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Pratt & Whitney completes initial design review for Adaptive Engine Technology Development program

Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp., has successfully completed initial design review with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory on its Adaptive Engine Technology Development (AETD) Program.

The review confirmed that the initial design of Pratt & Whitney's engine has the potential to meet system requirements and establishes the basis for proceeding with preliminary design of the AETD engine configuration. The AETD program is an initiative led by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) to mature critical fuel efficiency technologies and engine design features that could transition into legacy and next-generation military combat aircraft. The goal of the AETD program is to provide a 25 percent improvement in specific fuel consumption and a 10 percent improvement in thrust levels compared to today's fifth-generation combat aircraft engines.

"We're on a path to deliver propulsion technology that goes beyond current fifth-generation capabilities to what will be relevant for future combat aircraft. Increased adaptability for multi-mission roles and enhanced thermal management – all of these requirements will be critical to next generation propulsion," said Bennett Croswell, president, Pratt & Whitney Military Engines. "We're confident our technical approach will ultimately give future combat aircraft added range and payload capabilities, while reducing the cost burden of expensive jet fuel. From an operational perspective, our end goal is to provide the warfighter more flexibility in accomplishing the mission."

In addition to the successful initial design review, the Pratt & Whitney AETD team has completed several major milestones over the past year that include hardware assembly for an initial rig test evaluation of Pratt & Whitney's adaptive fan concept scheduled for this summer at the Air Force compressor research facility. The program's next major milestone is a preliminary design review that will take place in early 2015. This will determine that the design of the AETD engine is ready to proceed to the detailed design, manufacturing and testing phase.

Pratt & Whitney's AETD team is designing an engine that will offer superior, modern multi-role capabilities for the warfighter, including a three-stream adaptive fan; a high-efficiency and high-pressure ratio compression system which takes advantage of advanced commercially-derived aerodynamics; a high-temperature, high-efficiency turbine; an optimized three-stream compatible exhaust system and an advanced engine thermal management system with greatly enhanced thermal capacity, according to Jeff Schweitzer, Pratt & Whitney AETD program director.

Pratt & Whitney's proposed AETD program will lead to demonstration testing of an advanced high-pressure ratio core in early 2016, to be followed later in 2016 by full engine testing of a three-stream adaptive fan and three-stream compatible augmentor and exhaust system. The introduction of the third flow path stream will allow the engine operating conditions and resultant bypass ratio to be modulated to optimize performance across all power settings and flight conditions. This capability allows for significantly reduced total fuel consumption across multiple missions.

"We've gained tremendous insight from our experience designing and fielding fifth-generation engines for both the F119 engine for the F-22, and the F135 engine for the F-35," said Schweitzer. "With that foundation in place, along with the tremendous progress we've made to date with our Air Force teammates, we're anxious to move into the next phase of the AETD program."

Press release issued by Pratt & Whitney Military Engines on June 19, 2013


 Contact details from our directory:
Pratt & Whitney Military Engines Turbofan Engines, Turboprop Engines
AFRL (Airforce Research Laboratory) Research/Consulting Services


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