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Researching for an environmentally friendly aero engine
Keywords Rolls-Royce, Aero engines, Environmentally friendly
Rolls-Royce informs us that it is to participate in a new research programme aimed at developing advanced, efficient and environmentally-friendly technology needed for aero engines for the future generation of aircraft. The objectives of the programme also include reducing the cost of ownership of aero engines.
Fifteen industrial partners, two universities and two research institutions from nine European countries will participate in a four-year programme under the Efficient and Environmentally Friendly Aero Engine (EEFAE) technology programme, the European Commission's largest aero engine research project, worth more than 100 million euros.
In addition to leading the overall EEFAE programme, we understand that Rolls-Royce will lead the work into one of two engine concepts to be developed - the 50 million euro Affordable Near-Term Low Emissions (ANTLE) engine concept, based on a three-shaft engine design.
A consortium of 15 partners will develop the concept, using a number of innovative technologies incorporating fewer, but higher efficiency, components that are fundamental to the ability of the engine to improve performance and reduce environmental impact.
Phil Ruffles, director engineering and technology for Rolls-Royce, said: "The programme will benefit passengers, airlines and airports world-wide, by enabling Rolls-Royce to offer the most environmentally friendly engines possible, while at the same time reducing the cost of ownership.
"The challenge is to achieve a step-change in both the efficiency and environmental benefits of aero engines. The target is to significantly reduce the number of parts during the manufacturing process and to extend the useful life of key components in service.
"This will reduce the environmental impact of the engine as a whole throughout its life cycle. This programme gives us the opportunity to develop the building blocks that will help us to address both the needs of the community as well as the future needs of the market." The EEFAE programme's main objective is to deliver a major contribution to improving the global environment through the reduction in CO2 by achieving a lower fuel burn. A reduction in NOx will also improve health and quality of life and contribute to the long-term protection of the environment.
The programme will integrate results from a range of European, national and company-funded research projects, like the German E3E (environment, economy and efficiency) programme, in order to bring demanding technical and environmental benefits to the market in half the time.
A number of fundamental technology projects will complement the proposed activities and this approach will ensure that the improvements generated by this programme will start entering service from 2008.
EEFAE will complement the long-running integrated high performance turbine engine technology (IHPTET) programme in the USA, although a defence engine project will also bring life-cycle cost environmental improvements through lower fuel consumption, lower emissions and fewer components.
Details available from Rolls-Royce. Tel: +44 (0) 171 227 9140.