KC-135s Get Upgraded Engines

Technicians last week installed the first of 1,440 planned upgraded engines for the KC-135 tanker fleet, announced Air Mobility Command officials in a Jan. 23 release. The first installation of the CFM Propulsion Upgrade Program engine occurred on Jan. 15 at MacDill AFB, Fla., they said. These C-PUP engines burn less fuel and run for longer periods without requiring repairs, according to the officials. Under the C-PUP, the Air Force is replacing 1970s parts on the tankers’ F108 turbofan engines, such as the high-pressure compressor and turbine sections, with modern technology. General Electric is providing the first C-PUP engines under an F108 engine augmentation contract, states the release. Later this year, the Air Force expects to deliver the first organically produced C-PUP engine from its engine depot at Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex on the grounds of Tinker AFB, Okla., and is planning to produce 120 annually, according to AMC. The entire upgrade initiative is expected to take about 12 years to complete. (Scott report by Maj. Mark Blumke) (See also Tweaking Tanker Turbines.)