (SLS) kp 7711 není 8030 není 7257 8030 8210
SFC - maximal thrust (SLS) kg/kN/h   81,6   82,6 87,0   84,0
  - afterburner (SLS) kg/kN/h          188,6 177,4 181,5
SLS - statické podmínky na úrovni moře (M=0, H=0)

F404 je sestaven ze šesti samostatných modulů

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2018-12-09 23:21:45
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