Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


LIGHT-COWLS Report Summary

Project ID: 325993
Funded under: FP7-JTI
Country: Spain


Executive Summary:
Executive Summary:
The aircraft manufacturers need to find higher engine efficiency with much lower fuel consumptions. For this target, several developments have been launched by engine manufacturers.
One of the most amazing engines from the architecture point of view is the so called the Contra Rotating Open Rotor. This engine is to be proven to save 30% fuel consumption over successful engines such as CFM56.
To prove this the SAGE 2 in CLEANSKY is the Integrated Technology Demostrator initiative in which a full engine will be developed to carry out a Ground test managed by the CS engine leader’s companies.
A Consortium of three organisations from two from Spain and from The Netherland, was formed to develop from the preliminary design up to the delivery of rotating nacelle (cowls) to the SAGE 2 Open Rotor Demo Engine.
These components are in the forward area below the fwd. fan blades, as well as in the central area on top of the counter rotating area and finally as well below the aft fan blades. in a highly vibrational environment and high thermally stressed as well.
The weight constraint is a capital requirement to meet the full weight goal of the engine so for this the rotating cowls has been designed and manufactured in composite.
The main constraints and the multitude of interfaces has made the LIGHT-COWLS project of a high complexity R&T.
The LIGHT-COWLS project, led by EURECAT (former ASCAMM) and with partners Amade and Airborne had to consider the following main components functions, for rotating cowls:
• To avoid loss of pressure from the internal cavities
• To provide outer propulsor aerodynamic shape
• To duct the cooling air flow into rotating nacelle internal cavities
• To protect Pitch Change Mechanism (PCM)
• To provide access to PCM for maintenance
• To resist environmental conditions
• To ensure airplane safety
• To fit an adapt to the propulsion
• To meet requirements

During the project is has been addressed different work steps with the aim to achieve the final target. The steps can be summarized as:
• Analysis of requirements
• Selection of architecture for the cowls
• Material and process detailed selection
• Risk analysis continuous monitoring
• Selection and analysis of concept for the Concepts
• Performing all preliminary design phase
• Carry out material characterization
• Carrying out manufacturing trials
• Passing the Preliminary Design Review (PDR)
• Carry out Critical Design Phase
• Pass CDR
• Perform manufacturing, control and delivery of all cowl parts to SAGE 2 OPEN ROTOR Demo Engine.
With this approach the project has fully achieved the marked objectives and today all components are assembled in the demo engine.

