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Friday, January 3, 2014

Snecma to Flight Test Open Rotor Engine in 2019

Woodrow Bellamy III 

Safran subsidiary Snecma is building an open rotor engine that will consume 30 percent less fuel than today's jet engines, the company said Thursday, Jan. 2. 
Open rotor engine prototype. Photo, courtesy of Safran.
Snecma is currently working on a full-size demonstrator engine following wind tunnel testing of a scaled open-rotor prototype that Snecma has been conducting at the ONERA research facility in Modane. The demonstrator will be ready for bench testing by the end of 2015.
Key to Snecma's future open rotor engine is a conventional gas generator and a turbine driving two counter-rotating uneducated fans. Initial tests focused on reducing noise, as past open rotor engine architecture has produced much higher noise levels than traditional turbofan engines.
“An aircraft engine’s efficiency and consumption depend on the amount of air the fans draw and eject at slow speeds,” said Snecma (Safran) R&T Director Pierre Guillaume. “With the open rotor, we will be able to considerably increase that drawn air flow because we won’t have any ducting around the fans. And that will improve consumption and cut CO2 emissions.” 

According to Snecma, the demonstrator will be ready to start flight tests on an Airbus A340 in 2019, with eventual entry into service projected for 2030.  

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