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18 mars 2015 3 18 /03 /mars /2015 17:35
Su-30MKI - photo UIMC Rostec

Su-30MKI - photo UIMC Rostec

 

Mar 18, 2015 defense-aerospace.com

(Source New Delhi TV.com; published Mar 17, 2015)

 

Sukhoi-30 MKI, Air Force's Most Modern Fighter Jet, Plagued by Engine Trouble

 

NEW DELHI --- Sukhoi-30 MKI, the most powerful and modern fighter jets in Indian Air Force's stable, has been hit by mid-air engine failures. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said in Parliament today that as many as 35 instances of engine failures were reported in 2013-14 - that's nearly three a month.

 

In all, there are 69 instances of engine failure in the last four years, the minister said. Inquiries by the Air Force have revealed that in as many as 33 instances, the engines failed because of impure fuel, in another 11 cases, the problem was caused by excessive vibration and in eight others, engine failures were reported because of low pressure in the lubricant tanks, the Defence Minister said. About five SU-30 MKI have crashed since 2009.

 

Like all twin-engine jets, the Russian made Su-30s are capable of landing on a single engine. But to reach its maximum potential of carrying a total eight tones of payload including bombs, missiles and spare fuel tanks, the jet needs both its AL-31FP engines to function.

 

Engine failures is fast becoming a major concern for Air Force and also puts a question mark on India's ability to defend its skies. Another problem area that senior Air Force officers point out is serviceability. "Serviceability of the aircraft is about 50 per cent only," an officer said. It means at any given time, roughly half out of a fleet of 200 jets are available for operational purposes. This becomes crucial in times of emergencies like war.

 

Mr Parrikar said that the engines were scheduled to be overhauled after every 1000 hours of flying, but the defects started showing-up after only 500 hours of flying. The minister said that Russia-based NPO Saturn, manufacturers of Su-30 Al-31FP engines, offered to make "nine technological improvements" during overhauls, and added that after the modifications the engines were flying for upto 900 hours.

 

To address the growing capability gap, especially that created by increasing obsolescence of MiG-21, India is talking to France to buy 126 medium multi-role Rafale fighter jets. But the negotiations have been dragging on for three years. Although the acquisition has got mired on per unit cost and number of man hours required to produce it in India, a resolution of these issues can be expected when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits France in April.

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21 septembre 2014 7 21 /09 /septembre /2014 16:20
V-22 Flight Tests Validate 'Hot and High' Capability for Rolls-Royce AE 1107C Engines

 

Sep 18, 2014 ASDNews Source : Rolls Royce

 

Flight tests have validated a new engine upgrade for Rolls-Royce AE 1107C engines powering V-22 aircraft, maximizing "hot and high" capability up to 6,000 feet of altitude and 95°F.

The enhanced capability is part of a series of upgrades that will boost engine power 17 percent for the aircraft, as Rolls-Royce continues to add innovations to the proven AE 1107C engine. The flight tests were conducted in a Bell Boeing V-22 test aircraft, and completed this summer in the western United States.

 

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27 juin 2014 5 27 /06 /juin /2014 16:40
UEC facilities will be used to create engines for fifth-generation fighter jets

 

June 27, 2014 by Rostec

 

A steering committee has been established for the PAK FA Prospective Engine Program at the Ufa Engine Industrial Association (UEIA), which is a subsidiary of the United Engine Corporation. The new division will receive most of the authority to manage the project to build the engine for the fifth-generation fighter jet. 

 

According to UEIA Managing Director Alexander Artyukhov, the program to build the engine for the prospective cutting-edge aircraft is currently one of the most advanced in all of Russian industry. Work on the project will be undertaken using the phase-gate system. Experts will identify key milestones with clear goals and objectives for each period.

Evgeny Marchukov, Chief Designer of the A M. Lyulki Experimental Design Bureau (a branch of UEIA), has been appointed head of the steering committee.

UEIA is the parent company of the "Engines for Combat Aircraft" UEC Division. It was awarded the status of chief designer of the prospective engine for the PAK FA fighter jet in 2013. In November of last year the technical plan was defended before a committee of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, which is the project's customer. In 2014 UEIA was appointed chief manufacturer of prototypes for engine parts and assembly units.

