MTU: Lower CO2 and Noise Emissions are Key Objectives

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

Engine manufacturer publishes fifth sustainability report

Munich, July 4, 2017: From fiscal year 2017 on, large companies are required to publish social and environmental performance reports. A new law to that effect had been adopted by the German parliament in spring. Germany’s leading engine manufacturer started to disclose such information long before the law was passed. Since 2011, it has released annual sustainability reports outlining in detail how responsibly and sustainably the MTU Group goes about its business. Now MTU has published its 2016 Sustainability Report, the fifth of its kind. It combines the reports to the UN Global Compact and to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI G.4) standards and is the first to cover the activities of all of the MTU Group’s fully consolidated companies.

Lower fuel burn and CO2 and noise emissions are key objectives addressed by the technology of the geared turbofan, which would not have been possible without key components made by MTU. “So quite a significant contribution made by aviation to overcoming the global challenges, such as climate change and scarcity of natural resources, comes from us,” says MTU CEO Reiner Winkler. Meanwhile, orders have been received for over 8,000 PW1000G-family engines, which power the Airbus A320neo and other aircraft.

Sustainability does not only refer to the end products: At MTU, binding social and environmental standards have been integrated along the entire value chain – and this holds true both for its own production and for its cooperation with suppliers. The company has committed itself to promoting human rights, supporting fair working conditions, protecting the environment and fighting against corruption, and it engages in a whole variety of socially responsible activities. It moreover affords its employees opportunities for individual development, its work-life balance offerings allowing them to grow professionally while pursuing family or personal goals.

MTU’s non-financial indicators are assessed and awarded top ratings at regular intervals by rating agencies and independent experts. oekom research, one of the world’s leading rating agencies in the field of sustainable investment, has awarded MTU Prime Status (C+) overall. Since 2014, the company has been listed in the STOXX ESG Leaders family of sustainability indices as a leading company in the environment, social and governance categories.

MTU provides details of its sustainable package of actions on about 100 pages and moreover gives insights into emerging trends of the future, as, for instance, electric flight.
The 2016 Sustainability Report is available for download from MTU Aero Engines’ website: http://www.mtu.de/company/corporate-responsibility/sustainability-reports/

MTU also involves its stakeholders and the general public in its sustainable management and corporate social responsibility efforts and has posted a survey on its website: http://survey.mtu.de/corporate-responsibility/.

Source: MTU

GE Aviation GE9X: CMC – a Clear Cool Winner

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

Second phase of fuel-efficient Ceramic Matrix Composite component testing is complete

Evendale, OH, January 19, 2017: The second phase of GE9X CMC (Ceramic Matrix Composite) component testing in a GEnx demonstrator engine is complete, with the CMCs continuing to be the clear cool winner. The demonstrator engine accumulated 1,800 cycles in the latest round of tests, which included exposure to harsh environmental conditions of dust and debris. The level of debris exposure was equivalent to about 3,000 take-off and landing operation cycles. The GE9X engine will power Boeing’s 777X aircraft.

According to Ted Ingling, GE9X general manager at GE Aviation, “Dust and debris accumulate on the external surface of the airfoils and can degrade the insulation coatings. They can also collect on internal cooling circuits of the blades and nozzles and degrade the cooling effectiveness. Both factors can lead to durability issues. These demonstrator tests allow us to get an accelerated understanding of how our new designs and materials perform in all environments, including those prone to high airborne debris.”

For the second round of tests, the GEnx demonstrator engine utilized the same CMC combustor liners, HPT stage 1 shrouds and HPT stage 2 nozzles from the first round of tests in September 2015 along with the addition of the HPT stage 1 CMC nozzles.

“The majority of the CMC components experienced a total of nearly 4,600 cycles in the two testing phases in the GEnx demonstrator engine,” said Ingling. “All of the CMC components performed extremely well and continue to prove their value.”

The use of lightweight, heat-resistant CMCs in the hot section of jet engines is a significant breakthrough in the aviation industry. CMCs consist of silicon carbide ceramic fibers and ceramic matrix and are enhanced with proprietary coatings. With one-third the density of metal alloys, these ultra-lightweight CMCs reduce an engine’s weight, which improves fuel efficiency and durability.

