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SF-A commercial turbofan engine

The SF-A commercial turbofan engine was made specifically for China's C919 large domestic-manufactured jetliner, which was initially expected to take off in 2016. Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China has said publicly that the C919, which is due to enter service in 2016, will be powered by the western designed and Chinese built LEAP-X engines, but that it hopes some C919s produced later will be powered by Chinese engines. One Chinese report noted that the 12,000 to 13,000kg (@30,000lbs) thrust high­bypass turbofan had been under development "in secret" since about 2001.

As of 2011 the SF-A commercial turbofan engine was little more than a trade show model and would not be operational until at least 2016. The Aviation Industry Corporation of China hopes to use this engine for China's indigenous large commercial aircraft, the C919. However, the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. has already contracted for C919 engines with CFM International, a joint venture between GE [General Electric] and France's Snecma (Safran Group), so it is unclear if the SF-A engine, when and if developed, will replace the CFM International engine. The 2010 Report to Congress by the U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission notes that the SF-A engine could replace the foreign built engine after 2016.

It was reported that China had "independently designed and developed the first Chinese-made aircraft engine model" which was displayed for the first time at the Shanghai China International Industry Fair in November 2009. This model, described as the SF-A, was designed and develop by the China Aviation Industry Corporation's AVIC I Commercial Aircraft Engine Co., Ltd to meet the power needs of large passenger aircraft. In addition to SF-A model, there was also developed by China Aviation Industry Corporation 3000-4000 kg thrust power of large bypass ratio turbofan engine model, and display in the Air Industry Corporation installed manufacturing capacity of parts. Among them, the high bypass ratio turbofan engine can be used on feeder aircraft or commercial aircraft powered by a fan fet, 3 booster compressor, seven high-pressure compressor, a short ring combustion chamber, a high-pressure turbine, three low-pressure turbine, a simple convergent nozzle, as well as Full Authority Digital Control (FADEC) system.

China is developing four high-bypass turbofans, only one of which was well known prior to 2013. All four have potential military and civil applications. Work at 30,000 lb. class and suitable for large transport aircraft was already known, along with development of the similarly sized CJ-1000 engine for the C919 commercial aircraft. But it turns out that there are two such engines from the Shenyang design bureau of Avic Engine: the WS-118 and the SF-A. This was revealed in materials prepared for a 22-23 May 2013 conference organized by Galleon (Shanghai) Consulting in association with Avic. The Avic connection means the conference materials can be taken as semi-official. Both engines from the Shenyang Engine and Design Research Institute are based on fighter-engine cores, just as Western aircraft in the 1970s often used combat cores.

Avic Engine's Shenyang Liming Aero-Engine design institute is working on an engine similar to the WS-118, but slightly more powerful, the 28,700-lb.-thrust SF-A turbofan, based on the WS-15 core, reputed to be the engine of the J-20 heavy stealth fighter. The SF-A has been mentioned previously as a prospective C919 engine. Industry executives also report the existence of an SF-B engine, which may be a version of the SF-A.

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Page last modified: 16-06-2014 19:57:22 ZULU