October 13, 2017: Pratt & Whitney, a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines and auxiliary power units, lately completed over 175 hours of ground testing of a next-generation Geared Turbofan (GTF) engine propulsor technology as part of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise (CLEEN) program. The full-scale test marks 10 years since Pratt & Whitney first successfully demonstrated the GTF.
This advancement builds on the completion of 275 hours of fan rig testing of the technology in 2014 and 2015. The demonstrator used an existing development engine from a certified Geared TurboFan product to validate the performance capability of a second-generation, ultra-high bypass fan design. The engine successfully operated in a design space never before demonstrated with considerably fewer lower-pressure ratio blades than the existing production engine, and a shorter duct inlet. The rig and engine tests are expected to demonstrate a suite of technologies that will help decrease fuel burn an additional 2 percent.
An important element in the technology maturation is the development and application of highly-integrated Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tools, a key capability of United Technologies Corporation, which offered accurate predictions and design guidance to enable rig-to-engine scalability and optimised performance. A complete aerodynamic, aeromechanical and acoustic test program showed the technology contributing notably to meeting FAA CLEEN fuel burn, emissions and acoustic program goals, demonstrating again UTC’s leadership in technology and manufacturing.
“The success of this ground test is an important step in taking our Geared Turbofan engine technology to the next level,” said Alan Epstein, vice president of Technology and Environment for Pratt & Whitney. “With our partners in the FAA, we can ensure that the next generation of the GTFengine – already itself a game-changer –is on the cutting edge of performance and sustainability, keeping the environment and the communities that surround airports in mind.”