While calling extending its geared turbofan engine family’s thrust rating by another 2,000 pounds “a big deal,” Pratt & Whitney next-generation product family vice president Bob Saia sees still bigger things in the company’s future, including what he called an Advanced GTF that could rival an open-rotor design in fuel efficiency by the middle of the next decade. For now, though, Saia finds himself “busy as a bee” with the five core programs already under way at the U.S. company.
The technology stakes are high for the GE9X engine that will power Boeing’s new 777X twinjet, but GE Aviation believes its big bet on the weight savings to be delivered by unprecedented use of composites is about to pay off. The U.S. engine maker, which currently holds orders for some 600 of the engines, is leaving nothing to chance and, with more than two years of technology maturation behind it, the company is now stepping up its test program en route to certification in 2018.
As preparations continue for running a full open-rotor engine demonstrator in 2016 under Europe’s Clean Sky research effort, French engine maker Snecma (Hall 4 Stand B12) sees the program’s participants reaching a consensus as whether or not to proceed in the 2017-to-2019 time frame. Clean Sky, which also involves Airbus, Rolls-Royce and French research center Onera, has provided a relatively unexpected discussion platform, thus facilitating a general agreement.
France-based engine developer Price Induction is taking its DGen 380 turbofan on a U.S. tour this month. Exhibited on a mobile test bed, the 575-pound-thrust powerplant and all of its operating equipment have been mounted on a truck platform for the tour. Next stops are Chicago (July 21), Cleveland (July 24) and University Park, Pa. (July 28).
While 3-D printing applications in aerospace remain limited to relatively small and simple parts, Honeywell engineers believe the technology carries potential in the manufacturing of a critical engine component: turbine vanes.
Price Induction will be touring the U.S. with its twin-spool unmixed-flow, high-bypass-ratio DGen 380 turbofan on a mobile test bed. The DGen 380 targets the personal light jet market, and the associated training solutions can be used by universities, aircraft maintenance schools and research organizations for courses such as engine operation training to acoustics and thermodynamics research. Cities already confirmed for demonstrations include Washington, D.C.(June 27); Chicago (July 21); Cleveland, Ohio (July 24); and University Park, Penn. (July 28).
Gulfstream filed a patent last week for a new undercarriage configuration that significantly reduces the amount of noise created when an aircraft flies with the landing gear deployed. As engines have become ever quieter, the aerodynamic noise created by disturbed airflow around the aircraft itself makes up an increasing proportion of the overall noise signature.
Engine manufacturer GE Aviation on Monday gave an update on its class H series turboprops, which are powering four aircraft for their first flights this year.
Legendary aircraft designer Ed Swearingen died on Thursday at age 88, on the eve of the resumption of production of his persistent light jet–the SJ30–by current program owner SyberJet. It was 1986 when he unveiled the small, single-pilot jet powered by a new breed of turbofan engine by Williams International that would propel the airplane swiftly and far, with performance that outstripped most business jets of the era.
The Textron AirLand joint venture said its Scorpion light strike and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) jet has completed 50 hours of flight-tests since it first flew on December 12 last year. The prototype has flown to 30,000 feet and at 120 to 310 knots calibrated airspeed, with a maximum airspeed tested of 430 KTAS.