What a week

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
Just got through with a quartertly combat employment exercise this week at DM.

So Tuesday evening, after flying my daytime goes, an F-16 from Luke crashes west of Gila Bend.

Today, as I'm working in the bombing range near Gila Bend, an emergency beeper goes off on guard frequency when another F-16 from Luke goes down.

The two crash sites aren't too far from each other, and I'd wondered if the investigators that are still at the first crash site simply wandered over to the second crash site.....Would be convenient.

Guess Luke's not having a good week.
 

Hawk

New Member
In AMC, we'd say "It's time for a safety down day"...... Don't they usually ground the fleet if 2 or more go down this close together??
 

cointyro

New Member
Man, F-16s go down like flies out of Luke.

There's a joke that if you want a pool dug in the Phoenix area you just buy a half-acre and wait for a flyboy to buy it in your yard...
 

MissedApproach

Well-Known Member
Didn't another F-16 go down in Iraq on Wed or Thurs as well?

All these crashes are making Luke look bad. When they're pondering about which bases to close they'll bring up this string of 7 or 8 crashes over the last few years.
 

MissedApproach

Well-Known Member
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Did the pilots get out OK?

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Yep, its pretty rare that they don't as it almost always seems to be mechanical failure.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
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Mike - I heard about that earlier today. Out of interest what exactly are you flying?

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A-10s.

Regards the F-16s. Luke has some of the oldest F-16s in service, being a training base. They also have the F-16s with the Pratt and Whitney 200 series motors, which have been seemingly somewhat troublesome.

Both pilots got out OK.

Lots of people bag on single seat fighters. I've got mixed feelings. With a single engine, the plane either works or it doesn't...ejection decision is very easy. Also, no refusal speeds or single engine rate of climb speeds to compute. Rejecting the takeoff is an easy decision.
 

wizard96

New Member
Ouch MikeD,

I work at PW who makes those F100-100, -220, and -229's. Has the preliminary accident report stipulate an engine failure? The F100's has a better UER, IFSD, and SVR than the F110's. Especially since all F100's have been part of the Air Force CIP program for a decaded
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
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Ouch MikeD,

I work at PW who makes those F100-100, -220, and -229's. Has the preliminary accident report stipulate an engine failure? The F100's has a better UER, IFSD, and SVR than the F110's. Especially since all F100's have been part of the Air Force CIP program for a decaded

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From what I've followed regards the Pratt vs GE powered F-16s in the inventory, the Pratts have been having trouble with losing their AB augmentor ducts inflight. For those that don't know, when an afterburning engine loses it's augmentor nozzle, it no longer has the back pressure required for normal ops, and several things happen. First, a severe reduction in thrust occurs as the exhaust gas, no longer controlled by the nozzle (which has departed the airframe), empties out the back of the engine. Normally, this would cause an overspeed of the engine's Low Pressure Turbine assembly, but the Digital Electronic Engine Control (DEEC) senses the impending overspeed and reduces the fuel flow in order to compensate. This results in further reduction in thrust (almost similiar to selecting at or near idle), and the aircraft can't maintain flight. Even if the pilot activates the engine's Secondary Engine Control (SEC) versus the normal Primary Engine Control for the DEEC, the lack of back pressure and the resultant high airflow through the engine cause the 4th stage turbine blades to flutter. This flutter, combined with overspeed of the LPT (if the pilot doesn't select SEC mode) cause fatigue failure at the root of the engine's 4th stage turbine blades.

Whether this happened in the last two accidents this week is unknown. I believe it happens to the Pratts vs the GEs due to how the augmentor duct is manufactured.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
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From what I hear, the GEs are more popular among viper drivers.

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That seems to be the consensus. Reasons I've heard are that the GE is somewhat more powerful than the Pratts in all F-16 models, both the smaller Block 40 (GE) and 42 (Pratt) and the larger sized Block 50 (GE) and 52 (Pratt). Also, the GE is designed a little better regards to how the engine is manufactured, giving it somewhat more reliability. But then again, the GE is a newer engine too. But you're right, the pilots I've talked to seem to prefer GE. I believe that all the active-duty Pratt equipped planes are only in Training Command at Luke (Block 25, 32, 42).
 

wizard96

New Member
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[Reasons I've heard are that the GE is somewhat more powerful than the Pratts in all F-16 models, both the smaller Block 40 (GE) and 42 (Pratt) and the larger sized Block 50 (GE) and 52 (Pratt). Also, the GE is designed a little better regards to how the engine is manufactured, giving it somewhat more reliability. But then again, the GE is a newer engine too. But you're right, the pilots I've talked to seem to prefer GE. I believe that all the active-duty Pratt equipped planes are only in Training Command at Luke (Block 25, 32, 42).

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MikeD I hate to correct you but approximately 30% of the F-16's are equipped with GE F110. Also realize the F110 has a larger fan diameter which allows for more flow giving more thrust. GE was able to convince LM to redesign the inlet and certify the airframe. GE has more power because of the larger fan not its FPR.

GE F110 has had more Class one incidents with there engines versus the PW F100. Has you stated the GE is a new design engine so why would this be? I can't comment on the manufacturing since both GE and PW has their components made throughout the world. Very little is made in the USA these days. All engine assembly does occur in the USA but the individual parts are made around the world. This is done to assure the country buying the plane to have some revenues.

