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RTM Cowl for open rotor engine

News International-French

14 May 2013

Aircelle, Ascamm, Amade and Airborne have started a project within the Cleansky programme with the goal to design and produce CFRP rotating cowls around the SAGE2 demonstrator engine of Snecma.

The Light Cowls project started in March 2013 and will run for more than 2 years. Airborne will be responsible for designing the moulds for high temperature resins, automating a part of the production process and the manufacturing of the composite parts by RTM. Ascamm will lead the design concept of the rotating parts, sealing and sensor definition. In addition to this, Ascamm will manufacture the moulds and, the metal parts of the assembly. Amade will perform the detailed sizing, simulations of components and testing of specimens. The cowling parts produced by Airborne will be tested on the ground based demonstrator of Snecma.

Open rotors are predicted to provide a 25–30% reduction in specific fuel consumption & CO2 emissions relative to current, equivalent turbofan engines. The current Cleansky programme is aiming for a TRL6 development of an European CROR at SAGE ITD cleansky. This programme is set up in succession to GE and NASA’s development in the 70 and 80’s of the Contra Rotating Open Rotor engine (CROR) concept. This development ended successfully with two flight test, one performed on a BOEING 777 and another on a MD aircrafts. The targeted CROR SAGE2 Demo engine will increase the compression ratio, which results in  higher temperature at the exhaust nozzle and therefore requires higher temperature resistance of blade roots and fan cowls and of course Aircraft fuselage areas. This will lead and is leading to the use of resins with high Tg for component manufacturing. The components will be exposed in-service at high temperatures for long periods of time (Aircraft Mission).

The Light Cowls project fits very well in Airborne Aerospace’s strategy towards becoming a leading supplier in RTM aero components such as highly loaded brackets and engine parts.


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