Jet air­craft in ser­vice to­day are well over 80 per cent more fuel-ef­fi­cient per seat kilo­me­tre than the first jets in the 1960s

SP's Airbuz - - Table Of Contents - BY R. CHAN­DRAKANTH

THE AIR TRANS­PORT AC­TION Group (ATAG), a not-for-profit as­so­ci­a­tion, has stated that world­wide, flights pro­duced 781 mil­lion tonnes of car­bon diox­ide (CO2) in 2015, while over­all hu­mans pro­duced 36 bil­lion tonnes. The global avi­a­tion in­dus­try pro­duces around 2 per cent of all hu­man in­duced CO2 emis­sions. Avi­a­tion is re­spon­si­ble for 12 per cent of CO2 emis­sions from all trans­port sources com­pared to 74 per cent from road trans­port. Around 80 per cent of avi­a­tion CO2 emis­sions are emit­ted from flights of over 1,500 km for which there is no prac­ti­cal al­ter­na­tive mode of trans­port.

Jet air­craft in ser­vice to­day are well over 80 per cent more fu­el­ef­fi­cient per seat kilo­me­tre than the first jets in the 1960s.

From this it is very clear that the avi­a­tion in­dus­try, de­spite its low lev­els of emis­sion, con­tin­ues to work ag­gres­sively to be a re­spon­si­ble en­vi­ron­ment friendly player. At the fore­front of these tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments is Clean Sky, the largest Euro­pean re­search pro­gramme de­vel­op­ing in­no­va­tive, cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy aimed at re­duc­ing CO2 , gas emis­sions and noise lev­els pro­duced by air­craft. Funded by the EU’s Hori­zon 2020 pro­gramme, Clean Sky con­trib­utes to strength­en­ing Euro­pean aeroin­dus­try col­lab­o­ra­tion, global lead­er­ship and com­pet­i­tive­ness. CLEANER SKIES. The ob­jec­tives of Clean Sky are to de­velop in­te­grated tech­nolo­gies con­tribut­ing to the en­gine sec­tor ACARE en­vi­ron­men­tal tar­gets for the en­gines sec­tor. En­gine sec­tor tar­gets for Clean Sky are up to -20 per cent CO2, up to -60 per cent NOx, up to -20 EPNdB noise rel­a­tive to year 2000 base­line. The play­ers in the Sus­tain­able and Green En­gine (SAGE) are Roll­sRoyce plc and Safran (par­tic­i­pa­tion from Air­bus and Ale­nia Aero­nau­tica), MTU Aero En­gines GmbH, Tur­boméca, AVIO, ITP, Volvo Aero Cor­po­ra­tion, Rolls-Royce Deutsch­land, His­pano-Suiza, Air­celle, Techspace Aero, Volvo Aero Norge, and Ale­nia Aer­ma­c­chi.

Since the SAGE pro­gramme was launched on June 1, 2008, it

has de­fined in de­tail five en­gine demon­stra­tor projects, in­clud­ing lead­ers’ and as­so­ciate work shares and op­por­tu­ni­ties for part­ners. The ob­jec­tive of the SAGE ITD (in­te­grated tech­nol­ogy demon­stra­tors) of Clean Sky is to demon­strate en­gine tech­nolo­gies across all sec­tors of the civil aero­space mar­ket, in­clud­ing re­gional, nar­row-body and wide-body fixed-wing air­craft and rotorcraft.

FIVE DE­MON­STRA­TION VE­HI­CLES. The ITD com­prises de­mon­stra­tion ve­hi­cles, seg­re­gated by ap­pli­ca­tion such as heli­copter, re­gional, nar­row-body and wide-body and by en­gine ar­chi­tec­ture namely 2-shaft, 3-shaft, geared and open-ro­tor, and ex­ploits the sig­nif­i­cant range of com­pe­ten­cies and fa­cil­i­ties of all the Euro­pean aero-en­gine man­u­fac­tur­ers.

The demon­stra­tions de­liver new so­lu­tions for the com­plete range of the mar­ket, whereby for fixed-wing air­craft, par­tic­u­lar fo­cus will be ap­plied to novel en­gine ar­chi­tec­tures such as open-ro­tor and geared-fan en­gine that of­fer op­por­tu­ni­ties for step-change re­duc­tions in CO2 emis­sions rel­a­tive to cur­rent tur­bo­fans in nar­row-body and re­gional mar­kets. Open ro­tor propul­sion of­fers par­tic­u­lar prom­ise in en­ergy ef­fi­ciency; but also presents strong chal­lenges in in­te­grat­ing novel sub­sys­tems, en­gine and air­craft sys­tems and ad­dress­ing noise em­a­nat­ing from the un­shielded pro­pel­lers.

The pri­mary fo­cus of en­gine de­mon­stra­tion will be ground/ flight test­ing to de­liver proven ar­chi­tec­tures for ad­vanced en­gines and ma­ture “ready to use” tech­nolo­gies, and the tar­get across all demon­stra­tors is to de­liver tech­nol­ogy demon­stra­tions that at­tain tech­nol­ogy readi­ness level (TRL) 6. In other pro­grammes, the tech­nolo­gies to be demon­strated will typ­i­cally have been de­vel­oped to lower TRLs. The value of SAGE is in pro­vid­ing the en­gine ve­hi­cles and en­vi­ron­ments to take them to a higher TRL and ac­cel­er­ate their in­tro­duc­tion into the mar­ket.

The En­gines ITD will build on the suc­cess of SAGE ITD of Clean Sky 1, work­ing to­wards rad­i­cal en­gine ar­chi­tec­tures and new en­gine tech­nolo­gies to power the air­craft of the fu­ture. All the ac­tiv­i­ties un­der the En­gines ITD in CS2 have a com­mon goal: to in­crease fuel and en­ergy ef­fi­ciency of the en­gine and re­duce en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact, re­gard­less of whether the en­gine is pow­er­ing a large air­liner or just a small util­ity air­craft, mean­ing more thrust while burn­ing less fuel and emit­ting less CO2, NOx and noise.

