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Aircraft engines promise greener future

By John Dean - 18 May 2011 13:48:1 GMT
Aircraft engines promise greener future

American manufacturer GE Aviation says that it is working on new technologies that will dramatically improve the environmental impact of aircraft. According to the company, the CF34 engines have already proved themselves highly reliable and fuel efficient and now work is under way on the new generation.

Chuck Nugent, general manager of the CF34 programme at GE Aviation, said:

''The CF34 engine family has offered our customers unmatched reliability, performance and value. GE plans to continue this same level of performance in the next-generation of CF34 engines. We are already working the technology for this engine in our NG34 technology development programme.''

That programme will incorporate GE's low emission eCore system, which will offer 15 per cent better fuel efficiency than the CF34-10E engine through measures include the use of advanced materials, unique cooling technologies, cleaner fuel combustion and new 3-D aerodynamic design airfoils.

GE has also confirmed that it has re-named its new propulsion system which incorporates a range of environmental features. The system, to be called Passport, includes the engine, nacelle and thrust reverser for the new Bombardier Global 7000 and Global 8000 business jets.

Features include:

* An advanced compressor using advanced materials designed to bring about improved fuel consumption

* A new generation of combustors that will produce fewer NOx emissions

* High-pressure turbine with advanced material and cooling design for improved performance

* Elements designed to reduce weight, cabin noise and vibration, including a slim-line nacelle

Testing of technologies is already under way and it is hoped that the first engine test can take place in 2013.

Brad Mottier, vice president and general manager of GE's Business & General Aviation organisation, said: ''Initially, we called GE's development program of this new engine the TechX, to highlight advanced technologies incorporated from commercial and military applications being uniquely adapted for business jets.

This new name, Passport, is a better representation of the product - the world's first integrated propulsion system specifically designed for ultra long-range, large cabin business jets, giving customers the power to fly powerfully, more quietly and efficiently - anywhere they want to go.'