CMCs are also more heat resistant than metal alloys, allowing the diversion of less cooling air into an engine’s hot section. By using this cooling air in the engine flow path, an engine runs more efficiently at higher temperature.

The GEnx CMC demonstrator engine also incorporated non-CMC GE9X parts, including the new 3D additive manufactured lightweight low-pressure turbine titanium aluminide (TiAl) blades produced at Avio Aero and the next-generation HPT stage 1 blades with advance cooling technology. The next-generation HPT blades utilize a proprietary process invented at GRC and industrialized at GE Aviation’s Cores & Castings facility in Dayton, OH. This novel process employs the most efficient cooling circuits ever produced, which result in significant fuel efficiency improvement over historical designs.

Certification testing on the GE9X program will begin in the first half of this year along with flight testing on GE Aviation’s flying test bed. Engine certification is expected in 2018.

With almost 700 GE9X engines on order, the GE9X engine will be in the 100,000 pound thrust class and will have the largest front fan at 134 inches in diameter with a composite fan case and 16 fourth generation carbon fiber composite fan blades. Other key features include; a next-generation 27:1 pressure-ratio 11-stage high-pressure compressor; a third-generation TAPS III combustor for high efficiency and low emissions; and CMC material in the combustor and turbine.

IHI Corporation, Safran Aircraft Engines, Safran Aero Boosters and MTU Aero Engines AG are participants in the GE9X engine program.

Source: GE Aviation

MTU Aero Engines: New Propulsion Technologies

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

Clean Sky Initiative supported by small and medium-sized enterprises

Munich, March 8, 2016: Clean Sky is the largest aviation technology research initiative ever launched by the European Commission. Under the effort, over 600 partners have joined forces to develop new technologies to further improve the environmental compatibility of aviation in the future. MTU Aero Engines also has a role in the project. “Our work doesn’t stop at developing new technologies for our high-pressure compressor and low-pressure turbine modules, we also qualify new partners for the European aerospace industry,” explains Dr. Rainer Martens, Chief Operating Officer at MTU Aero Engines.

Clean Sky aims at strengthening the European aviation industry and enhancing its international competitiveness. The two central tasks in pursuit of this objective are to develop advanced aircraft and engine technologies, and to qualify and integrate new partners from research and industry. In the industrial sector, the focus is on small and medium-sized enterprises. The manufacturer is doing a great job on both fronts. New, innovative propulsion system technologies were developed and integrated into a demonstrator: MTU is responsible for SAGE 4 (Sustainable And Green Engines), one of five Clean Sky engine demonstrators. The SAGE 4 demonstrator was tested in Munich late last year. The demonstrator is based on a geared turbofan engine and incorporates a number of innovations, including components – blades for example – that are made from new materials and come in a new design. In addition, the demonstrator features components produced using new manufacturing techniques. Advanced simulation methods and measurement techniques round off the gamut of new developments.

Partners from industry and research are participating in this sub-project alongside MTU. Most of the new companies and institutes to join MTU’s innovation value chain come from Germany, but not all: some are based in the United Kingdom, Italy, Austria and Sweden. “Our objective was to bring together the best in class, and that’s exactly what we’ve done,” Dr. Jörg Henne, Senior Vice President Engineering and Technology at MTU, sums up. The outcome is a win-win situation for both sides: “In addition to new hardware, we also gain new partners,” he explains. The cooperation under Clean Sky provides the partners with an opportunity to get a foothold in the European aviation industry for the first time, or to establish themselves in a specific segment of the industry.

First time partner Meggitt for high temperature composites

For Meggitt Polymers and Composites (formerly Cobham Composite Technologies), the work under the Clean Sky program marked the first time the British specialist for carbon fiber materials cooperated with MTU. Together the two companies developed a new high-temperature material for a seal carrier with a honeycomb structure: The innovative carbon-fiber-reinforced inner ring will be installed in the high-pressure compressor. “The main challenge of the project was selecting a composite material system which would meet the design requirements of a high-pressure compressor and of course for such a high temperature environment, in which typically it has been difficult to utilize composite materials,” explains Matthew Denmead, design engineer at Meggitt.

