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Aerodynamic rigs for VHBR IP turbine

Periodic Reporting for period 5 - ORBIT (Aerodynamic rigs for VHBR IP turbine)

Reporting period: 2021-01-01 to 2022-05-31

The ORBIT project, as part of Clean Sky 2 programme, targets the environmental and competitiveness challenge of the European aeronautics sector, by addressing the topic of experimental validation rig testing to develop aerodynamic and acoustic technologies for the multi-stage IP turbine of the Rolls-Royce UltraFan® engine concept.
This engine represents a new era in aeronautic engine design, based on a new engine architecture, designed to significantly reduce CO2, NOx and Noise emissions, and to take a significant step towards meeting the European aero travelling requirements set by the EU’s Horizon 2020 plan.
The advancement of multi-stage IP Turbine technologies, as an important contributor to the UltraFan® engine concept, will participate significantly to the global objectives from Clean Sky2, which aim towards achievement of ACARE flight-path 2050 ambitious goals about CO2, NOx and Noise emissions.
The global objectives of this project are aligned with the targets marked by Rolls-Royce for the Middle of Market Technology configuration. This project will deliver individual improvements in sub-system technology developments, to support the overall development of system level technologies capable of delivering substantial reductions in emissions. European aviation and hence European aviation companies need to be at the forefront of technology to be able to offer the most reliable and efficient products.
To guarantee the success of ORBIT project, it has been required to develop European world-class test capability that includes the acquisition of testing and measurement technologies. CTA has developed all the tasks to permit the experimental validation of relevant aerodynamic technologies (i.e. design, manufacture, assembly and finally testing and supply of all test data), including the test of innovative geometries to assess the improved losses and reduction in the generated noise.
The results of the demonstration test have been used to validate aerodynamic and aeroacoustic technologies related to the rear stages of the IP Turbine, up to Technology Readiness Level 4 (TRL4).
From the beginning of the project, test campaign of four different IP rig tests have been completed. The main objective of these experimental tests was the validation of the aerodynamic and aero-acoustic technologies required for the last stages of IP turbine, up to technology readiness level TRL 4.
The work performed for all the rigs, includes all the definition activities that are necessary to accomplish test objectives, such as the detailed mechanical design of all the parts, including those required to adapt the rig to the test facility, mechanical analysis, hardware procurement, rig assembly, test preparation activities, and the completion of the rig testing.
The first rig has been used to study 2D and 3D losses in detail and noise performance of airfoils of the rear stages of the UltraFan®IP Turbine.
During the second rig testing, detailed measurements have been obtained to characterize aerodynamic and noise performance of 3D optimized geometry for noise reduction.
Outlet Guide Vane aerodynamic and acoustic design, representative of the UltraFan®IP Turbine, have been validated during the test campaign of the third rig.
Finally, the results of the fourth IP rig test, have been used to analyse high exit Mach number concepts for the rear stages of the IP Turbine.
Main results of ORBIT project have been already disseminated in several workshop and conference. Additional technical papers and congress presentation are planned to maximize the exploitation of ORBIT results and the expected impact.
ORBIT project represents a significant milestone in the development of the aeronautic engine of the future, delivering individual improvements in this new engine’s sub-system technology developments.
Differences of this new turbine configuration compared to those used in current state-of-the-art civil large turbofans, are more than remarkable. The main technical challenges are related to the increment in rotational speed and the turbine entry temperature.
The UltraFan® will help to deliver European aviation environment requirements, cleaner and quieter to minimize air transport systems’ impact on climate. Once the UltraFan® engine is in operation, it will significantly cut CO2 emissions, NOx emissions, noise pollution and it will minimize turnaround times to meet consumer expectations. It also supports European aviation industry’s global leadership by reinforcing the competitiveness and performance of aviation manufacturing industries. The UltraFan® engine will reduce a 25% of fuel burn compared with the first generation of Rolls Royce Trent engine, offering 40% less NOx and 35% less noise and almost zero nvPM particulates at cruise operation.
ORBIT project provides innovative experimental capabilities to explore and understand the enabler technologies associated to the challenges of the VHBR IP turbine within the new engine architecture, that will contribute to achieve European engine industry competitiveness objectives by developing enabling technologies towards cleaner and quieter aircraft according to the Flightpath 2050 goals.
The development of multi-stage IPT technologies, as an important contributor to the UltraFan® engine concept, contributes significantly to the global objectives of Clean Sky 2, which aim towards the achievement of ACARE Flight-Path 2050 ambitious goals of reducing CO2, NOx and Noise emissions.
VT4-1 rig during test campaign