by Jenny Gordon
78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
1/22/2016 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The
turbofan engines that power every C-17 Globemaster III in the Air Force
fleet have now transitioned into a sustainment phase.
The final F117-PW-100 engine, produced by Pratt & Whitney, is
scheduled to be delivered to the Air Force this month. It will be the
1,313th engine the company has produced for the military and through
foreign military sales.
Program oversight of those engines, which reaches across the globe
through partnerships with several nations, is managed by the Air Force
Life Cycle Management Center's C-17 Program Office here.
"We ensure continued support of the engine; we ensure it's overhauled
and that parts are available to support the field," said Chuck Keown,
Robins C-17 engine program manager. "Now that the engines are out of
production, we will be responsible for engine sustainment."
Each of the aircraft's four engines generates 40,400 pounds of thrust
and weighs more than 7,000 pounds. Its thrust reversers direct airflow
upward and forward to avoid ingestion of things such as dust and
The engines are tasked to fly a minimum of 4,400 N1 cycles -- an
aircraft's flight cycles from idle to full thrust and back. According to
Keown, C-17 engines are currently averaging 5,700 N1 cycles.
Bennett Croswell, P&W Military Engines president, said, "This is a
bittersweet occasion for those of us who have played a part in
developing and delivering the F117 engine to our customers over the
years. The F117 production engine program might be ending, but we look
forward to working with our customers around the world to sustain their
engines, and to keep the C-17 fleet flying for decades to come."
The Air Force received final delivery of a C-17 in 2013, its 223rd
aircraft, and celebrated a major milestone in 2015 with the fleet
reaching 3 million flying hours. Since the aircraft is no longer in
production, according to Keown, the engine was the last major end item
that will now transition into sustainment.
While Robins maintainers don't work on the engines, the 562nd Aircraft
Maintenance Squadron is dedicated to programmed depot maintenance of the
aircraft. An occasion was also marked in December when the squadron
produced the 500th C-17 here. That number represents aircraft which were
at the depot for maintenance or modifications.
The C-17 Program Office at Robins -- with personnel co-located at
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio -- includes foreign military sales
and Boeing representatives responsible for sustainment, modification,
maintenance and service of the entire fleet.
Partner nations that fly the C-17, who host representatives in the
program office, include the United Kingdom, Qatar, Australia, Canada and
the NATO Airlift Management Program.