Both partners are highly satisfied with the outcome. “The opportunity to have these parts incorporated into an engine and tested in a real life environment, will allow greater understanding of the material performance,” says Denmead. The weight of parts made from carbon fiber materials is up to 400 percent lower than that of parts in metallic materials, such as titanium. “Moreover, their production is considerably less expensive,” adds Dr. Stefan Weber, Senior Vice President Technology and Engineering Advanced Programs, at MTU in Munich. Denmead predicts: “The use of high temperature composites in aero engine applications is becoming more and more widespread throughout the industry. High temperature composites have a great potential to drive weight out of future engine designs.” He also has words of praise for the collaboration with MTU: “The co-operation was very successful and MTU were supportive in terms of implementing design changes to ease manufacture.”

iwb application center: New simulation tool to analyze additive manufacturing processes

iwb Anwenderzentrum Augsburg, which is part of Munich’s technical university (TUM), is no stranger to MTU. Says Weber: “We know each other quite well from previous co-operations in various areas of production engineering.” Under the Clean Sky initiative, the two partners joined forces to develop a simulation tool to analyze additive manufacturing processes that permit engine parts to be built up layer by layer. The aim was to gain a better understanding of these processes and to improve the quality of the parts thus produced, while keeping an eye on costs. The advantage for the manufacturer: Computer simulations can now replace time-consuming experimental investigations and trial production runs. The partners’ work specifically focused on the additive process used by MTU to manufacture borescope bosses for the high-speed low-pressure turbine for the geared turbofan powering the A320neo. These parts are being produced by the selective laser melting process, or SLM for short.

Johannes Weirather, graduate physicist at iwb: “The simulation of laser beam melting is one of our key topics of research in the field of additive manufacturing. So we are particularly pleased that the work under the Clean Sky initiative enabled us to expand our know-how in this area. But the project also raised some new questions to which we’ll have to find answers in the years to come if we want to enlarge the scope of application of simulations in additive manufacturing.” Additive manufacturing processes are becoming increasingly important also at MTU. This is why the company keeps pushing their further development. “What we have in mind is to tap and leverage the potential unleashed by freedom of design for an ever increasing number of components. Also, we want to come up with more new materials,” says Weber as he looks ahead.

Hexagon Metrology: Automated solution for blisk inspections

As part of the Clean Sky activities Hexagon Metrology worked on the development of a new measuring and inspection system. The metrology specialists from Wetzlar have already demonstrated their expertise in the field of quality assurance in several projects conducted jointly with MTU. The task they had to tackle this time was finding an integrated, fully automated solution for the surface and dimensional inspection of blisks. Blisks (blade integrated disks) are high-tech components manufactured in one piece that eliminate the need to fix separately manufactured blades to the disk. They are currently used in compressors for military and commercial applications. So far, measurements and inspections have had to be performed in several steps. So the experts decided that it was time to make a change for the better. “In the industry there is a clear trend towards integrating several measuring processes into one single system,” explains Stefan Fall, Project Manager at Hexagon Metrology.

The result is quite impressive: In a joint effort, the two companies came up with a practicable and efficient solution for the inspection of blisks. Says Fall: “We can now offer our customer extended functions for our measuring systems, such as – in this special case – the visual inspection of blisks. This marks another milestone in the development of automated and flexible systems using sensors that can be optimally adapted to solve complex measuring tasks.” Hexagon Metrology is now planning to optimize the new system for production use based on the insights gained from the project. The company is confident that it will be possible to further improve the efficiency of coordinate measuring machines and to incorporate additional functions that would permit other aviation components to be inspected too. “In a next step, we’ll explore options of using the technology in other industries as well, as we see great potential here,” says Fall. And the benefit for MTU? “The integration of new measuring methods in conjunction with a higher degree of automation will reduce set-up times and increase production throughput,” explains Weber.
Before the new technologies, materials and processes developed as part of the Clean Sky initiative can be implemented in practice, they first had to prove their worth in extensive testing at MTU: Incorporated on the SAGE 4 demonstrator, they were put to the acid test in the company’s test cell in Munich. Dr. Jörg Henne: “Following detailed analysis, the results will be available to us sometime in the next few weeks. But from what we’ve seen so far, we are very confident that everything will turn out as we had hoped.” The newly developed technologies will then be used on the next generation of geared turbofan engines to further improve their eco-efficiency.
Source: MTU Aero Engines

