As preparations proceed for running a full open-rotor engine demonstrator in 2016 under Europe’s Clean Sky research effort, French engine maker Snecma sees the program’s participants reaching a consensus over whether or not to proceed in the 2017-to-2019 period.
Snecma is about to carry out further tests on a one-fifth scale model of an open rotor engine, in a research and technology effort that epitomizes how laborious developing a new commercial engine concept can be.
Snecma plans soon to start another phase of open-rotor engine testing using a one-fifth scale model, in a research and technology effort that epitomizes how laborious developing a new commercial engine concept can be. The concept, based on contra-rotating high-speed propellers, may not find itself in service before 2025. Nevertheless, trials aimed at cutting noise while retaining the huge efficiency advantage of the open rotor’s architecture are well under way.
The announcement of the new joint venture between Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney on mid-sized engines was hardly a statement of marriage, but the vows made by the two aero-engine giants on 12 October nevertheless secure their long-term future in the huge market for mid-sized aero-engines up to 2030.
Five aerospace companies have been awarded a total of $125 million in contracts as part of an environmental initiative to spur development of new aircraft technologies. Each company–Boeing, General Electric, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce North America–will receive $25 million and is required to match the contract in terms of resources. It is part of the FAA’s Cleen (continuous lower energy, emissions and noise) program.
Turbofan manufacturers are developing cleaner, quieter and more environmentally friendly engines that will meet current and future regulatory requirements. That fact should come as no surprise, since they have been doing this all along as the natural byproduct of efforts to build more fuel-efficient and quieter turbofans for a market that demands nothing less.
Should Airbus and Boeing put upgraded engines on their single-aisle airliners while waiting for the crop of next-gen turbofans with their promise of much better fuel, emissions and noise numbers?
Pratt & Whitney believes open rotors are not the solution to powering future single-aisle aircraft and will offer developed versions of its PW1000G series of geared turbofans for all new and derivative single-aisle aircraft.
Clean Sky, the European Union’s ?1.6 billion ($1.9 billion) aeronautical research program, is aiming to have several demonstrators running on the ground or flying in 2014-2015. At the first Clean Sky conference, held June 18 in Brussels, project leaders said that after a slow start in 2008-2009 the joint technology initiative (JTI) is gathering speed.
The FAA awarded five contracts worth a total of $125 million over five years to engine manufacturers and Boeing to “develop and demonstrate technologies that will reduce commercial jet fuel consumption, emissions and noise.” The research is intended to accelerate introduction of green technology in the FAA’s Next Generation air traffic modernization program as part of the agency’s continuous lower energy, emissions and noise (Cleen) program.
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