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Type Turbofan
National origin United States
Manufacturer General Electric
First run May 20, 1993[1]
Major applications F/A-18E/F Super Hornet
Number built 860 (as of May 2009[2])
Developed from General Electric F404

The General Electric F414 is an afterburning turbofan engine in the 22,000 lbf (98 kN) thrust class and is produced by GE Aviation. The F414 was developed from GE's highly successful F404 turbofan for use in the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.


Design and development



GE evolved the F404 into the F412-GE-400 non-afterburning turbofan for the A-12 Avenger II. After the cancellation of the A-12, the research was directed toward an engine for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. GE successfully pitched the F414 as a low risk derivative of the F404, rather than a riskier new engine. In fact, the F414 engine was originally envisioned as not using any new materials or processes (versus the F404), and was designed to fit in the same footprint as the F404.[3]


The F414 uses the core of the F412 and its full-authority digital engine control (FADEC), alongside the low-pressure system from the YF120 engine developed for the Advanced Tactical Fighter competition. One of the major differences between the F404 and the F414 is the fan section. The fan of the F414 is larger than that of the F404, but smaller than the fan for the F412.[4] The larger fan section increases airflow by 16% and is 5 inches (13 cm) longer. To keep the engine in the F404's footprint, the afterburner section was shortened by 4 in (10 cm) and the combustor shortened by 1 in (2.5 cm). Another change from the F404 is the fact that the first three stages of the high pressure compressor are blisks rather than dovetailed blades, saving 50 pounds (23 kg) in weight.[3] Furthermore, the FADEC guided F414 uses a fuel actuated system to manipulate the afterburner section rather than a separate hydraulic system.[5]

Current development

The F414 continues to be improved, both through internal GE efforts and federally funded development programs. By 2006, GE tested an Enhanced Durability Engine (EDE) with an advanced core. The EDE engine provided a 15% thrust increase or longer life without the thrust increase. It has a six-stage high-pressure compressor (down from 7 stages in the standard F414) and an advanced high-pressure turbine.[6] The new compressor should be about 3% more efficient. The new high pressure turbine uses new materials and a new way of delivering cooling air to the blades. These changes should increase the turbine temperature capability by about 150 °F (70 °C).[7] The EDE is designed to have better foreign object damage resistance, and a reduced fuel burn rate.[8][9]

The EDE program continued with the testing of an advanced two stage blade-disk (Blisk) fan. The first advanced fan was produced using traditional methods, but future blisk fans will be made using translational friction welding with the goal of reducing manufacturing costs.[7] GE touts that this latest variant yields either a 20% increase in thrust or threefold increase in hot-section durability over the current F414.[6] This version is called the Enhanced Performance Engine (EPE) and was partially funded through the federal Integrated High Performance Turbine Engine Technology (or IHPTET) program.[8][10]

Other possible F414 improvements include efforts to reduce engine noise by using either mechanical or fluidic chevrons and efforts to reduce emissions with a new trapped vortex combustor.[7] Chevrons would reduce engine noise by inducing mixing between the cooler, slower bypass air and the hotter, faster core exhaust air. Mechanical chevrons would come in the form of triangular cutouts (or extensions) at the end of the nozzle, resulting in a "sharktooth" pattern. Fluidic chevrons would operate by injecting differential air flows around the exhaust to achieve the same ends as the mechanical variety. A new combustor would likely aim to reduce emissions by burning a higher percentage of the oxygen, thereby reducing the amount of oxygen available to bond with nitrogen forming the pollutant NOx.

