Pratt & Whitney has successfully completed an initial design review of its new engine concept being developed for the US Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Adaptive Engine Technology Development (AETD) programme.
The review paves the way for Pratt & Whitney to proceed towards a preliminary design review (PDR), which will be carried out in early 2015 for determination of the engine’s readiness to proceed to the design, manufacturing and testing phase.
Jointly led by the AFRL and the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC), the AETD programme seeks to develop fuel efficient technologies and engine design features that can be installed in legacy as well as next-generation military combat aircraft.
The programme aims to deliver 25% improvement in fuel efficiency and 10% in thrust levels, when compared to existing combat aircraft engines.
Pratt & Whitney Military Engines president Bennett Croswell said the company is aiming to deliver propulsion technology that will be relevant for future combat aircraft and goes beyond current fifth-generation capabilities.
”Increased adaptability for multi-mission roles and enhanced thermal management – all of these requirements will be critical to next generation propulsion," he said.
"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."
Pratt & Whitney AETD programme director Jeff Schweitzer said the company’s engine will provide warfighters with a range of multi-role capabilities, including a three-stream adaptive fan, a high-efficiency and high-pressure ratio compression system, and a high-temperature, high-efficiency turbine among others.
The company has also completed hardware assembly for an initial rig test evaluation of its adaptive fan concept, which is scheduled to be conducted at the air force’s compressor research facility later in 2013.
Demonstration testing of an advanced high-pressure ratio core is scheduled for early 2016, while full engine testing of a three-stream adaptive fan and three-stream compatible augmentor and exhaust system will be carried out later that year.