GE Aviation's Adaptive Cycle Engine Test Exceeds Expectations
- Core temperatures more than 130AoF above target; Full engine test scheduled for fourth quarter 2013
GE Aviation’s adaptive cycle engine core test exceeded target temperatures by more than 130 degrees Fahrenheit, demonstrating the highest combination of compressor and turbine temperatures ever recorded in aviation history.
Based on the successful core test’s proof of the durability of the hardware, the first full adaptive cycle engine test is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2013 in cooperation with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).
GE’s adaptive cycle engine integrates proven commercial engine technologies: the next-generation LEAP* high-pressure compressor; heat-resistant ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) in the combustor and high-pressure turbine; and additive manufactured components that result in a 25 percent improvement in fuel efficiency, a 30 percent increase in aircraft operating range and a five-to-10 percent improvement in thrust compared to today’s most advanced military combat engines.
"After analyzing the test data and the physical condition of the engine hardware with the Air Force, it’s clear that our combination of technologies is the right choice to meet the aggressive fuel and performance targets required for missions in the next decade and beyond,” said Dan McCormick, GE Aviation general manager for adaptive cycle programs. “We’re honored to work with the Air Force in proving these technologies and we’re excited to test our full turbofan engine later this year.”
During the post-test hardware reviews at the GE Aviation plant in Evendale, Ohio, Matt Meininger, AFRL ADVENT Program Manager noted, “The engine hardware is in excellent condition, even with operation above the target temperatures. We are pleased with the core test results and look forward to continuing the success with the full-engine adaptive cycle demonstration.”
Following completion of full engine testing in the Adaptive Versatile Engine Technology (ADVENT) program, GE will continue to mature its adaptive cycle technology through the Air Force’s Adaptive Engine Technology Development (AETD) program, which is scheduled to conclude in 2016 following fan rig testing and a core engine test.
GE Aviation completed the AETD Initial Design Review with the Air Force on February 8, 2013, and continues to progress through preliminary design of the engine in anticipation of to the Preliminary Design Review milestone scheduled for November 2014.
Unlike fixed cycle engines powering today’s aircraft, variable cycle engines are designed to operate efficiently in conditions across the entire flight envelope, including subsonic and supersonic speeds. GE’s adaptive cycle design includes a third stream of air that can be utilized for maximum fuel efficiency and provides thermal management advantages to a conventional engine.
The ADVENT engine is GE Aviation’s most recent development program to successfully demonstrate variable cycle architecture. Following initial studies by Gerhard Neumann in the 1960s, GE’s YJ101 was the first full engine to demonstrate variable cycle capabilities in 1976. GE built on the YJ101 experience to produce the YF120 variable cycle engine for the Advanced Tactical Fighter project, which set the world supercruise record in 1990.
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Source : GE Aviation