Dgen 380 TURBOFAN ENGINE begins endurance testing

 - April 30, 2010, 7:36 AM

Start-up engine manufacturer Price Induction began endurance testing on its 575-pound-thrust Dgen 380 turbofan in late March.

A new architecture on the core engine was validated in December for better performance after 50 hours of testing, a spokesperson from the France-based company told AIN. The A6 standard of the full engine, which incorporates the core changes, had run about 20 hours before endurance testing started. Endurance testing is now expected to total 150 hours this year. The engine dedicated to endurance tests has been optimized for fuel burn and durability at full rotation speed.

By year-end, Price Induction will have three full engines running. This should bring the total number of hours run this year to approximately 200. The company is seeking an aircraft launch platform and is thus holding “technical talks” with Brazil’s GP Aerospace and Italy’s Vulcanair. Toulouse-based aerospace graduate engineering school ISAE is using a Dgen 380 upgraded to the A6 standard in its aerospace engineering education programs.

Design engineers are now busy with a weight-reduction effort. Moreover, aircraft-engine integration studies have started “without spending too much on that,” the spokesperson said. The A7 version will have an improved low-pressure spool.

Price Induction claims it has enough funding to proceed unaffected by the current economy and company officials believe they have a competitive engine offering. “Now we can show an engine capable of performing repetitive full-power cycles,” the spokesperson said. Price Induction has also begun considering forming a subsidiary in the U.S.

The Dgen 380 engine has one fan, one stage of high-pressure compressor, one stage of high-pressure turbine and one stage of low-pressure turbine. This simplicity disguises innovations such as a geared fan and a shaft-mounted electric generator. The bypass ratio, at 7.6, is high for this class of engines.