F-16/101 as F-16A

Keyboard Commando

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I know many of us are well aware of the teething problems in the early P&W F100 and the delays it caused for the F-15/16, and how these issues also affected the F401 meant to go into the F-14. I am also aware that the F110 derivative of this engine eventually made it into the Block 30 F-16C in the mid-80s, but the F101 had been running reliably since 1973 as a part of the B-1A development cycle. My challenge to you is to get the F-16A introduced with the F101 as early as possible, preferably upon introduction or with the definitive Block 15. Perhaps congressional pressure on the Air Force and frustration with the cost of the F-15 and its engine problems, or Carter is not elected (No Watergate?) and the B-1A is approved as a B-52 replacement giving more impetus for the GE engine.
 

SSgtC

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Would GE develop the F101 into a fighter engine if the B-1A had entered production? I've always heard that one of the big drivers for GE to develop the F101 into a fighter engine was the loss of the bomber contract when the Bone was canceled. If GE is sitting fat and happy with a contract for hundreds of F101 engines, they don't have a whole lot of incentive to develop it into the FDE (side note, is it F101FDE or F101DFE, I've seen both used).
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Easiest method is to have GE win the initial contract for the F-15 engine. They would have had an F110 equivalent right then and there. Their design would probably have had less issues, though this isn't certain.

Air Force went with the P&W because it promised higher performance.

Given the role the F-16 actually performed (primarily strike) the F101 itself could have been an option. It would make the F-16 look tubbier though.
 

Archibald

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Would GE develop the F101 into a fighter engine if the B-1A had entered production? I've always heard that one of the big drivers for GE to develop the F101 into a fighter engine was the loss of the bomber contract when the Bone was canceled. If GE is sitting fat and happy with a contract for hundreds of F101 engines, they don't have a whole lot of incentive to develop it into the FDE (side note, is it F101FDE or F101DFE, I've seen both used).

Very interesting. It shall be reminded that post B-70 / B-52 bomber studies started as early as 1961 but McNamara didn't wanted to hear about them and slammed the brakes until his very last day as Secdef in February 1968. The program then was unlocked for the next decade until Carter screwed it again.

Had AMSA (America Most Studied Aircraft, ROTFL) not been brought back by Laird and Nixon in 1969, then the F101 would never have existed. While the Tomcat survived without it until the late 80's (and Hornet never needed it), at some point the F100 was troubled enough USAF was more than happy to have the F101 turned into F110 as backup.

What would have happened had AMSA remained dead post 1968 and F101 / F110 never happened ? Would F401 (naval F100 AFAIK) survives ?
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Would GE develop the F101 into a fighter engine if the B-1A had entered production? I've always heard that one of the big drivers for GE to develop the F101 into a fighter engine was the loss of the bomber contract when the Bone was canceled. If GE is sitting fat and happy with a contract for hundreds of F101 engines, they don't have a whole lot of incentive to develop it into the FDE (side note, is it F101FDE or F101DFE, I've seen both used).

Very interesting. It shall be reminded that post B-70 / B-52 bomber studies started as early as 1961 but McNamara didn't wanted to hear about them and slammed the brakes until his very last day as Secdef in February 1968. The program then was unlocked for the next decade until Carter screwed it again.

Had AMSA (America Most Studied Aircraft, ROTFL) not been brought back by Laird and Nixon in 1969, then the F101 would never have existed. While the Tomcat survived without it until the late 80's (and Hornet never needed it), at some point the F100 was troubled enough USAF was more than happy to have the F101 turned into F110 as backup.

What would have happened had AMSA remained dead post 1968 and F101 / F110 never happened ? Would F401 (naval F100 AFAIK) survives ?
F110 was in essence the core of the F101 mated to a fan scaled up from the fan of the F404 with a new afterburner. If AMSA was dead, I think GE could potentially have made F110 in the mid 1970s.

What if the USAF decided to fund the GE F100 for the LWF prototype to put pressure on P&W?
 

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The F110 was based on the F101x demonstrator from 1975. With the Air Force dissatisfaction with the F100’s reliability, GE was given some support to develop the F101DFE which is quite different but derived from the B-1 F101. The cancellation of the B-1a made this a big deal for GE. The first run was 1979 and it was installed the next year on the first FSD f-16 (F-16/101) even with a small mouth performance and reliability where extremely satisfactory. I’m not sure the timing works for the F-16a unless someone wants it in say a block 15 when it’s undergoing bench testing.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Back to topic. If the F-16 was developed into more of a dedicated strike aircraft, the F101 would have been an ideal choice. Something more like an F-16XL, or just a bit larger all round. One of the VFAX proposals was an 8% scaleup of the F-16 with F101.
 
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