Several major US aerospace companies – including Boeing, GE Aviation, Honeywell Aerospace and Pratt & Whitney – have won contracts with the US government to develop aerospace technologies that reduce emissions and noise.
The Federal Aviation Administration has provided $ 100 million in funding to these companies and others as part of its ongoing energy, emissions and noise reduction program, also known as CLEEN, the agency said on September 10.
Other companies to land contracts are the MRO store of Delta Air Lines, Delta TechOps, and the British company GKN Aerospace.
The manufacturers agreed to match the FAA’s $ 100 million investment, bringing the combined investment planned in the final and third phase of the CLEEN project to $ 200 million. The effort will last five years.
GE will use its funds to help finance the development of an “open fan motor architecture,” the Ohio-based motor maker said. Such designs are similar to turbojets, but their fans are not enclosed in pods and containment rings, but rather exposed, allowing for higher bypass rates, which equates to improved efficiency.
GE will also develop technologies related to electrification, “advanced thermal management” and noise reduction. It will “test new designs in combustion technology that lower nitrogen oxides” and “mature an electrical machine that is an essential part of an overall integrated electrical power generation system”.
In June, engine manufacturer and partner Safran Aircraft Engines revealed that it was pursuing similar technologies as part of a development program called RISE (short for revolutionary innovation for sustainable engines). They are aiming for RISE, led by CFM International, owned by GE and Safran, to develop an open fan motor for the 2030s that is 20% more efficient.
P & W’s CLEEN efforts include the development of “an ultra-quiet engine blower and advanced combustion system to reduce noise, emissions and fuel consumption,” says the FAA.
Boeing’s contribution is to reduce the noise created by airplane wings, landing gears and engine inlets. The aircraft manufacturer pursues similar objectives through its “ecoDemonstrator” project.
Honeywell’s CLEEN contract requires it to develop a “more efficient fan, combustion system, compressor and turbine to reduce noise, emissions and fuel consumption.”
Several companies, including Delta TechOps and GKN, will jointly create “erosion-resistant fan blade liners,” the FAA says.
Through CLEEN, the FAA aims to develop technologies that reduce aircraft noise by 25 dB and fuel consumption by 20%, with a commissioning target of 2031.
The agency launched the CLEEN project in 2010 and invested $ 225 million in the first and second phases. Previous participating companies have included Boeing, GE, Honeywell and P&W.