Project Context and Objectives:
Project Context
ACARE (the Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe) has set guidelines for the environmental impact of aerospace that target significant reductions in aircraft emissions.
The ACARE targets for civil aircraft include NOx and CO2 emissions reductions of 80% and 50% respectively by 2020.
Although airframes make a significant contribution, most of the balance will be contributed by the engines.
These contributions are expected to be achieved by higher bypass ratio engines which will allow to increase the fuel saving by 30%, and so the CO2 generation will be reduced by the same amount.
The Open Rotor engine is the architecture that will allow a high increase in the bypass ratio compared with any current engine or in development. While ratios of 14:1 can be achieved with some technologies in development.
The bypass ratio of an Open Rotor can be in the range of 50:1.
These configuration needs maturation in terms of: the architecture for the full engine, the development of specific components, only available in this engine, by development means design strategies and optimization, as well as manufacturing processes adapted to challenging components.
The project work of LIGHT-COWLS project was centred on the specific requirements of the SAGE 2 initiative; however, the results will have much wider applicability. The objective of SAGE 2 is to demonstrate a full operative Open Rotor engine for a Ground Test Bench to allow maturation to TRL5-6.
It is expected that a full test bench campaign will be carried out in SAGE2 on a specific test bench for an Open Rotor.
Test results on ground bench will pave the way for a future flight test to demonstrate the fuel saving and other concerns in real flight conditions.
Project Objectives
LIGHT-COWLS has addressed the challenge of developing all components for the rotating cowls components that are below the fan blades and in the counterrotating area. The aim was to find the right design to sustain the functional and failure loads, while keeping it main functions the development included the analysis of load cases, dynamic analysis, assembly analysis, manufacturing analysis and the analysis of the right quality plan for the parts.
Based in the analysis of though requirements, the specific objectives of the LIGHT-COWLS project were:
a. Selection of architecture for the cowls, the selection was based in the analysis of pros and cons of several proposed architectures
b. Material and process detailed selection to allow to manufacture the cowls to sustain load, temperature and other constraints
c. Definition of a test matric and carry out all tests for mechanical and physical characterization of the new material to be used
d. Risk analysis continuous monitoring to allow early detection of risk and how to mitigate it considering the high importance of the integrated Demostrator to achieve.
e. Selection and analysis of concepts, based on most promising architecture for cowls part, a pondered evaluation was carried out to select the ones to develop in the preliminary phase of design.
f. Performing all preliminary design phase. The results of the concept review, was a selection of architecture to follow in the preliminary design phase to probe the suitability of this architecture for the function assigned to the cowls components
g. Carrying out manufacturing trials. With the selected manufacturing processes and materials, it was necessary, according with risk analysis, considering the requirements, to carry out manufacturing of dummy components in sizes similar to he expected for the cowls, as well as with parts details.
h. Passing the Preliminary Design Review (PDR). The preliminary design stage with one architecture, selected, as well as with manufacturing trials performed, allowed to meet on time the next milestone which was the PDR.
i. Carry out Critical Design Phase (CDP). With results of PDR the last stage of design started to have a detailed set of cowls components for manufacturing,
j. Pass CDR. At the end of the CDP, the next milestone was the CDR where all designed details were studied to allow start the manufacturing phase
k. Perform manufacturing, control and delivery of all cowls parts to SAGE 2 OPEN ROTOR Demo Engine.
l. To additionally develop components in 3D printing in thermoplastics, as well as in metal sheet forming to be used during different steps of the assembly phase

Project Results:
Project Results:
o In collaboration with a leader in the aero engine nacelle industry, the Consortium could produce a list of components optimized for requirements and environmental specifications for operation in an integrated engine. Some of the specifications met are:
• Functional
• Dynamical performance vs excitation frequencies.
• Sealing performance of the counterrotating area
• Temperature range of operation
• Structural performance vs load cases,
• Interface achievement
o Research and development of materials and designs for cowls components, through material selection, manufacturing trials and characterization.
o The cowls components were subjected to empirical evaluation through a series of manufacturing tests to ensure the quality of the material, process and manufacturing stages.
o The outcome of the initial test was the derisking of the manufacturing of components to deliver to SAGE2 Demo Engine.
o The materials and designs were optimised through modelling and presented in the form of Design reports during PDR and CDR meetings.
o The validated cowls design was manufactured and delivered to SAGE2.
o Delivered components mostly complied with the built compliance matrix.
o Design and manufacturing of 3D printed parts in thermoplastics was also achieved
The immediate exploitation of the knowledge developed is to have allowed Eurecat to position in additional private contract projects for other engines.
The future exploitation of cowls will follow the path set by the leaders for the Open Rotor

Potential Impact:
Potential Impact:
The cowls development seen in an integrated environment into SAGE2 has the potential to contribute in a highly significant way to attain the following impacts:
o CO2 emission reduction by 30%
o Fuel consumption reduction by 30%
o NOx reduction

The LIGHT-COWLS project has been widely disseminated through the attendance to the following exhibitions:

• AMD Sevilla 2012
• AMD Torino 2013
• AIRTEC Frankfurt 2012
• AIRTEC Frankfurt 2013
• AIRTEC Frankfurt 2014
• AIRTEC Munich 2015
• AIRTEC Munich 2016

In regards to exploitation of results, thanks to the experience acquired during LIGHT-COWLS project by EURECAT, currently the centre is getting private contracts for developments of new components in other engine architectures.

List of Websites:

Coordinator contact details: Angel Lagraña
Phone: +34935944700 / Mobile: +34648725077


Angel Lagraña Hernandez, (BD and Project Manager Aeronautics)
Tel.: +34935944700
Record Number: 199605 / Last updated on: 2017-06-20
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