Military or VTOL applications of VLJ turbofans?


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31 December 2008
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Today there are a number of relatively lightweight and efficient small turbofans available for the VLJ market, but that market itself is stymied by the economic crisis and the backlash against business aviation.

I wonder if any of the aircraft companies or the engine manufacturers themselves are looking at alternative applications for the Williams FJ-33 and FJ-44, PWC PW600, etc.?

When I look at those engines, I have visions of small, lightweight, all-composite military aircraft, perhaps modern updates of straighforward designs like the Folland Gnat or more radical concepts like VTOL with multiple lift engines, tailsitters, etc. Of course, those engines have probably already been applied to UAVs.

Does any know of any such proposals, projects or prototypes to adapt the VLJ engines to other applications, military or otherwise?


Many UAVs are using the williams and p&W engines. Darkstar had an FJ44. Polecat had FJ33s (or-44s?). Avenger has a P&W engine.
Yes, their small size, high fuel efficiency, relative low cost and relative high thrust output makes them ideal for UAV use. I know some of the bigger ones are used in trainers too (which I guess would fit your thing about the Gnat) and some of the smaller ones are used for cruise missiles, or at least it's probably farther down the line.
I've always loved the SIPA S.200 Minijet despite the fact that it was overweight and underpowered.


I daydream about a modern version with composite construction and lightweight systems to cut the weight (in half?) and a single FJ-33 to double the power. A two-seater with an internal MG and a pair of hardpoints would be good for training, including weapons training, while a single seater with armor, self-sealing fuel tanks and a couple more hardpoints would be great for counter-insurgency, helicopter-hunting, drug interdiction, you name it.
One of the reasons the ATG Javelin went nowhere in terms of potential military sales, with its two FJ-33, is that it could not haul much more than a golf bag. So you want to look at two FJ-44 at the very least to get some meaningful capability.

If you are looking strictly at the training market, yes a single FJ-33 and a modern composite airframe would be a much more exciting and effective proposition that the Texan II.

Sign me in ;D

speaking of lightweight jet powered aircraft...

The Caproni Vizzola C22J was derived from an metal glider with the addition of two microturbo engines and hardpoints under the wings. interest failed to materialise and the project was canned.


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C22J with two Price Induction turbofans ;D


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Do you know the status of those engines? I haven't heard of those guys in a while ???
They are working full bore on it, well staffed and well funded.
I am quite confident they will be successful, we just need to be patient.
Post a link to his web site and Luc Van Bavel responds to your ;D

On the C22J or any other twin Microturbo design, I'd be much more interested in a single FJ-33 or -44 to replace the Microturbo engines for more power and better fuel consumption at similar weight. A Hawker Sea Hawk-style bifurcated exhaust would make that relatively simple if there is enough volume in the fuselage.

But I'm still dreaming of Rutanized SIPA S.200 Minijet....

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