November 24, 2014

Designing High-Tech Engines For Easier Maintenance

Guy Norris Aviation Week & Space Technology – MRO Edition | October 28, 2015

Not since the dawn of the jet age has so much anticipation surrounded the introduction of a new generation of commercial turbofans. Designed to break the paradigm for efficiency, the debutants promise double-digit reductions in fuel burn, as well as an unparalleled single-leap improvement in emissions and lower noise.

To achieve these significant jumps in thermodynamic and propulsive efficiency, the emerging generation of single- and twin-aisle-aircraft engines employ an unprecedented array of new materials and design technologies. They are also engineered to operate at pressure and temperature levels never before seen in commercial service and yet offer the same, if not better, standards of reliability and time on wing than current-generation turbofans. So how will the engine manufacturers meet the challenge of these seemingly mutually exclusive goals?

Leading the charge in the single-aisle market are CFM International’s Leap-1 family and Pratt & Whitney’s PW1000G geared turbofan; between them they are in line to power upward of an astonishing 10,000 new aircraft already on order or option. The new-engine field in the growing widebody market is dominated by General Electric’s GEnx-1B/-2B and the soon-to-follow GE9X, and by Rolls-Royce with the expanding Trent 1000, 7000 and XWB families.

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