The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) will continue funding GE Aviation’s demonstrator engine core development for phase II of the adaptive versatile engine technology (ADVENT) programme.

The fund will also support critical component risk-reduction activities for the programme.

The ADVENT programme involves development of a variable engine cycle, greater component efficiencies and new material technologies to provide future aircraft with far greater range and mission flexibility.

GE has been engaged in the phase I development of ADVENT for the past two years, which have involved preliminary and detailed design, analysis and risk-reduction activities.

Phase I work involved running a full annular combustor rig, component and rig tests using ceramic matrix composite materials, and testing of a full core engine.

Following an extensive evaluation, US AFRL has decided to fund phase II, which is expected to continue to 2012.

GE’s ADVENT programme general manager Jeff Martin said that several key technologies would be demonstrated in phase II, including a hot section featuring ceramic matrix composites.

“Phase II will also include demonstration of a high-pressure ratio core and an advanced variable pressure ratio fan, and GE’s next-generation cooled turbine,” he said.

“These technologies, if successfully demonstrated, will find a home on the next-generation of GE jet engines.”

ADVENT is part of the versatile affordable advanced turbine engines programme, an initiative by industry and government partners to advance state-of-the-art turbine engine technology for military aviation.