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A world's first: Nexcelle successfully tests its thrust reverser for next-generation Integrated Propulsion Systems

Nexcelle, the nacelle systems joint venture of GE's Middle River Aircraft Systems and the Safran group's Aircelle, has completed a successful test program for the advanced thrust reverser element of its next-generation Integrated Propulsion System (IPS) technology.

The thrust reverser was validated with Nexcelle's new nacelle demonstrator, called PANACHE (Pylon And Nacelle Advanced Configuration for High Efficiency), which logged a combined total of more than 47 hours in operation on Test Stand 3E at GE Aviation's Peebles, Ohio facility. PANACHE was installed on a CFM56-5C jet engine, which represents one of the propulsion system categories for which Nexcelle is developing its integrated nacelle designs.

Test runs with PANACHE – involving 200 cycles representing normal deployments, rejected take-off deployments and aborted landings – were completed a week ahead of schedule, demonstrating the maturity of Nexcelle's IPS design and hardware.

"Our PANACHE testing was a major milestone and provides the first full-scale demonstration of a key element in the next-generation of integrated propulsion systems," said Nexcelle President Huntley Myrie. "The thrust reverser performed exactly as anticipated, enabling testing to be wrapped ahead of the original schedule – which is a testimony to the development and production teams at our parent companies, and the test personnel at GE Aviation's Peebles facility."

Key elements of Nexcelle's advanced thrust reverser configuration include a one-piece composite O-Duct, which replaces the two-piece "D" doors on a traditional thrust reverser. With the O-Duct's continuous composite structure, the IPS' thrust reverser benefits from reduced weight, while also eliminating the D-doors' bifurcation in the flow-path – increasing the thrust reverser's efficiency. Another unique characteristic is the new thrust reverser's kinematics, in which the entire O-Duct moves aftward to the reverse thrust position, thereby eliminating the need for drag links in the secondary flow-path.

Added to these advantages is Nexcelle's application of an electrical thrust reverser actuation system (ETRAS) – a major improvement that employs electrically-operated actuators instead of the hydraulic system actuators used in current-generation engines. Benefits of ETRAS include enhanced reliability, reduced weight, and improved maintainability – with these attributes validated in service on the A380.

The PANACHE demonstrator's elements have been returned for detailed hardware inspection to Aircelle's Le Havre, France headquarters location and to the Middle River Aircraft Systems production site in the U.S. state of Maryland. Initial verification of PANACHE at the conclusion of testing showed the hardware to be in excellent condition.

Nexcelle is developing Integrated Propulsion System nacelle configurations for two programs: CFM International's LEAP-X1C engine on the COMAC C919 jetliner; and GE's Passport, which will power the Bombardier Global 7000 and 8000 business jet aircraft.

Press release issued by Nexcelle on July 6, 2012

 

 Contact details from our directory:
Nexcelle Nacelles, Thrust Reversers, Exhaust Systems
GE Aircraft Engines Turboprop Engines, Turboshaft Engines, Turbofan Engines, Turbojet Engines
Safran Nacelles Le Havre Turbine Engine Vanes, Nacelles, Wing Spoilers, Thrust Reversers, Engine Parts, Fairings, Aircraft Doors, Radomes, Exhaust Equipment, Non-Destructive Testing
GE Mechanical Systems Metal Bonding, Aircraft Structural Components, Metal Structures, Composite Structures, Thrust Reversers, Nacelles

 

 Related aircraft programs:
COMAC C919
Bombardier Global series

 

 Related directory sectors:
Engines
Engine Components

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