Rolls-Royce’s development of an open-rotor engine for the next generation of midsize airliners has taken a giant leap forward after wind-tunnel tests revealed its design would comfortably meet current Stage 4 noise regulations.
With oil prices and financial markets so unstable, one could easily assume that global warming and alternative fuels are far from the minds of most aircraft operators. However, achieving sustainable growth in the aviation industry was the focus of a recent “Greener by Design” lecture hosted by London’s Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS).
The second half of this year will mark “significant certification testing milestones” for the GE Honda Aero Engines HF120, the turbofan that will power both the HondaJet and Spectrum S.40 Freedom, the engine partners said yesterday at EBACE.
Researchers across Europe have made substantial progress in their pursuit of the cleaner, more fuel efficient engines that will be needed if air traffic is to continue growing without its environmental impact becoming unacceptable.
Helicopter turboshaft manufacturers are incorporating new technologies in their engines to lower fuel burn, enhance capabilities and reduce operating costs. The major manufacturers are developing engines to meet these demands, along with the need for more power and lower emissions.
With pressure increasing on the Environmental Protection Agency to mandate elimination of tetraethyl lead from avgas, Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM) has stepped up research into alternative fuels for aircraft piston engines.
Challenger Spares & Support acquired a full ship set of a Bombardier Global for parts, adding that aircraft to its inventory. The company is also expanding into covering the Global 5000 and structural component repairs on the Gulfstream 550.
Turbofan engine makers active in business aviation– such as General Electric, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Rolls-Royce and Snecma– all have their hands full with research-and-development (R&D) programs, many of which are driven by aircraft programs. However, almost all of the engine companies also run demonstration programs that will not necessarily morph into full engine development.
Despite announcing last week that it is laying off 10 percent of its 10,000-strong global workforce because of global recession, aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Canada remains committed to developing new products, according to company president John Saabas. It is working hard to meet, but not exceed, demand, while continuing to support 44,000 in-service engines.
GE Honda Aero Engines has started building the first HF120 engine for FAA certification testing scheduled to begin early next year.
Hardware for this engine began arriving at General Electric’s Lynn, Mass. facility last month, keeping the program on track for certification later next year. Honda Aircraft’s HondaJet and the Spectrum Aeronautical S40 Freedom are launch customers for the 2,095-pound-thrust HF120.