Home' Asian Aviation : AAV March 2014 Contents AsianAviation | MARCH 2014 35
builds and about 40,000 power cycles before
2016 entry into service. Early icing tests have
been completed, the engine behaving "very well
in extremely harsh conditions [and] validating
predictions". Initial endurance tests of the engine will
be completed in coming months and flight testing of
LEAP-1A and -1C configurations.
According to Chaker Chahrour, GE's executive
vice-president at CFMI, these tests are "to push the
engine as hard as we can. We continue to get great
data, and we are right where we want to be." LEAP-
1B build-up has begun and the next "big milestone"
will come in mid-June when the first full engine begins
ground testing, which will have extensive instrument
tracking of more than 1,500 parameters.
Rescheduling of the C-919's first flight from 2014
to 2015 has not compromised testing of the LEAP-
1C, which remains the first variant scheduled to fly (in
May). But if C-919 flight-test plans are again delayed,
CFMI will re-consider its own schedules. The Leap-
1C and -1A are essentially identical, but for pylon and
nacelle interfaces, and Comac has already delivered
the first C-919 pylon.
GE is continuing to test the high-pressure
compressor (HPC) module for the 100,000lb-thrust-
class GE9X engine for the Boeing 777X with the first
full core test scheduled for 2015 and the first GE9X
testing in 2016. Flight trials are expected in 2017,
followed by engine certification in 2018.
"Test results are very promising as the module
achieved [a] 27:1 pressure ratio --- the highest for
any commercial aircraft," says GE90/GE9X general
manager Bill Millhaem. "[It] supports our plan to
deliver a 10% fuel-burn improvement over today's
The module is a 90%-scale model of the GE9X
HPC, with more than 1,000 instruments to collect
data to optimise the design. GE plans to test a second
module later this year and a third example before "first
engine to test" in 2016. Maturation testing of new
GE9X technologies will include universal propulsion
simulator performance tests of the fan -- the largest-
ever such unit of any commercial-aircraft engine.
Key features include a 133-inch-diameter
composites fan case and 16 composites fan blades;
11-stage HPC; twin annular pre-swirl combustor;
and ceramic matrix composite (CMC) in combustor
liners, high-pressure turbine blades, nozzles, and
The manufacturer is developing performance-
improvement packages (PIPs) for the GEnx engine,
which powers the Boeing 787 and 747-8 and could
re-engine the Airbus A330. GEnx-1B production is
now at PIP II build standard. PIPs, claimed to improve
efficiency by 1.8%, were first delivered on a Cathay
Pacific 747-8 freighter. The upgrade, alongside
aerodynamic and structural enhancements, was
developed to overcome a 2% shortfall in fuel burn
revealed in pre-delivery testing.
Pratt & Whitney (P&W) has established a
technology "road map" aimed at achieving 20-
30% fuel savings over current engines by the mid-
2020s. The plan covers everything from advanced
aerodynamics and lightweight rotors for the fan,
through higher gearing to increased bypass ratio,
cores with overall pressure ratios of 60+, active
combustor control, and new turbine materials and
The PW1100G features a speed-reduction
gearbox between the low-pressure turbine and the
fan to permit low-speed fan operation while the low-
pressure compressor and turbine run much faster.
The manufacturer aims to reduce fuel consumption
by an average 1%/year for new applications and by
half that value for "re-insertion" into existing engines.
It also wants to apply the GTF technology to more
powerful engines that could equip larger aircraft,
ultimately up to 70,000lb thrust.
By February, the GTF family had completed more
than 7,600 hours and 17,000 cycles of full engine
testing, including 850 hours of flight time, says P&W.
"Engine testing has validated the fuel efficiency target
of up to 16% and has confirmed other predicted
engine characteristics. The manufacturer has tested
more than 30 GTFs since initial trials began in 2010.
Besides confirming predicted fuel efficiency, testing
also validated our low noise levels and turbine
temperatures," says P&W.
The PW1100G-JM continues rigorous testing
in preparation for the Airbus A320neo's first flight.
P&W says that the PW1500G engine is powering
two Bombardier C Series flight-test aircraft. The
company continues to work with Mitsubishi, Irkut,
and Embraer to finalise engine designs and to
complete related engine-certification programmes.
Development of Rolls-Royce Trent engines
continues apace, with the UK company having
begun assembly of the 97,000lb-thrust Trent
XWB-97 for the Airbus A350-1000 stretched twin-
aisle twinjet. Following critical design review and
prototype demonstrator runs last year, initial engine
runs are scheduled before July,
The XWB--97 is essentially "very similar" to
the -84 and has "common tooling" which allows
the models to be mixed in final assembly. Rolls-
Royce expects to be build at least eight flight-test
Trent XWB-97s during pre-production, with seven
complete ground-test units being built, alongside
additional cores and modules.
The Trent XWB programme is "on target," with
only minor tuning of scheduled plans, and engine
performance, which is "on track". By January,
Rolls-Royce had completed 6,000 hours' running,
including 11,250 real or simulated flight-cycles,
with 13 Trent XWB-84 development engines.
Rolls-Royce recently delivered engines for A350
MSN 005, the final flight-test machine that should fly
in May. This move that marked transition to the Trent
XWB's production phase. By April, the manufacturer
plans to begin testing the first development 78,000lb-
thrust Trent 1000-TEN for Boeing's double-stretched
787-10 twin-aisle twinjet (and potentially for the
A330neo). Formal certification is scheduled for the
second half of 2015.
The T1000-TEN, which will enter service first
on the smaller 787-8 and -9 in mid-2016, will
incorporate "all the lessons learned" from Trent
variants in service, including advanced seals, fan-
case dressings, materials, and disc "architecture".
The engine includes: new intermediate- and high-
pressure compressors and new high-pressure
turbine; modulated HP air system; and new lighter,
bladed discs ("blisks"). RR has confirmed planned
development of a T700 Regional that will be
"perfectly matched" to the A330 Regional variant. ✈
"Engine testing has validated the fuel
efficiency target of up to 16% and
has confirmed other predicted engine
characteristics. The manufacturer
has tested more than 30 GTFs since
initial trials began in 2010. Besides
confirming predicted fuel efficiency,
testing also validated our low noise
levels and turbine temperatures."
PRATT & WHITNEY
Testing of the first full CFM LEAP
engine in September last year.
Links Archive AAV Feb 2014 AAV April 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page