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GE Launches New Engine Core for Commercial Airplanes; Targeting 16% Improvement in Fuel Efficiency

Core
The core of a jet engine provides power to operate the fan and some thrust. Click to enlarge. Source: GE Aviation

GE Aviation has launched a new engine core program, called “eCore,” as the technology cornerstone for a new generation of jet engines for narrow-body, regional, and business jets with 200 passengers and fewer. The program is designed to offer aircraft operators up to 16% better fuel efficiency over GE’s best engines in operation today.

The engine core—comprising the compressor, combustor, and high-pressure turbine—is the heart of a jet engine. To this core, the fan system is attached to complete a jet engine. The fan provides thrust; the core provides the power to operate the fan and some thrust.

Leveraging GEnx technologies (earlier post), the eCore program features advanced materials (such as ceramic matrix composites), unique cooling technologies, next generation TAPS (Twin-Annular, Premixed, Swirler) combustor for efficient and cleaner fuel combustion, and new 3-D aerodynamic design airfoils.

Taps_2
Cross section through a Twin-Annular Premixed Swirler (TAPS) burner showing fuel nozzle and swirler arrangement. Click to enlarge. Source: GE Aviation

 

TAPS, used in the GEnx program, features two annular fuel-air swirlers adjacent to nested fuel nozzles. The swirl creates a more homogeneous and leaner mix of fuel and air, which burns at lower temperatures than in previous jet engine designs. The lower temperatures generated in the TAPS combustor results in significantly lower NOx levels. For example, at comparative thrust levels, GEnx NOx emissions will be more than 30% lower than the NOx emissions of GE’s highly popular CF6 engines powering commercial widebody aircraft today. The GEnx emissions goal at entry into service is to be about 50% below the new NOx limits to be established in 2008.

The first eCore will run in 2009 for GE’s joint technology efforts with Snecma (SAFRAN Group) on the next-generation CFM engine for narrow-body aircraft. CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of Snecma and GE, is the world’s most successful commercial jet engine program.

For several years, GE Aviation has invested more than $1 billion annually in research & development, leading to an array of successful new engines, including the GE90-115B, GP7200, GEnx, CF34 regional jet family, and GE Honda HF120. These engines include technologies unique in aviation to GE, such as composite fan blades on the GE90 and GEnx, composite fan case and TAPS combustor on the GEnx.

More than 23,000 CFM and GE engines now power commercial aircraft in service, represeneting the largest installed base of airline jet engines.

Resources

Comments

EGeek


The TAPS has already been done and other than a Turbofan cross-section that looks like so many others I have seen, where is the beef?

3D airfoils are nothing new as is ceramic matrix composites.

Now Pratt's Geared fan lets the LPT finally run in a range where greater efficiencies can be reached and keep the fan speed where they want with the gearbox.

So where does the 16% come from ..

Tripp

I'm guessing they'd rather not tell you. The proof will be in the pudding. Either their design will perform or it won't. If efficiency improves by 16% the engine will sell well. If not, it won't.

EGeek

Tripp,

This is a mature technology. Ways to decrease fuel burn are pretty well known. Even the Pratt's GTF was already known in the sense their is a small airliner already flying with a GTF. "if not it won't" well, maybe that is the case because they are spelling out what will do it at all IMHO.

fred

Egeek, not quite. the GTF just recently made its first test flight on a test bed plane. they have 450 hours on a test stand but havent gone through all of the steps required to release it though they have commitments from several small plane manufacturers to use it.P&W has been wasting hundreds of millions for the last ten years on the GTF and renamed it recently to make it sound new. I would rather bet on GE, P&W doesnt pay their people enough to make breakthourghs happen.

stas peterson

Higher bypass ratios have been used as a technique for improved fuel economy for many years. So has len burn. Perhaps there is yet more to be wrung from the approaches.

The rise in fuel prices has aggregated to over Billion dollars of cost to the Airlines. Saving 160 million dollars of fuel cost, can't be all bad.

Its the way that Progress occurs. One step at a time. Several steps add up to a big effect. An improvement of 16%, if real, is hardly a tiny improvement though.

As Tripp said it will, or if not, it won't.

EGeek


Yes they have 450 hrs. and it is not certified as of yet, but consider each component is "rig" tested before the entire assembly is, much has already been proven and yes GE does the same thing. Hundreds of millions wasted? I beg to differ, when an engine program usually runs in the billions this may be on the cheap.

Also consider the money came from some where i.e. board approval. Ever here of the JT-10? It was an engine that the UTC board said no too, an engine for the 737, one of the worse board mistakes in history. Thank God they had the forethought to let them go for the GTF this time. The GTF was championed for years by Dr. Crow now retired, somehow the concept persisted and hung in their as it deserved too IMHO.

As far as pay, I haven't compared, but those I have known within the GE culture tell tales of a the ABC rack-um-stack-um that do nothing for moral and I will leave out all the details, observations and ramifications it in-tales as well as what history may have to say about Jack Welch....


bahram

material table in use hase been interested me .


tanks

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