2009-01-05 - E-8C with new engine fliesU.S. Air Force E-8C Joint STARS takes off with new engines
E-8C fliegt mit JT8D-219-Triebwerken<br /> The U.S. Air Force E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) test bed aircraft took to the air on 20 December, powered by new Pratt & Whitney JT-8D-219 engines.
This flight marks the start of Northrop Grumman Corporation's E-8C-specific military air worthiness certification test program, which will last into next spring. "We are another step closer to the benefits these new engines bring to our troops," said Tom Vice, vice president, Eastern Region, of Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector. "The increased operational efficiencies inherent in this design translate to less money spent in maintenance and more time flying. Joint STARS will climb faster, fly higher, and require fewer inflight refuelings, which all translate to more time on station, providing valuable information to our ground troops. We are committed to providing this new capability to the warfighter as soon as possible."
The new engines can also provide added power generation for future upgrades to the radar sensor and mission equipment. A recent Air Force study indicated the fleet could stay in service beyond 2050 because of the investment made when the airframes were refurbished during production. The engine upgrade program is based on the Propulsion Pod System incorporating Pratt & Whitney's commercially-proven JT-8D-219 jet engine and Seven Q Seven pylons, thrust reversers, and instrumentation.