General Electric CF6 (F103/F138)

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About the CF6:

The General Electric CF6 is a two-spool high-bypass turbofan engine designed to power large wide-body aircraft. The CF6 has a long-standing proven operational record having accumulated more than 400 million flight operating hours with more than 250 customers since it entered commercial service in 1971. The CF6 has its origins in the TF39 turbofan engine, which was introduced in the 1960s. In 1965, General Electric won the bid to deliver TF39 engines for the C-5A Galaxy military transport aircraft.

While the General Electric CF6 powers a long range of commercial aircraft, the engines are also featured on a number of military aircraft.

The CF6 was for the C-5 Re-engining Program (RERP). CF6-80C2 engines (F138-GE-100) will power the C-5M Super Galaxy heavy strategic airlift aircraft for many years to come. Compared to older C-5s (A/B/C models), the C-5M has a 58% faster time-to-climb capability, provides a 20% increase in cargo payload, and also comes with a 34% improvement in cost per flying hour. CF6-80C2 engines were selected to power both the Italian and Japanese B767 tanker-transport programs. The CF6-80C2 also powers the Boeing VC-25 (Air Force One) as well as the Boeing E-767 AWACS airborne early warning and control aircraft.

Another version of the engine, the CF6-50E2 serves as the engine of choice for the Boeing E-4B Advanced Airborne Command Post while the CF6-50C2 has been powering the KC-10 Extender (aerial refueling aircraft) for more than 25 years of service. One of the newest engines in the CF6 Series, the CF6-80E1, powers the Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aka the KC-30.

In commercial service, the CF6-80C2 is featured on the Airbus A300-600, Boeing 767 (also uses the CF6-80A), Boeing 747-400/400ER, and McDonnell-Douglas MD-11 aircraft. One of the newest engines in the CF6 Series, the CF6-80E1, is flying on the Airbus A330-200 and A330-300.

Interestingly, General Electric derived their LM2500 marine turbine engine from the CF6-6. The LM2500 powers U.S. Navy LPD-17 San Antonio Class Amphibious Transport Dock Ships and Independence Class Littoral Combat Ships (LCS).

Sources: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and General Electric Company

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Engine Type:

Two-Spool High-Bypass Turbofan Engine


KC-10 Extender; VC-25 (Air Force One);
E-4B Adv. Airborne Command Post;
E-767 AWACS; KC-767; C-5M Super Galaxy


In Production


General Electric Co.

Price/Unit Cost:


General Electric CF6 (F103) Turbofan Engine

By Joakim Kasper Oestergaard Balle /// Contact Forecast International

External Resources:

GE Aviation: General Electric F138/CF6
GE Aviation: LM2500 Marine Turbine Engine

YouTube: CF6 Turbofan on YouTube

Fact Sheet: General Electric CF6-80C2
Fact Sheet: General Electric F138


Engine Specifications: General Electric F103/CF6

General Electric CF6-80C2 (F138)

Manufacturer: General Electric Co.
Thrust: 52,500-61,960 pounds
Overall Pressure Ratio at Maximum Power: 27.8 to 31.1
Thrust-to-Weight Ratio: 5.54 to 6.28
Compressor: Two spool, axial flow, single-stage fan
LP-HP Compressor Stages: 4-14
HP-LP Turbine Stages: 2-5
Combustor Type: Annular
Length: 168 in (4.27 m)
Diameter: 106 in (269 cm)
Dry Weight: 9,480-9,860 lbs (4,300-4,472 kg)
Platforms: C-5M Super Galaxy; VC-25 (Air Force One); E-767 AWACS; KC-767
Price/Unit Cost: Unknown
Introduced: 1985
First Run: Unknown
First Flight: Unknown

General Electric CF6-50 (F103)

Manufacturer: General Electric Co.
Thrust: 51,000-54,000 pounds
Overall Pressure Ratio at Maximum Power: 29.2 to 31.1
Thrust-to-Weight Ratio: 5.69 to 5.97
Compressor: Axial flow, single-stage fan
LP-HP Compressor Stages: 3-14
HP-LP Turbine Stages: 2-4
Combustor Type: Annular
Length: 183 in (4.27 m)
Diameter: 105 in (269 cm)
Dry Weight: 8,966-9,047 lbs (4,067-4,104 kg)
CF6-50C2: KC-10 Extender
CF6-50E2: E-4B Advanced Airborne Command Post
Price/Unit Cost: Unknown
Introduced: 1969
First Run: Unknown
First Flight: Unknown

Engine Program

FI AeroWeb: Military Aircraft Programs Missile Programs Shipbuilding Programs Military Vehicle Programs

Aviation Gas Turbine Engines
Aviation Gas Turbine Engines
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