As of 2009, the F414-EDE is currently being developed and tested, under a United States Navy contract for a reduced specific fuel consumption (SFC) demonstrator engine.[11][12]


F/A-18 Super Hornets, powered by the F414-GE-400.
  • The "Enhanced Durability Engine" or "EDE" variant, includes an improved high pressure turbine (HPT) and high pressure core (HPC). The HPT is redesigned to withstand slightly higher temperatures and includes aerodynamic changes. The HPC has been redesigned to 6 stages, down from 7. These changes were aimed at producing 2% SFC and three times greater component durability.[14]
  • Used by the EADS Mako/HEAT. Derated to 12,500 lbf (55.6 kN) dry / 16,850 lbf (75 kN) wet thrust.[15] This version has been proposed for the Korean A-50 attack aircraft.[6]
  • This variant is produced for the Saab JAS 39 Gripen Demonstrator. It is slightly modified for use in a single engine aircraft (the Gripen) as opposed to a twin engined aircraft like the F/A-18. With this engine, the Gripen Demonstrator reached Mach 1.2 in supercruise (without afterburner).[16]
  • Proposed for Dassault Falcon SSBJ. This variant would produce around 12,000 lbf of thrust without use of afterburner.[17][18]


Specifications (F414-400)

Data from General Electric[19]

General characteristics

  • Type: Afterburning turbofan
  • Length: 154 in (3,912 mm)
  • Diameter: 35 in (889 mm)
  • Dry weight:


  • Compressor: Axial compressor with 3 fan and 7 compressor stages
  • Turbine: 1 low-pressure and 1 high-pressure stage


See also

Related development

Comparable engines

Related lists


  1. ^ "GE MARKS F414 PROGRESS; ENDURANCE TESTS NEAR" (1993). Aviation Week and Space Technology. Vol. 139, No. 1; p. 31
  2. ^ U.S. Navy Exercises F414 Contract Option (2009). GE Press Release. Retrieved: 13 August 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Confident GE heads to F414 CDR next month" (1994). Aerospace Daily. Vol 169, No. 34; p. 270.
  4. ^ "GE wins F-18E/F study" (1991). Flight International. 4 September 1991.
  5. ^ KANDEBO, Stanley (1992). "GE Component Test Program to Reduce Risk in F414 Engine Development". Aviation Week and Space Technology. Vol. 136, No. 26; p. 64.
  6. ^ a b c "GE F110 and F404/F414 Fighter Engines Expand Capability and Global Presence". GE Aviation, July 17, 2006
  7. ^ a b c Kandebo, Stanley W. "Enhanced F414 Readies for Tests" (2004). Aviation Week and Space Technology. Vol. 160, No. 1; p. 58.
  8. ^ a b Norris, Guy. "GE Eyes More Powerful Engine For Super Hornets, Growlers". Aviation Week, 14 May 2009.
  9. ^ Trimble, Stephen. "Boeing's Super Hornet seeks export sale to launch 20% thrust upgrade". Flight International, 12 May 2009.
  10. ^ F414 Growth Demonstrator Engine Completes Testing (2006). GE Press Release. 12 December 2006. Retrieved: 13 Aug 2009.
  11. ^ "New Orders, Tech Insertions Mark Increased GE Fighter Engine Presence". GE Press Release. June 15, 2009. Retrieved: 13 Aug 2009.
  12. ^ Recovery: Specific Fuel Consumption Reduction Demonstration (2009). Federal Business Opportunities Solicitation Number: N00019-09-G-0009. Retrieved: 13 August 2009.
  13. ^ Morrocco, John (1994). "LOCKHEED RETURNS TO NAVY WITH NEW F-117N DESIGN". Aviation Week and Space Technology. Vol. 140, No. 10; p. 26.
  14. ^ "GE bids for enhanced F414 EDE funding by 2003" (2001). Flight International. 8-14 May 2001, p. 26.
  15. ^ "Military training: Phase III" (2003). Flight International. 15 July 2003. p. 40.
  16. ^ Hoyle, Craig."Saab celebrates 'supercruise' test success for Gripen Demo". Flight International, 22 January 2009.
  17. ^ "DASSAULT OFFICIALS SAY THREE-ENGINE SST WOULD HAVE A 4,000-MILE RANGE" (1998). The Weekly of Business Aviation. Vol. 66, No. 22; p. 239.
  18. ^ Warwick, Graham. "Big-jet business". Flight International, 8 September 1998.
  19. ^ GE - Aviation: Comparison Chart - Military Turbofans

External links


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