Final assembly underway on first GE9X engine

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

Evendale, Ohio, February 9, 2016: Final assembly is well underway on the first full GE9X engine that will test in the first half of 2016, four years before the GE9X engine enters service on a Boeing 777X aircraft. “Assembly of the first full GE9X engine is on track and coming together very nicely,” said Bill Millhaem, general manager of the GE90/GE9X engine programs at GE Aviation. “The GE9X team is extremely excited to see the engine design come to life and looks forward to watching it run soon on a test stand in Peebles, Ohio.“

The first engine to test (FETT) wraps up the extensive technology maturation program for the GE9X engine program, which began almost five years ago and has included component-level, system-level and core demo testing to validate the advanced technologies and materials in the new engine. FETT brings all the technologies together to demonstrate their operability as a complete propulsion system as well as provide early information on the engine’s aerodynamic and thermal characteristics.

Compared to prior engine development programs, the GE9X FETT is scheduled earlier in the development process, just a mere six months after the engine design was finalized. The second GE9X engine is scheduled to test in 2017 along with flight testing on GE Aviation’s flying test bed. This timing assures all learnings from FETT will be captured in all certification engines. Engine certification is anticipated in 2018.

With almost 700 GE9X engines on order, the GE9X engine will be in the 100,000 pound thrust class and will be the largest engine ever produced with a 134-inch diameter composite fan case and 16 fourth generation carbon fiber composite fan blades. Other key features include; a next-generation 27:1 pressure-ratio 11-stage high-pressure compressor; a third-generation TAPS III combustor for high efficiency and low emissions; and CMC material in the combustor and turbine.

IHI Corporation, Snecma and Techspace Aero (Safran), and MTU Aero Engines AG are participants in the GE9X engine program.

Source: GE Aviation

First GE9X Demonstrator Core Testing for New Sustainable Engine

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

GE Aviation: First GE9X Demonstrator Core Testing for New Sustainable Engine

Evendale, Ohio, December 3, 2015: Testing is underway on the first demonstration core for the GE9X engine that will power the Boeing 777X aircraft.

“The core test allows us to see all the key hot section modules—the HPC, combustor and HPT—working together as a complete system at least four years before the engine enters service,” said Bill Millhaem, general manager of the GE90/GE9X engine programs at GE Aviation. “This test is a key step in the GE9X technology maturation program, which has yielded extremely positive results and sets us on the right path for engine certification testing.”

During initial testing at GE Aviation’s altitude facility in Evendale, Ohio, the demonstration core successfully operated at maximum or redline speeds over the entire GE9X flight envelope and exceeded the engine’s compressor pressure ratio of 27:1, which is the highest pressure ratio of any commercial engine in aviation service. All results are within design limits and predictions. During the next phase of testing, the demonstrator core will undergo tests on aero optimization and combustor operability.

The core testing follows a series of maturation tests that GE has conducted on various engine systems, including the fan, HPC, combustor and low pressure turbine. GE and its partners will spend more than $1 billion on technology maturation and product development for the 100,000-lb. thrust class GE9X engine this year. The culmination of the technology maturation program will be the first engine to test in the first half of 2016.

The GE9X engine contains several unique technologies and advanced material in the core:

  • The 11-stage HPC has the highest pressure ratio of any GE commercial engine at 27:1 with 4th generation powdered alloy material.
  • The TAPS III (twin annular pre-mixing swirler) combustor is a unique third-generation system that pre-mixes air and fuel prior to combustion for leaner burn and fewer emissions than conventional combustion systems. The combustor includes 3D additive manufactured fuel nozzle tips, a new combustor dome design and ultra-lightweight, heat-resistant ceramic matrix composite (CMC) inner and outer liners.
  • The HPT incorporates CMCs in the stage 1 and stage 2 nozzles and stage 1 shrouds along with 3D additive manufactured lightweight low-pressure turbine titanium aluminide (TiAl) blades produced at Avio Aero and the next-generation HPT stage 1 blades with advance cooling technology.

