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Towards the design and optimisation of future compact aero-engines: intake/fancowl trade-off investigation

Fernando Tejero (Centre for Propulsion and Thermal Power Engineering, Cranfield University, Cranfield, UK)
David MacManus (Centre for Propulsion and Thermal Power Engineering, Cranfield University, Cranfield, UK)
Jesús Matesanz García (Centre for Propulsion and Thermal Power Engineering, Cranfield University, Cranfield, UK)
Avery Swarthout (Centre for Propulsion and Thermal Power Engineering, Cranfield University, Cranfield, UK)
Christopher Sheaf (Rolls-Royce Plc., Derby, UK)

International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow

ISSN: 0961-5539

Article publication date: 9 December 2022

7

Abstract

Purpose

Relative to in-service aero-engines, the bypass ratio of future civil architectures may increase further. If traditional design rules are applied to these new configurations and the housing components are scaled, then it is expected that the overall weight, nacelle drag and the effects of aircraft integration will increase. For this reason, the next generation of civil turbofan engines may use compact nacelles to maximise the benefits from the new engine cycles. The purpose of this paper is to present a multi-level design and optimisation process for future civil aero-engines.

Design/methodology/approach

An initial set of multi-point, multi-objective optimisations for axisymmetric configurations are carried out to identify the trade-off between intake and fancowl bulk parameters of highlight radius and nacelle length on nacelle drag. Having identified the likely optimal part of the design space, a set of computationally expensive optimisations for three-dimensional non-axisymmetric configurations is performed. The process includes cruise- and windmilling-type operating conditions to ensure aerodynamic robustness of the downselected configurations.

Findings

Relative to a conventional aero-engine nacelle, the developed process yielded a compact aero-engine configuration with mid-cruise drag reduction of approximately 1.6% of the nominal standard net thrust.

Originality/value

The multi-point, multi-objective optimisation is carried out with a mixture of regression and classification functions to ensure aerodynamic robustness of the downselected configurations. The developed computational approach enables the optimisation of future civil aero-engine nacelles that target a reduction of the overall fuel consumption.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was partially funded by the Innovate UK Fanfare project. It included the tools, methods development and 2D design studies. Data supporting this study are included within the article and/or supporting materials.

This project has received funding from the Clean Sky-2 Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement number 101007598 – ODIN Project. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the Clean Sky 2 JU members other than the Union. This funding covered the 3D design studies.

Citation

Tejero, F., MacManus, D., Matesanz García, J., Swarthout, A. and Sheaf, C. (2022), "Towards the design and optimisation of future compact aero-engines: intake/fancowl trade-off investigation", International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/HFF-06-2022-0366

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Rolls-Royce plc.

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