The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) on June 27 released the final report of its investigation into an uncontained engine failure aboard a Qantas Airbus A380 in November 2010 just after departure from Singapore.
F-35 engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney has started sustainment planning for the aircraft’s F135 turbofan even as F-35s continue flight-testing. “The F135 program is in an interesting place,” Bennett Croswell, Pratt & Whitney Military Engines president, said at a Paris Air Show press briefing on June 19. “We’re in all three phases of the lifecycle of the program. We are still in development; we are producing F135 engines; and now we are in sustainment as well.”
Cincinnati, Ohio-headquartered Unison Industries (Hall 3 B132), which provides electrical and mechanical components and systems for aircraft engines and airframes, announced several developments to provide better cooling for engines.
Among these is an air-cooled fuel cooler (ACFC). According to Unison, composite aircraft, more efficient engines and higher energy loads are making fuel less available for cooling purposes and in some cases return-to-tank is not possible.
Crane Aerospace & Electronics (Hall 4 A188), a supplier of systems and components for critical aerospace and defense applications, announced selections of several of its products for the Paris Air Show audience.
Pratt & Whitney has selected Crane to provide the lube and scavenge pumps for the Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1100G-JM geared-turbofan engine for the Airbus A320neo and the PW1400G for the Irkut MC-2.
Rolls-Royce (R-R) is developing continuous improvements for mature Trent engines, with new technology flowing from later models into established variants, according to program director John Hogarth. Since the original Trent–the Series700–entered service on a Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 in 1985, successive variants have been introduced to constitute a “tailored family” enjoying common architecture, but with each model dedicated to specific airframes.
Despite some vacillation by ATR and Bombardier, who are still studying the form their respective 90-seat regional airliners might take, development of Pratt & Whitney Canada’s new turboprop engine continues on a “critical path” to an expected launch next year, according to Richard Dussault, company vice president of marketing.
A major breakthrough in heat exchanger technology has removed one of the greatest obstacles to development of an air-breathing rocket engine slated to enable spaceflight by the Skylon reusable spaceplane.
UK company Fine Tubes (Hall 2B E170) has managed to produce 2,000 kilometers of ultra-fine, lightweight nickel alloy tubing necessary to enable the heat exchangers at the heart of the new engine to cool airstreams from over 1000 degrees C to minus 150 degrees C in less than 1/100th of a second. The wall thickness of the tubing is half the diameter of a human hair.
Orders from Singapore Airlines covering up to 50 additional Rolls-Royce (R-R) Trent XWB-engined A350-900s boosted Airbus as it made final preparations late last month [May] for the new airliner’s first flight. The Asian carrier has booked 30 examples and taken options on 20 more (convertible to larger A350-1000s), boosting the total number of A350-900s it has ordered to 70.
Boeing’s confirmation in March that GE Aviation will provide the new GE9X engine to power its proposed 777X development marked the culmination of three years of preliminary work between the engine maker and the airframer in their quest to be in a position to promise a 10 percent reduction in fuel burn compared with the GE90-115B engines on the existing 777-300ER. Also promised is a 5 percent improvement in specific fuel consumption over rival widebody engines by 2020.
As Pratt & Whitney Canada (Chalet (A) 330) saw revenues from its business jet engine segment suffer through one of the industry’s steepest downturns in history, the company’s highly diversified product line has allowed it to, as P&WC president John Saabas put it, “ride the wave” of fortune in other sectors and consolidate its leading position in the small engine business.