There has been an issue with the augmentor relight and blowout of the liners but this was attributed to the F100-229 especially the birds from Lakenheath. There will always be competition between the two engine companies and pilots do prefer one engine over the other. That said I know both companies provide the best product for our warfighters so no one will ever have to wear another POW/MIA bracelet again.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
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[
MikeD I hate to correct you but approximately 30% of the F-16's are equipped with GE F110. Also realize the F110 has a larger fan diameter which allows for more flow giving more thrust. GE was able to convince LM to redesign the inlet and certify the airframe. GE has more power because of the larger fan not its FPR.

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When I say that there's more GE equipped F-16s in the active-duty, I'm talking all the 30, 40 and 50 models with the F110 and GE 129 engines. Now not being an F-16 pilot, I can only go by what my F-16 bretheren have told me; but there's not as many Block 32/42 series (Pratt equipped) F-16s as there are Block 30/40 (GE equipped) in the active-duty USAF. And the Pratt 100-200/220s, by nature of their manufacture process, have been far more prone to AB augmentor duct loss than the GEs.

"Unhappy with the accident rate due to stagnation stalls in both the F-15 and F-16, in 1979, the USAF placed a contract with General Electric to develop an alternative engine for both fighters. General Electric combined the core of the Rockwell B-1's F101 engine with a scaled-up version of the F404 low-pressure system and augmentor. This engine was ultimately to emerge as the F110.

In order to remain competitive, Pratt and Whitney continued to work on improvements to their F100 engine. Nevertheless, even after several years of work on the part of Pratt & Whitney, the Air Force was still unhappy with the rate at which stagnation stalls were occurring, and in early 1984 the Air Force officially launched an Alternative Fighter Engine (AFE) program to look for an alternative engine for both the F-15 and the F-16. As originally planned, there would be a competition every fiscal year between General Electric and Pratt & Whitney for engine orders for both F-15 and F-16 aircraft. Competition between these two companies would, it was hoped, keep prices down, and having a second source would help to ensure a steady supply of engines. There could even be a mixed buy each year, with engines being purchased from both companies.

The two USAF candidates were the General Electric F101 DFE (now redesignated F110) and a revised Pratt & Whitney F100. In February 1984, the USAF announced that General Electric had been awarded 75 percent of the total engine contracts for the FY 1985 run of F-16 fighters. The remaining FY 85 F-16s would use the upgraded Pratt & Whitney F100, known as the F100-PW-220. The F110 was to be phased into the General Dynamics production line as soon as production engines became available, but it was agreed that individual USAF F-16 units should never operate a mix of engine types, the choice of engine being made at the wing level.


And most wings prefer the GE engines as do most of the pilots I've talked to.

I personally don't fly the Lawn Dart, so I could care less either way. But it seems that the smaller Pratts have their share of problems.

Now so far as the PW-229 goes on the Block 52 F-16s, I've heard that's one heck of a powerful engine, with not a lot of difference, reliability-wise, from the GE-129 engine of the same rated thrust in the Block 50 F-16s.
 

Hootie

Old Skool
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Lots of people bag on single seat fighters.

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Everybody bags on everybody else's jet.


As for the non 52 pratts sucking. My unit flys 42's and they haven't lost any. Luke loses WAY too many jets though. They have ancient equipment but I think the newbie mantainance might have something to do with it.
 

pilot602

If specified, this will replace the title that
In a semi-related note (ok, it's no related at all) I was shooting the ILS a few days back at Gateway (practicing for my IA re-test) and when I got the clearance I was told I was two miles in trail of company traffic.

I fly an Apache.

I wish it was "company" traffic. Because "company" traffic was an "Apache" helicopter.



This happens quite a bit around here, actually. I keep hoping that if it's said enough times it'll come true!


But to get back on topic - it's a shame that two 16s went down but it is a training base. Things happen in training.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
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Lots of people bag on single seat fighters.

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Everybody bags on everybody else's jet.


As for the non 52 pratts sucking. My unit flys 42's and they haven't lost any. Luke loses WAY too many jets though. They have ancient equipment but I think the newbie mantainance might have something to do with it.

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Piggy-back to what you're saying, there's never any one causal factor to an accident. And you're absolutely correct that Luke has some of the oldest 16s in the fleet, with one squadron still having Block 25s, the rest Pratt motored. The TLC the jets get, combined with the age go hand in hand. As I'm sure you're well aware, in the Guard, there's normally far more experience overall than in the active duty; and I'm sure that as you say, it goes along with your aircraft having less problems.

What year models are your 42s?

That all being said, I've got no problem with other aircraft. The F-16 has it's place as a ground attack aircraft, and IMO is a fine aircraft. Single-engine doesn' bother me.
 

wizard96

New Member
I envy anyone who gets to fly military jets. I tried to join after finishing a four and half year enlistment hitch and going on to finishing my engineering degree. Unfortunately 1996 was not a good year for a 26 1/2 year old chasing a dream. Private flying is where I can still live some of the dream.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
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I envy anyone who gets to fly military jets. I tried to join after finishing a four and half year enlistment hitch and going on to finishing my engineering degree. Unfortunately 1996 was not a good year for a 26 1/2 year old chasing a dream. Private flying is where I can still live some of the dream.

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Each type of flying has it's good and bad. Best thing about GA is that one can actually enjoy the flying.....and it's not work, in the sense that there's no where you need to be, no rush to do anything, and one can just gaze at the earth or sky with little stress (all these generally speaking).
 
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