Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 2 - COBRA (Innovative counter rotating fan system for high bypass ratio aircraft engine)

Project Context and Objectives:
The purpose of COBRA is to use technology breakthroughs to overcome the insufficient noise performance of the counter-rotating fan tested in VITAL FP6 Program. This will be achieved through exploring higher by-pass ratio (15-25) resulting in much lower blade tip speed and blades count. The designs shall comply also with higher or equal aerodynamic efficiency compared with VITAL outputs.
COBRA is structured to benefit from the existing skills of both EU and Russian partners. It results in multidisciplinary design conception/optimization of the Ultra High Bypass-Ratio (UHBR) Counter Rotating Turbo Fan architecture, by using the specifications defined by the involved partners. Two designs (one European variant and one Russian variant) will be manufactured and tested in CIAM wind tunnel.
COBRA is an ambitious project that aims at meeting the ACARE environmentally objectives, where strong improvements on new engine architecture is required. Based on the current state of the art, and on the complementary skills we gather in COBRA, on the actions planned in the project, the 9 partners have defined ambitious and measurable objectives: to reduce noise by 9 EPNdB per operation vs. year 2000 in service engine with the same efficiency improvement as the one achieved in VITAL for lower BPR (~2 / 2.5 points) vs. year 2000 single fan state of the art.

Project Results:
At first, the high-level specifications and low-level performance specifications of the UHBR CRTF configuration were delivered by SNECMA for European variant and KUZNETSOV-AEROSILA-CIAM for Russian variant. After discussions between these partners and validation by the Steering Committee, the defined specifications were answering to different missions in order to scan all the possibilities of the UHBR CRTF concept. On the European side, SNECMA defined a set of specifications in line with short/medium range aircraft while KUZNETSOV-AEROSILA-CIAM (for the Russian side) defines these specifications for long-range mission. By using this strategy we have scanned a large spectrum of imposed bypass-ratio, from very-high-bypass ratio (16) for European variant to ultra-high-bypass ratio (20) for Russian configuration. All this work was achieved within WP1 – Specifications and baseline delivery (WP Leader: SNECMA).
By using the provided specifications and derivation from them to rig scale, the design activity started in parallel by DLR-ONERA for the European side and CIAM-KUZNETSOV-AEROSILA-MIPT for the Russian side.
On the European side, the PDR and CDR (WP2 – Conception and Design (WP Leader: DLR)) were achieved with the participation of technical experts of the advisory board (WP5 – Dissemination activities (WP Leader: ONERA)). The experts highlighted substantial efforts spent by the partners in order to propose a CRTF module design compliant with the European specifications (WP1 – Specifications and baseline delivery (WP Leader: SNECMA)) and the rig integration. Since the end of the CDR, the CRTF module geometries were sent to CIAM in order to launch the drawing process.
On Russian side, all activities related to the design of the CRTF Russian variant were conducted and achieved. The drawings as well as the manufacturing (WP3 – Manufacturing and tests (WP Leader: CIAM)) activities were completed. All manufactured parts were received by CIAM from COMOTI (in charge of the manufacturing activities).
At the different levels, from the specification to the several steps of design activities, the involved partners are assessing the provided designs by using multidisciplinary approaches and advanced methods (WP4 – Assessment (WP Leader: ONERA).

Potential Impact:
COBRA will greatly participate to develop integrated, safer, greener and smarter European transport systems respecting the environmental and natural resources. Besides direct beneficiaries of COBRA, the European society will benefit from the results of this project. COBRA will make a large step towards ACARE 2020 and 2050 objectives. Responding to the society’s needs is the first concern of ACARE strategy, COBRA participants are aware of the importance of the society’s needs and their role in responding to these needs. The direct impact of COBRA is expected to be a noise reduction of 9EPNdB per operation and with an efficiency improvement of 2/2.5 points, impacting directly the SFC (specific fuel consumption).
COBRA will develop and ensure the competitiveness and innovative character of the European transport industry. The project out-coming results should be a large step forward to new architecture design. Such achievements shall strengthen competitiveness of the European aeronautic industry and specifically shall contribute to increase the market share of European and Russian industrials. An illustration of this high probability of impact is given by SNECMA which plans to use the project results in application for engines of single aisle aircraft coming after A320 NEO or B737 MAX first version. The market size for EIS single aisle by 2025 (the implementation of CR fan design could be effective by then) should be approximately 1500 engines per year.
COBRA also reinforces the cooperation in research and innovation between EU and Russian Federation in the field of civil transport aircraft.
Our project is built on the basis of a strong cooperation which already exists between Europe and Russian Federation. It involves 4 European and 4 Russian scientific partners who have participated before in several projects within the FP7. Two coordinators, from ONERA and CIAM, ensure the efficient progress of the project with respect to its objectives, its schedule and its budget. ONERA and CIAM have already cooperated and were involved together in several previous R&D projects (VITAL, IFATS, ORINICO, etc.). A strong collaboration has already taken place in these R&D projects with ambitious objectives – notably VITAL in FP6 and DREAM in FP7. In this context, the COBRA project enhances further European-Russian cooperation by bringing together scientific researchers from 4 different countries. More specifically, COBRA will reinforce the existing cooperation in research and innovation between EU and Russian Federation in the field of civil transport aircraft.

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