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M88-2 Engine.JPG
M88-2 Engine at Paris Air Show 2007

The Snecma M88 is a French afterburning turbofan engine developed by Snecma for the Dassault Rafale fighter.


The program for the M88 arose from a need for a suitable propulsion system for air-superiority and ground-attack missions. In 1983, Dassault Aviation planned to produce a technology demonstrator for the Avion de Combat eXpérimental (ACX), which was expected to fly in 1986. Although the M88 was intended to be fitted to the definitive aircraft,[1] it was not expected to be ready in time, and the ACX was therefore initially powered by the General Electric F404.

Due to the broad application of the new engine (as the aircraft was to replace considerable number of French fleet), it was necessary for the engine to have a high thrust-to-weight ratio, low fuel consumption in all flight regimes, and a long engine life.[2] Additional considerations were afforded to good maintainability, and upgrade potential (73 kN to 105 kN using the same core). The program was officially launched in 1986. It was decided to flight test the engine, the M88-2, aboard the Dassault Breguet, and the Rafale A prototype.[3][4][5] Indeed, after having replaced the aircraft's left F404, the engine was first flight tested aboard the Rafale A on 27 February 1990. By now, the fourteen M88-2s had accumulated 1,600 hours of running time. The demonstrator thereafter reached supersonic speed without afterburners, reached a height of 50,000 ft, endured load factors of -2g and +9g and flown at an angle of attack of 30 degrees. Within 14 months of its flight aboard the Rafale A, the M88-2 had amassed 75 hours on 65 flights.[5]


The M88 Pack CGP (for "total cost of ownership") or M88-4E is based on a study contract, development and production reported in 2008 by the General Delegation for Armament and is to introduce technical improvements to reduce maintenance costs. The purpose of this release is to reduce cost of ownership of the M88 and longer inspection intervals of the main modules by increasing the lifetime of the hot and rotating parts. It has been tested in flight for the first time March 22, 2010 at Istres, the Rafale's M02 CEV.[6]


Specifications (M88-2)Edit

Data from Safran Aircraft Engines[7]

General characteristics
  • Type: Afterburning turbofan
  • Length: 353.8 cm (139.3 in)
  • Diameter: 69.6 cm (27.4 in)
  • Dry weight: 897 kg (1,978 lb)
  • Compressor: Axial, 3-stage LP, 6-stage HP
  • Combustors: annular
  • Turbine: 1-stage LP, 1-stage HP
  • Maximum thrust: 50 kN (11,200 lbf) and 75 kN (16,900 lbf) (with afterburner)
  • Overall pressure ratio: 24.5:1
  • Bypass ratio: 0.3:1
  • Air mass flow: 65 kg/s (143 lb/s)
  • Turbine inlet temperature: 1,850 K (1,580 °C)
  • Fuel consumption: 3,977 kg/h and 12,695 kg/h (with afterburner)
  • Specific fuel consumption: 22.14 g/kNs and 47.11 g/kNs (with afterburner)
  • Thrust-to-weight ratio: 5.68:1 (dry) and 8.52:1 (with afterburner)

See alsoEdit


  1. Flight International 1983, p. 1,294.
  2. Williams 2002, pp. 92, 96.
  3. Williams 2002, p. 96.
  4. Moxon 1996, p. 26.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Norris and Sedbon 1991, p. 35.
  6. "Rafale Fighter Flies with Upgraded M88-4E Engine." Archived 2013-10-12 at the Wayback Machine. Defense Talk, 7 May 2010.
  7. "Snecma M88 Technical characteristics". 

External linksEdit

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