F35 engine life reduced by overheating issues

The availability of the next-generation American F-35A combat aircraft, which is already far from satisfactory, could be further reduced with the emergence of new problems, this time concerning the coating of the turbine blades of the F-135 engine. by Pratt & Whitney. Indeed, according to an article published on the Bloomberg news site, it would appear that the engine has an operating temperature higher than expected, which would cause premature deterioration of the coating of the turbine blades, leading to the appearance of jacks. Since these defects threaten the integrity of the engine as well as its performance, it is necessary to limit the life of the engine or to undertake very heavy maintenance operations to replace the damaged blades, thereby immobilizing the engine, and therefore the engine. device he was to propel.

In fact, the US Air Force demonstration team was forced, in 2020, to reduce by a third the number of demonstrations in which it participated, in order to preserve the potential of its aircraft, and the US Air Force estimates that 20% of its F-35 will be immobilized by 2025 due to this malfunction alone. With bad news never coming alone, it seems Lockheed-Martin and Pratt & Whitney are still struggling to find replacement solutions for parts still designed and manufactured in Turkey despite his exclusion from the program by Donald Trump following the acquisition of S400 missiles by Ankara. However, Turkish industries continue to supply 188 of the approximately 3000 parts that make up the F-135, and the contract between Turkish industries in the program is due to end in 2022.

To meet the requirements of very (too) demanding specifications, the engineers who developed the F135 had to flirt with the limits of engineering and materials.

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