General Electric YF120
Published November 09, 2015
General Electric developed the prototype YF120 engine in the 1980s under a demonstration contract for the Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF). The General Electric YF120 competed against the Pratt & Whitney YF119 engine. The engine on display was one of two YF120 engines installed on the YF-23.
To save weight, the YF120 did not use full thrust-vectoring. Instead, it used a two-dimensional vectoring exhaust nozzle that could open or close to regulate the thrust exiting the engine. The YF120 used advanced materials to reduce weight and featured a variable-cycle, counter-rotating turbine. The YF120 could operate as a conventional turbojet at supersonic speeds, while keeping the fuel-efficient characteristics of a turbofan at subsonic speeds. It produced thrust in the 35,000-pound range.
Two prototype YF-22s and two YF-23s were built, and one of each flew with either the YF120 or the YF119. Following extensive flight testing, the USAF announced in 1991 that the Lockheed YF-22 had won the airframe competition and that the Pratt & Whitney YF119 had won the engine competition.
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