Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
General Electric CF6
The General Electric TF39 and CF6 family of high-bypass turbofan engines are the most popular large aircraft turbines in the world, powering civil and military widebodies from a variety of manufacturers. They also form the basis for the LM2500 and LM6000 marine turboshafts.
The TF39 is a revolutionary 1960s engine rated from 43,000 to 46,300 lbf (191 to 205 kN) of thrust. It is the world's first high-bypass turbofan engine and the parent of the successful CF6 series. It employed a lot of then-new technological features such as:
- 1 1/2 stage fan blades (unique to TF39).
- 8-to-1 bypass ratio.
- Variable stator vanes.
- Turbines equipped with advanced cooling.
- Fuel efficiency better than any engines available at the time.
- Cascade-type thrust reversers .
Since its introduction, the TF39 has benefited directly from CF6 design technology: components, materials, processes, manufacturing techniques, and repair processes.
The CF6-6 was a development of the military TF39.
The CF6-50 series are high-bypass turbofan engines rated between 46,000 to 54,000 lbf (205 to 240 kN) of thrust. The CF6-50 was developed into the LM2500 industrial and marine turboshaft engines.
The CF6-80 series are high-bypass turbofan engines with a thrust range of 48,000 to 75,000 lbf (214 to 334 kN). It is an advanced development of the earlier successful CF6-50 series engine. Despite superficial resemblance to the CF6-50, it is a completely new engine with no interchangable parts. It is divided into 3 distinct models.
The CF6-80A, which has a thrust rating of 48,000 to 50,000 lbf (214 to 222 kN), powered two twinjets, the Boeing 767 and Airbus A310. The GE-powered 767 entered airline service in 1982, and the GE powered A310 in early 1983. It is rated for ETOPS operations.
The CF6-80C2, which entered revenue service in October 1985, has a thrust rating of 52,500 to 63,500 lbf (234 to 282 kN). It has a reputation of good fuel economy in its thrust class. The CF6-80C2 is certified with 16 different thrust ratings. This versatile engine has the most widespread use of any large turbofan engine.
The CF6-80C2 is currently certified on 11 widebody aircraft models including the Boeing 747 and McDonnell Douglas MD-11. The CF6-80C2 is also certified for ETOPS-180 for the A300, A310, and Boeing 767 aircraft.
The CF6-80E1 is specifically designed for the Airbus A330, with thrust rating of 67,500 to 75,000 lbf (300 to 334 kN).
The industrial and marine development of the CF6-80, the LM6000 Series, has found wide use including fast ferry and high speed cargo ship applications.
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