Rolls-Royce today announced that it has successfully run the latest E3E (efficiency, environment, economy) core engine as part of its two-shaft research program, which is intended to develop future powerplants for business jets and single-aisle airliners. The latest core build produced “excellent results” during 40 hours of run trials at Stuttgart University’s altitude test facility, exceeding flight-envelope requirements, the company said.
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.
The environment is everything these days for engine manufacturers and suppliers, as initiatives such as the recently launched European Commission Clean Sky program drive ever more advanced ideas on reducing emissions and noise.
Rolls-Royce is now exploring future engine technologies that, although challenging, are key to the ambitious Advisory Council for Aerospace Research in Europe (ACARE) goals for 2020 in terms of nitrous oxides (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emission cutting and noise reduction. These technologies range from heat exchangers to shape memory alloys and magnetic bearings.
With fuel prices at noticeably higher levels and Stage 4 noise requirements proposed to take effect next January 1, industry and government are working furiously on ways to make turbine engines even more efficient, while further reducing emissions and noise output. NASA is leading the charge, with plenty of help from the engine manufacturers themselves.