We’re at the Pratt & Whitney media days today and tomorrow. This is the Technology at PW panel. Participants are:
Alan Epstein, engineer and moderator. (AE)
Michael Winter, chief technologists (MW)
Graham Webb, MRJ, CSeries and EJet engines. (GW)
Jimmy Kenyon, advanced military programs. (JK)
All information is paraphrased.
GW: At $4/gal, over 60% of cost to an airline is for fuel. Engines must cut these costs. A380 and 787 consume less than 3 liters per passenger, about that of a compact car.
GTF is certified [on CSeries]. GTF now on five airframes with 12 sub-types. The engine reduces fuel and maintenance costs, reduced emissions. Fuel savings now demonstrated at 16% less than today’s engines.
Next generation of GTF will further reduce fuel burn by 10%-15%.
MW: The noise footprint will stay predominately within the airport boundaries, using 2,000 fewer foils, about half of our competitor’s engine. Emissions are about 50% below current regulations and working with NASA toward 88% below current levels.
Current bypass ratio about 13:1 and currently testing with NASA 15:1 and 18:1.
375% improvement in efficiency since the days of the Whittle jet engine.
We have the most advanced cooling system in the industry and we are exploring inserting advanced materials into the engines when there is real benefit to the customer.
JK: We’re seen similar trends to improve efficiency in military as with commercial. The Department of Defense is the biggest user of energy in the country, with about 80% in engines.
The military has seen really tight budgets in recent years. There is more than just a cost issue, it’s also an energy security issue (Iraq, Afghanistan challenges). There is a real interest in cutting energy usage and aviation being such a large part, it is a natural place to look.
The strategy considers places where you have to fly farther and/or stay on station longer. We’re working on technology to provide fuel management and efficiency to reduce costs, fly father and stay on station longer.
We’re working with USAF to obtain 25% improvement in fuel efficiency on next engines, and with Navy to also improve efficiency, and leveraging work in the commercial arena to improve thermal efficiency.
AE: Are you a one-trick pony? What have you got besides the gear?
GW: We have advanced fan module, bringing forward light weight fan cases, the next generation combustor, advanced core, state-of-the-art high pressure turbine and high speed low pressure turbine, all of which designed for the very high speeds. There are control system enhancements, working on next gen of the fan-drive gear system, short inlets for enhanced efficiency.