Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies Corp. company, recently reached a milestone in NASA’s Environmentally Responsible Aviation Project by demonstrating unprecedented performance and efficiency of a Geared TurboFan™ ultra-high bypass system, successfully completing 275 hours of fan rig testing in the NASA Low Speed Wind Tunnel.
This ultra-high bypass technology will be used to create the next generation of Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower® Geared Turbofan engines.
The funding from the ERA Project, developed by NASA to explore technologies that reduce the environmental impact of aviation, will pave the way for the demonstration and maturation of the advanced ultra-high bypass technology. This technology enabled by the Geared TurboFan architecture simultaneously reduces fuel burn, noise and emissions. A key element in the technology maturation is the development and application of advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics tools, which provided the capability to execute highly coupled design and analysis of the ultra-high bypass system for optimization of acoustic, aerodynamic and aero-mechanical performance.
Pratt & Whitney will further mature the technology by completing ground and flight testing in conjunction with the Federal Aviation Administration’s Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise program, an FAA NextGen initiative to accelerate the development of environmentally friendly aircraft technologies.
“Our partnerships with NASA and the FAA are the key to completing the necessary testing to advance the technology for the second generation of the Geared TurboFan system,” said Alan Epstein, vice president, Technology & Environment, Pratt & Whitney. “Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower Geared TurboFan engines deliver double-digit reductions in fuel burn and environmental emissions. The geared technology has paved the foundation for dramatic improvements in noise and fuel burn.”
The CLEEN program is an FAA initiative to accelerate the development of environmentally friendly aircraft technologies. The program is part of Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) and focuses on the reduction of aircraft noise, emissions and fuel burn.