MTU gets support from Pratt & Whitney to develop the WET engine

By Bjorn Fehrm

November 29, 2022, © Leeham News: MTU and Pratt & Whitney presented an EU Clean Sky project today where they will develop an advanced engine concept based on the Pratt & Whitney GTF. The project is called SWITCH, an acronym for Sustainable Water-Injecting Turbofan Comprising Hybrid-Electrics.

There are participants from 11 countries in the project, among them Pratt & Whitney’s sister company Collins aerospace, GKN’s Swedish part, and Airbus.

The engine, which has a mild parallel hybrid architecture, extracts more energy from the turbofan fuel by driving the core exhaust through a vaporizer, where it recovers more heat from the core exhaust, Figure 1. Water from the exhaust, extracted from the core exhaust in a condenser, is heated to steam by the vaporizer and then drives a steam turbine that co-drives the fan. The steam is finally injected into the combustor to lower emissions.

The WET cycle will gain about 10% efficiency compared to today’s GTF. The concept also has a hybrid part which is primarily used for a low-emission taxi.

Figure 1. The architecture of the SWITCH engine. Source: SWITCH.

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P&W, Collins Aerospace launch hybrid-electric demonstrator

By Scott Hamilton

July 18, 2022 (BST), © Leeham News: Pratt & Whitney and sister company Collins Aerospace announced the launch of a hybrid-electric technology demonstrator, it was announced today at the Farnborough Air Show. This program is for future advanced air mobility vehicles.

Collins and Pratt & Whitney Canada, the turboprop engine unit, also announced the completion of the preliminary design of a 1MW motor for the demonstrator. A De Havilland Canada Dash 8-100 will be the platform for the commercial hybrid-electric application.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Sustainable Air Transport. Part 23P. Fuel Cell-based 70-seat airliner. The deeper discussion.

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June 10, 2022, ©. Leeham News: This is a complementary article to Part 23, Fuel Cell-based 70-seat airliner. It analyses the masses and efficiencies of a 70-seat airliner equipped with the fuel cell-based propulsion systems we analyzed last week.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Sustainable Air Transport. Part 12. Hydrogen storage.

By Bjorn Fehrm

March 25, 2022, ©. Leeham News: Last week, we looked at the energy density by mass and volume for hydrogen and regular Jet fuel (Kerosene), Figure 1.

With this information, we now look at how these fuels can be stored in an aircraft.

Figure 1. The Volume and Mass densities of fuels. Source: Boeing.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Sustainable Air Transport. Part 9. Parallel Hybrids.

March 4, 2022, ©. Leeham News: This is a summary of the article Part 9P. Parallel Hybrid, the Deeper Discussion.

We look into the Pratt & Whitney, Collins Aerospace, and De Havilland project to create a Parallel Hybrid propulsion alternative for the Dash 8 turboprops.

The project “targets a 30% reduction in fuel burn and CO2 emissions, compared to a modern regional turboprop airliner” according to the Pratt & Whitney press release.

Figure 1. The Parallel Hybrid components of the project. Source: Pratt & Whitney video.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Sustainable Air Transport. Part 9P. Parallel Hybrid. The deeper discussion.

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By Bjorn Fehrm

March 4, 2022, ©. Leeham News: This is a complementary article to Part 9. Parallel Hybrid. It uses Leeham Company’s Aircraft Performance Model from our consultancy practice to analyze the design of a Parallel Hybrid aircraft for regional operations.

Our design brief is to make turboprop upgrade packages for De Havilland DH8-200,-300, and-400 aircraft. By using a Parallel Hybrid we could “target a 30% reduction in fuel burn and CO2 emissions, compared to a modern regional turboprop airliner” according to Pratt & Whitney Canada. Time to check if we can reach these levels.

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Forecast 2022: ATR has monopoly, De Havilland looks to hydrogen and Embraer lurks with new design

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By Scott Hamilton and Bjorn Fehrm

Introduction

Jan. 31, 2022, © Leeham News: ATR is now effectively the only turboprop manufacturer outside of China and Russia in the 40-80 seat sector.  The models are the ATR 42-600, ATR 42-600S (STOL), and ATR 72-600.

The series was built on simplicity with unpowered controls and the simplest possible systems.  It has worked well for ATR when selling to markets that want airlift to the lowest possible cost.  It also means the design is at its limits capacity and speed-wise, any more capacity or performance and it needs powered controls and more elaborate systems.  It was behind ATR’s desire to develop a new, larger model in the past.

But ATR has little reason to develop a new turboprop now that it is in a monopoly position.  This could change if Embraer proceeds with its concept for a new family of two turboprops, a 70- and a 90-seat aircraft.  Embraer’s base design could form the basis of a hydrogen-burning gas turbine model in the future.

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Carbon footprint: Regional jet versus turboprop, how large is the difference?

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By Bjorn Fehrm

Introduction

January 27, 2022, © Leeham News: Last week, we kicked off a series of articles where we will measure what difference our choice of flying makes to the primary Greenhouse gas emission, CO2.

We have upgraded our airliner performance model for the series to give a direct output of the CO2 emissions for the flights in different phases.

We start this week by comparing a typical domestic feeder flight of 300 nm, with an example route of Cleveland to Chicago O’Hare. What will be the time differences? And the fuel burn and CO2 emission difference?

To make it a fair comparison, we’ll use present generation aircraft flying on the US market, the Embraer E175 and De Havilland’s DH 8-400. We will fly the DH 8 at a high-speed cruise to keep the flight time differences within 10 minutes.

Horizon Air DH 8-400. Source: Wikipedia.

Summary
  • As expected, the turboprop is the more efficient mode of transportation on the route. It consequently emits less CO2 per transported passenger.
  • With new, more comfortable turboprops in the works, the drive for sustainability could see a return of the turboprop to the US market.

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2022 Outlook depends largely on pandemic, Boeing recovery

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By the Leeham News Team

Dec. 13, 2021, © Leeham News: Attempting a forecast for the new year historically has been reasonably easy. One just started with the stability of the current years, and maybe the previous one or two years, and looked forward to next year.

Until the Boeing 737 MAX grounding, COVID-19 pandemic, and the Boeing 787 suspension of deliveries.

These events upended everything. Boeing’s outlook for 2020 depended on what happened to return the MAX to service. The grounding, initially expected by many to be measured in months, ultimately was measured in years.

The 2020 outlook for the rest of the aircraft manufacturers blew up that March with the global pandemic.

Then, in October 2020, Boeing suspended deliveries of the 787, exacerbating its cash flow crunch.

Commercial aviation began to recover some in late 2020. Airbus, which reduced but didn’t suspend deliveries throughout 2020, saw signs of hope for the narrowbody market—less so for widebody airplanes.

There is a lot of uncertainty, however, that makes looking even one year ahead challenging.

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Pontifications: IAI moves to cement lead in 777 P2F conversions

  • IAI, Etihad ink Boeing 777-300ER P2F deal.
  • De Havilland union sniffs kerosene.

Aug. 30, 2021, ©Leeham News: The agreement last week between IAI and Etihad Airways to open a Boeing 777-300ER P2F conversion line in Abu Dhabi gives a major boost to the burgeoning program.

By Scott Hamilton

In addition to the history-making tie-up between an Israeli company and the United Arad Emirates, and a commitment by Etihad to convert 777s to freighters with IAI, the move is a major coup for IAI to win other Arab airline business.

IAI and the former GECAS, which was acquired by AerCap, launched the first 777 P2F program in 2019. GECAS ordered 15 conversions of the -300ER and optioned 15 more.

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