“Taihang” turbofan engines for military use in the process of obtaining
business from the United States CFM56 turbofan engine technology.
Russian media said the Chinese WS-10 “Taihang” engine development
program comparable to the United States that year’s “Apollo” moon
program, are extremely important strategic significance. Experts
believe that a weakness of domestic manufacturing of advanced jet
engines can not become a superpower country.
WS-10 engine thrust does not open when the afterburner is unclear, but
sources said it up to 132 kN afterburning. This indicator and the
United States of its F-15 and F-16 are equipped with the F110 engine
WS-10 Taihang Historical Development of the engine
Russian media said the United States to China in 1982 provided for the
assessment of CFM56II two engines. Although only a commercial engine,
but CFM56II the core components – high-pressure compressor, combustor
and high pressure turbine is the same with the F110. U.S.
Department of Defense was worried that China will steal by CFM56II
advanced engine manufacturing technology, and therefore opposed to the
Chinese side. But the then Reagan administration insisted the deal, the
Chinese people dismantling the engine and its components in detail. It
is reported that it has not returned to the United States the last two
engines, because they were “destroyed in a fire.”
Russian media said, but just can not get to observe the structure of
materials and production methods related to the engine enough
information. Then the Chinese also carried out a lot of work, a generic
version engine components has been completed.
WS-10 turbofan engine development work in 1987 in the 624th China Aviation Industry Research Institute was officially launched.
Russian media said, in 1992, basically to determine the main structure
of the engine. In addition, the Chinese side in the powder metallurgy,
directionally solidified turbine blades and other fields of work have
also made great progress.
In 1997, the compressor blades have also been developed to solve the
problem, the engine bench test went smoothly. WS-10 flight test engine
later received permission.
In 2000-2001, the first station WS-10 prototype was installed in a J-11
(Su -27) and carried out on a high-altitude fighter test (another test
used is imported from the Russian engine AL-31F .)
In 2003-2004, China’s engineers have ruled out the engine during the
test, some of the problems and try to reduce engine weight. After the
completion of a series of improvements, the first time China has
decided to install two J-11 WS-10 test flight. However, in 2004 during
a test flight, J-11 engine on the right side of the fracture due to
bearing damage, but fortunately, the ultimate in single-engine plane to
fly back condition. The cause of failure was quickly identified and
2005, WS-10 engine successfully withstood a 40-day test program.
Russian media said that in 18 years after development work started,
WS-10 received airworthiness license, subsequent production work was
handed over to the Shenyang Aircraft Manufacturing Company. 2006-2007
have been rumors in the news that the Air Force on WS-10 quality of
life of the engine and assembly are not satisfied.
However, WS-10 in the next few years or be out of production. Had
emerged in 2010 with a WS-10 equipped with two engines of the J-11B
Obviously, WS-10 engine had appeared most of the problems have been
resolved. China has also become able to independently produce advanced
state of military jet engines.
Now, China’s engineers have mastered the advanced jet fighter for the
equipment, engine manufacturing technology. It is said, WS-10 WS-10A
model improvements have also been put into use. Although the WS-10A in
appearance very similar to WS-10, but the former has a guide vane 17
(the latter is 15), in addition, the structure of the engine below the
gear box is changed. Another source said, China is also developing the
other WS-10 An Improved Model – WS-10B (also known as WS-10G). The new
engine has more thrust, longer life, may also be equipped with a
control vector nozzles.
Of course, China’s engineers to develop new military engine in the
process need to solve many problems, but WS-10 engine, its performance
has reached the United States in the 1980s the level of similar
products, and its improved model, and even more advanced.