By By Andrew Drwiega, International Bureau Chief | April 29, 2013
Moving a step closer toward cleaner and quieter aircraft, Turbomeca displayed its core TECH800 demonstrator engine in public for the first time on Friday, April 26. This innovative core engine demonstrator was designed and tested by Turbomeca, although the program is the result of cooperation between 34 partners from 10 European countries, including 18 SMEs and 12 universities and other research centers.
Reducing engine emissions is one of the aims of the Clean Sky program, which comprises six integrated technology demonstrators. Two of those six programs include Sustainable and Green Engines (SAGE) as well as Green Rotorcraft.
TECH800 demonstrator photo by S. Moulia. Image courtesy of Turbomeca
Within SAGE, there will be five engine demonstrators to promote a range of innovations including those aimed at reducing noise. The Green Helicopter development will equally look at “rotor blades and engine installation for noise reduction, lower airframe drag, integration of diesel engine technology and advanced electrical systems for elimination of noxious hydraulic fluids and fuel consumption reduction.”
Turbomeca’s core engine has been designed for future helicopter turboshaft applications in the 800kW power class. The key technologies “are related to the compressor architecture and performance, the combustion chamber enabling lower emissions, the turbine operating at a very elevated temperature and a high efficiency power turbine.”
Although not specific, Turbomeca reports significant savings in fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions. Witnessing the demonstrations were: Siim Kallas, Commissioner for Transport and vice president of the European Commission; Eric Dautriat, executive director of Clean Sky; Safran Chairman and CEO Jean-Paul Herteman; and Turbomeca CEO Olivier Andries.
Said Herteman: “The first spooling up of the TECH800 engine represents a major milestone. I hope that this success is the first in a long series, and that it will further energize the European aviation industry’s efforts to spur innovation. Europe’s position in the world of 2050 will depend on how ambitious we are today in terms of research and innovation.”
This is the start of a series of demonstrations across the fixed and rotary wing innovations sector planned between 2013 and 2015. Resulting technologies should begin to be incorporated into commercial projects from 2016.
The Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative is Europe’s largest aeronautics research program, with €1.6 billion (approximately $2.1 billion) budged over seven years, of which half is contributed by the European Commission in cash and half by the European aeronautics industry.