Honeywell loading up on 10K engine technology
While most of the activity at Honeywell’s Phoenix-based engines division continues to focus on evolutionary improvements to its in-production turbine engine lines, research and development of new technologies aimed at a future 10,000-pound-thrust turbofan for the business jet market is steadily moving forward.
To date only Rolls-Royce has secured a contract to provide a 10,000-pound-thrust turbofan engine for a business jet–on Dassault’s developmental super-midsize Falcon. Meanwhile, Honeywell’s HTF10000 program is pursuing technology development aimed at fielding a so-called 10K engine when new airframe launches present the opportunity. Pratt & Whitney Canada has also indicated that it could scale up its PW8000 engine technology demonstrator to the 10K range and Snecma continues development of its Silvercrest engine program.
Ben Driggs, Honeywell v-p of propulsion marketing and product management, told NBAA Convention News that these technologies can be applied to the entire Honeywell turbofan family, the first of which, the HTF7000, has logged over 450,000 hours on the Bombardier Challenger 300 with 99.96-percent dispatch reliability.
“The architecture we are developing today will have applications far into the future, both on the Bombardier and Embraer versions of the HTF7000 and future engines as well,” he said.
The design lineage of the HTF10000 technology development traces back to the HTF7000, a turbofan developed for midsize and super-midsize jets in the 7,000-pound-thrust range. Honeywell is applying advanced materials and technology to the HTF10000 program while improving and refining technology developed for the HTF7000 a decade ago.
Maintainability features developed for and incorporated into the HTF7000 that are being carried over to the HTF10000 include reduced parts count and the capability for rapid change of LRUs using just a limited number of hand tools. Like the HTF7000, the HTF10000 will be capable of being an on-condition maintenance engine. However, Driggs said, most operators choose predictable maintenance at scheduled intervals for budgetary reasons.
As Honeywell pursues HTF10000 technology validation and maturation, he said, “We’re building our technology toolbox for the HTF10000. We’ll keep improving the toolbox so that when the time comes we’ll be able to collect the latest level of technology and provide a production 10K engine that meets what our customer expects.” Honeywell has not yet officially launched an HTF10000 production program, but is laying the groundwork to be ready to proceed when it secures a new airframe contract.
Key technologies in test now toward implementation on the HTF10000 include an advanced fan, combustor and turbine, as well as innovations in materials, coatings and blade aerodynamics.
A new type of combustor is showing promise for achieving both high reliability and low emissions, particularly of nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide, “one of the key green elements” in the HTF10000 design requirement, according to Jim Kroeger, director of engineering propulsion.
“We have placed these technologies into our Tech7000 engine demonstrator, a production HTF7000 that we have turned into a research and development workhorse,” he added.
In addition to running the technology in test cell rigs and engines on test stands at its San Tan test facility, Honeywell ran the technology in its test airplane, a Boeing 757. “We’ve already flown the combustor technology on the 757, which we picked because it operates at the kind of altitude and speed a bizjet will fly,” said Kroeger.
Before putting the 757 into service Honeywell first flew the new combustor on a Challenger 300, installed in one of the Challenger’s production HTF7000 turbofans.
Kroeger noted, “With a technology benchmark like the HTF7000, Honeywell is moving ahead with an architecture that the marketplace has affirmed that it really likes.”
The program has produced steady progress in materials for both hot and cold sections, coatings and “sprucing up the blade aerodynamics for more efficiency,” Kroeger said, adding that advanced materials for both compressor and turbine are showing the ability to improve power density and fuel consumption numbers.