After the first GE9X engine test next year, the engine is set for flight-testing on GE’s flying testbed in 2017. Engine certification is scheduled for 2018.

Almost 700 GE9X engines have been ordered by customers since it was launched on the Boeing 777X aircraft.

IHI Corporation, Snecma and Techspace Aero (Safran), and MTU Aero Engines AG are participants in the GE9X engine program.

GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE, is a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, components and integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings. For further information on the GE9X engine please visit: http://www.geaviation.com/commercial/engines/ge9x/

Source: GE Aviation

Fewer NOX Emissions

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

GE Aviation rolls out its 1,000th GEnx engine

Evendale, OH, October 21: GE Aviation assembled the 1,000th GEnx engine, just a mere five years after the first production engine was built at GE’s Durham, North Carolina. “The GEnx was the fastest selling engine in GE’s history, and now it is the fastest production ramp up of a GE widebody engine program,” said Tom Levin, general manager of the GEnx/CF6 engine product lines at GE Aviation. “GEnx engines are powering the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and 747-8 aircraft for more than 40 customers, and more orders are anticipated for many years to come. The GEnx engine has proven itself with outstanding performance and reliability.”

Based on proven GE90 architecture, the GEnx engine will offer up to 15% improved fuel efficiency and 15% less CO2 compared to GE’s CF6 engine. The GEnx engine represents a giant leap forward in propulsion technology, using the latest materials and design processes to reduce weight, improve performance and deliver a more fuel-efficient commercial aircraft engine.

After introducing composite fan blades on the GE90 engine in 1995, GE Aviation is taking the technology to a new level with the GEnx. The carbon-fiber composite fan blades on the GE9X engine feature a new, more efficient design, a reduced blade count (from 22 to 18 fan blades) and a composite fan case for further weight reduction.

The first GEnx engine entered service on a Boeing 747-8 aircraft in 2011, and the engine program has accumulated five million flight hours and 900,000 cycles.

Of the engines that currently power the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the GEnx-1B engine has set itself apart in the following areas:

  • Leading engine of choice for Boeing 787 with more than a 60 percent win rate.
  • Best fuel burn: The GEnx-1B engine has a 2.3 percent fuel burn advantage for typical Boeing 787 stage lengths, and this advantage increases further for longer range missions.
  • Highest reliability with a 99.96 percent dispatch reliability rate and a 25 percent lower engine removal rate than the competition.
  • Fewer NOx emissions: NOx emissions are as much as 55 percent below today’s regulatory limit and other regulated gases are as much as 90 percent below today’s limit.

GE is also looking at possible technology enhancements to ensure the GEnx engine remains a leader in its class. This year, testing took place on a GEnx demonstrator engine that contained lightweight, heat-resistant ceramic matrix composite (CMC) components along with next-generation high pressure turbine blades with advance cooling technology. The demonstrator engine is part of the technology maturation program for the GE9x engine and successfully completed 2,800 cycles.

“As we look to the future, we are committed to making sure the GEnx retains its leadership position and continues its exceptional performance,” said Levin.

The GEnx engine family is the fastest-selling engine in GE Aviation history with about 1,600 engines on order. GEnx revenue-sharing participants are IHI Corporation of Japan, GKN Aerospace Engine Systems of the United Kingdom, MTU of Germany, TechSpace Aero of Belgium, Snecma (SAFRAN Group) of France and Hanwha Techwin Inc. of Korea.

The GEnx engine is part of GE’s “ecomagination” product portfolio—GE’s commitment to implementing innovative, cost-effective technologies that enhance the customers’ environmental and operating performance.

About GE Aviation: GE Aviation is an operating unit of GE, and a world-leading provider of jet engines, components, avionics, digital and integrated systems for commercial and military aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings. GE’s fuel management and RNP services are ecomagination qualified products.

Source: GE Aviation