Russian engine manufacturer Salut revealed that its backlog for the AL31F series now exceeds 400, thanks largely to orders from China. At the Engines 2000 exhibition in Moscow last month, Salut confirmed that more negotiations with China took place recently, but it declined to provide details. Salut also revealed progress on increased-thrust versions of the AL31F.
China has ordered 250 AI-222-25F turbofans from the Ukraine to power production versions of the Hongdu L-15 advanced jet trainer.
Pratt & Whitney’s F135 engine has achieved a first for the Lockheed Martin F-35 program by accelerating the F-35B STOVL version through the sound barrier last month. The test aircraf–BF-2–climbed to 30,000 feet and accelerated to Mach 1.07 at the off-shore test track near NAS Patuxent River in Maryland on June 14. The F-35 has supercruise capability and does not require the use of engine afterburner to achieve supersonic flight.
There can be few finer sights in aviation than a General Dynamics F-111 bomber demonstrating the “dump-and-burn” routine. And here this week enjoy every second of it, for it could well be the last time you have the chance to witness the spectacle. The Royal Australian Air Force is retiring its F-111s in early December, and the Singapore Airshow is the final hurrah for the type outside its homeland.
Both China’s J-10 fighter and the Indian air force Bakhadur MiG-27ML fighter bomber are set to be re-engined with two new variations of the Russian Salyut AL-31FN engines–the AL-31FN M1 and the 99-3, respectively.