Rolls-Royce is now exploring future engine technologies that, although challenging, are key to the ambitious Advisory Council for Aerospace Research in Europe (ACARE) goals for 2020 in terms of nitrous oxides (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emission cutting and noise reduction. These technologies range from heat exchangers to shape memory alloys and magnetic bearings.
Vulcanair’s display of its P68C Jet could confuse visitors until they realize that the installation of 227-hp SMA diesel engines enables the popular twin to use jet fuel. Shortages of avgas are directly affecting demand for aircraft fitted with standard piston engines. Indeed in the Middle East, where avgas is not refined, availability is so limited that sales of the standard P68 in the region are unknown.
Never before has commercial air transport come under such scrutiny for its environmental impact. While aircraft have made far more progress in terms of reducing fuel consumption and emissions per passenger carried in recent years, the relentless overall growth of air traffic has led to increasing pressure from the environmental lobby to reduce the noise and emissions produced by modern powerplants.
Pratt & Whitney has announced upgrades to both its venerable JT8D engine and the PW4000 high bypass ratio turbofan. Improvements to the JT8D are aimed at enabling the engine to meet the latest ICAO Chapter 4 noise rules, which took effect in January. A noise-reducing kit will, says the company, provide a solution to operators of MD-80s wishing to avoid landing charges levied because of excessive noise.
Pratt & Whitney’s efforts to ensure it takes pole position in the next generation of medium-sized powerplants are materializing, with several major technology programs under way aimed at ensuring its geared turbofan (GTF) demonstrator beats the competition.
The 560-pound-thrust DGEN380 turbofan engine recently made its first run in Tarnos, France, start-up company Price Induction announced. So far, the engine’s stability and vibration level are satisfactory, the company said. The 50 hours of the first test segment are being spread over this month.
The news that Snecma is working on the new 8,500- to 10,000-pound thrust SM-X engine to power new large business jets and regional airliners hasn’t shaken Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC). Nor has last month’s suspension by Bombardier of the 110- to 135-seat C-Series twinjet program.
French engine maker Snecma is here at Asian Aerospace 2006 courting prospective partners and applications for its proposed new SM-X engine. The 8,500- to 10,500-pound thrust turbofan is being offered both for new large business jets and regional jetliners in the 40- to 60-seat class.
Both China’s J-10 fighter and the Indian air force Bakhadur MiG-27ML fighter bomber are set to be re-engined with two new variations of the Russian Salyut AL-31FN engines–the AL-31FN M1 and the 99-3, respectively.
Snecma’s announcement in January that it is to develop the new SM-X turbofan for small regional airliners and mid-sized/large business jets took many by surprise, given the existence of several well-established players in the field and the enormous cost involved in designing and manufacturing an all-new powerplant.