GKN Aerospace's innovative Clean Sky aero-engine technology tested
GKN Aerospace joined its strategic partners in the Clean Sky SAGE (Sustainable And Green Engines) programme on 11 November, 2015, to celebrate the successful culmination of full scale demonstrator tests of the MTU-led, SAGE4 geared turbofan engine.
This test programme represented the first comprehensive test of GKN Aerospace’s innovative turbine exhaust case (TEC) concept on a commercial aero-engine. The TEC’s novel design incorporates entirely innovative solutions for withstanding the higher temperatures anticipated in future aero engines. It was designed, developed and manufactured at the company’s engine systems operation in Trollhättan, Sweden.
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The test programme was carried out at MTU’s test centre in Munich and is a key stage in the Clean Sky programme - Europe’s ‘centrepiece aeronautics research programme’
In the MTU press statement, Dr. Joachim Wulf, Chief Engineer, Technology Demonstrators at MTU Aero Engines explained: “To date, we’ve conducted about half of the specified tests, and, judging from the results we’ve gained so far, our expectations are being met in full.” As soon as all of the test runs are completed, the data logged will be evaluated in detail, this analysis being expected to be carried out over the first few months of next year. When Clean Sky 1 ends in late 2016, the technologies will “be available to support the next step in the evolution of the current geared turbofan shortly afterwards.”
Thomas Sätmark, Head of Engineering, Technology & Quality for GKN Aerospace Engine Systems commented: “The Clean Sky programme is providing us and our partner organisations with an extremely valuable and highly effective framework through which we are able to work together to progress technologies that will benefit aerospace globally. For us, this comprehensive full scale demonstrator testing programme is proving innovations that will directly impact future TEC product design.”
The development of the TEC demonstrator has also been supported by the Swedish Vinnova Green Aeronautics demonstrator project (GF-Demo), through which the company has accessed the expertise of Swedish universities and SMEs (small to medium sized enterprises) in the development of the technologies validated in this demonstrator.
This is the second of three contributions by GKN Aerospace to demonstrator programmes being validated within Clean Sky SAGE. In 2012, a novel steel inter-case was validated in mechanical tests as part of the Rolls-Royce led SAGE3 demonstrator. This part was recently on display to the public at the ‘EC Aerodays 2015’ event in London. GKN Aerospace is also now in the final stages of manufacturing the rotating structures for the Snecma-led SAGE2 Open Rotor demonstrator, prior to engine testing.
Source : GKN Aerospace - view original press release