CHAL­LENGE FOR PLAY­ERS. The chal­lenge for the play­ers in the En­gines ITD Pro­gramme of Clean Sky 2 is to use the achieve­ments gained in Clean Sky 1’s SAGE pro­gramme to ad­vance aero­engine tech­nolo­gies to a state of eco-com­pli­ance and tech­no­log­i­cal readi­ness that can be em­ployed in a whole range of air­craft that will take to the skies in the 2025 to 2050 time frame.

In Clean Sky 2, the En­gines ITD will build on the suc­cess of Clean Sky 1’s SAGE. The main ob­jec­tives are to de­liver sub­stan­tial im­prove­ments in en­gine tech­nol­ogy. In par­tic­u­lar, it will de­velop full en­gine and ma­jor en­gine sys­tem so­lu­tions that can de­liver a step change re­duc­tion in emis­sions. It will also take a step-by-step ap­proach to pro­gress­ing the tech­nol­ogy’s ma­tu­rity or ‘ TRL’, util­is­ing design stud­ies and rig tests to ex­plore and un­der­stand the tech­nolo­gies un­der de­vel­op­ment, their sys­tem in­ter­ac­tions and the risks as­so­ci­ated with their im­ple­men­ta­tion. The ul­ti­mate goal of the project is to achieve TRL 6.

HUGE OP­POR­TU­NITY. Rolls-Royce’s Mar­ket Out­look for the pe­riod 2014-23 sees a need, glob­ally, for 27,000 new air­craft, re­quir­ing 55,000 en­gines, span­ning large pas­sen­ger air­craft, re­gional planes and busi­ness jets. It’s a huge mar­ket op­por­tu­nity for the EU avi­a­tion in­dus­try to main­tain and ex­tend its global lead­er­ship, but also a ma­jor chal­lenge to de­liver rad­i­cal new en­gine ar­chi­tec­tures and ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies which are much needed to con­tinue the emis­sions re­duc­tions and to meet over­all sus­tain­abil­ity tar­gets to com­ply with ACARE and Flight­path 2050 Goals.

US MAN­U­FAC­TUR­ERS ARE UP THERE. While Europe is work­ing on Clean Sky, en­gine man­u­fac­tur­ers in the US are also work­ing on smart, sus­tain­able tech­nolo­gies. Pratt & Whit­ney’s PurePower Geared Turbofan en­gine is one of the sus­tain­able brands. Reach­ing new sus­tain­abil­ity mile­stones rel­a­tive to con­ven­tional en­gines, the geared turbofan en­gine low­ers fuel con­sump­tion by 16 per cent while also de­liv­er­ing a 50 per cent re­duc­tion in reg­u­lated emis­sions and a 75 per cent re­duc­tion in noise foot­print.

Pratt & Whit­ney, a unit of United Tech­nolo­gies (UTC), has in­vested two decades and $10 bil­lion to de­velop this gamechang­ing en­gine tech­nol­ogy and bring it to the in­dus­try. The re­sult is the world’s most sus­tain­able large com­mer­cial jet en­gine, which is now pow­er­ing com­mer­cial flights with air­lines on two con­ti­nents.

“This en­gine changes ev­ery­thing. The geared turbofan en­gine is cleaner, greener and qui­eter than any­thing avail­able in the in­dus­try to­day,” said UTC Chief Sus­tain­abil­ity Of­fi­cer John Mandyck. “The geared turbofan en­gine is the cul­mi­na­tion of our dream to push the bound­aries of sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy and in­ge­nu­ity.”

PRO­GRES­SIVE LEAP. Mean­while, CFM In­ter­na­tional LEAP has made enor­mous progress. The LEAP is a high-by­pass turbofan en­gine. It is pro­duced by CFM In­ter­na­tional, a 50-50 joint ven­ture com­pany be­tween GE Avi­a­tion of the United States and Safran Air­craft En­gines of France. It is a mod­ernised re­place­ment for the suc­cess­ful CFM 56, in­tended to com­pete with the Pratt & Whit­ney PW1000G in the sin­gle-aisle jet­liner mar­ket.

The LEAP’s ba­sic ar­chi­tec­ture in­cludes a scaled-up ver­sion of Safran’s low pressure tur­bine used on the GEnX en­gine. The fan has flex­i­ble blades man­u­fac­tured by a resin trans­fer mold­ing process, which are de­signed to un­twist as the fan’s rotational speed in­creases. While the LEAP is de­signed to op­er­ate at a higher pressure than the CFM 56 (which is partly why it is more ef­fi­cient), GE plans to set the op­er­at­ing pressure lower than the max­i­mum in or­der to max­imise the en­gine’s ser­vice life and reli­a­bil­ity. Cur­rently pro­posed for the LEAP is a greater use of com­pos­ite ma­te­ri­als, a blisk fan in the com­pres­sor, a sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion twin an­nu­lar pre-swirl (TAPS II) com­bus­tor and a by­pass ra­tio around 10-11:1. GE is us­ing ce­ramic ma­trix com­pos­ites (CMC) to build the tur­bine shrouds. These tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances are pro­jected to pro­duce 16 per cent lower fuel con­sump­tion.

The en­gines of the fu­ture are in­deed in align­ment with global con­cerns, to re­duce air and noise pol­lu­tion and en­gine man­u­fac­tur­ers con­tinue to in­vest time and money to de­liver en­gines that are sus­tain­able by leaps and bounds.


Sus­tain­able brand: Pratt & Whit­ney PW1000G En­gine

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