Currently, the company and its subsidiary, the A M. Lyulki Experimental Design Bureau, are preparing to manufacture the first demonstration engine for the PAK FA.  

The main structural components of the T-50 fighter (the PAK FA project) are being produced by Rostec enterprises. The power plant is being developed by designers at the United Engine Corporation. The cockpit and fuselage exterior are being prepared by specialists at RT-Chemical Technologies and Composite Materials. Avionics satisfying the requirements for fifth generation aircraft are being created by the Radioelectronic Technologies Concern.

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18 février 2014 2 18 /02 /février /2014 17:20
Rolls-Royce Builds on C-130 Engine Business

Roaring Business: A US airman inspects the turboprop engines on a C-130H transport. Rolls-Royce believes its Series 3.5 engine enhancement could expand the life of the aging C-130H to 2040. (US Air Force)

 

Feb. 17, 2014 - By AARON MEHTA – Defense news

 

WASHINGTON — With few new-engine opportunities available in the US, Rolls-Royce is focusing on maintaining and improving its C-130 engine base through the rest of the decade.

 

The company took a major step in that direction last week, when it announced a decadelong agreement with Lockheed Martin, the producer of the popular cargo plane, to deliver 588 engines for the C-130J Super Hercules.

 

The nearly $1 billion agreement covers procurement of new AE 2100 turboprop engines through 2018 for all customers, including the US Air Force.

 

Each Super Hercules requires four AE 2100 engines, so the 588 purchased could represent up to 147 new planes built during this time period. However, that number could be lower, as contracts often include spare engines. The purchase is roughly split in half between US planes and international customers.

 

The purchase is part of a larger agreement that secures Rolls-Royce and the AE 2100 as the engine of choice for the C-130J through 2025.

 

“This agreement is a very important step in providing our customers the most affordable airlifter in the world,” George Shultz, Lockheed’s vice president and general manager for C-130 programs, said in a company statement.

 

Tom Hartmann, Rolls’ senior vice president for customer business, said the British-based company hopes for another engine block purchase after the conclusion of this order to cover the remaining years of the agreement.

 

The deal ensures Rolls will dominate the engine field for the C-130J, which is expected to remain popular around the globe over the next decade. Lockheed, in turn, locks in low engine prices.

 

The US National Defense Authorization Act of 2014, signed into law by President Barack Obama in December, contained language authorizing a multiyear buy of C-130J aircraft for the Air Force; funding for that group was included in the appropriations bill passed last month. This contract would cover the 78 planes included in that multiyear agreement.

 

Hartmann declined to go into detail on the AE 2100’s cost per unit, but noted that the engines covered in the multiyear agreement are cheaper than those that would be sold internationally, a direct result of buying them in bulk.

 

There are more than 300 C-130J models in service in 15 countries, according to company figures. The J model is the most modernized version.

 

Meanwhile, Rolls continues to move forward with its Series 3.5 engine enhancement program for the T56 engines used in older C-130 models.

 

In the Series 3.5 engine enhancement, Rolls retrofits parts from newer engines into the Series 3 T56 engine casing, replacing aging and inefficient components. These include compressor seals from Rolls’ Series 4 engine and uncooled turbine blades from the Rolls AE-1107C design. The retrofit can occur during regular maintenance of the older engines.

 

Rolls estimates the engine upgrades will extend the life of the C-130H fleet to 2040, and an Air Force study has found it could save the service as much as $2 billion.

 

Hal Chrisman, vice president with services firm ICF International, said he sees a potential market for upgrades to the T56, which also powers the P-3 Orion maritime patrol plane flown by the US Navy. According to ICF figures, there are 1,363 planes that use the T56, although that number will drop over the next decade.

 

“Overall, the fleet of C-130s and P-3s stays relatively flat over the next five years,” Chrisman said. “You’re getting deliveries of C-130Js, but starting to lose the older B through H models, However, the fleet of T56-powered aircraft drops by about 250 over the next eight to 10 years, or at about -2.4 percent annually. If you look at it, some of these are kind of getting long in the tooth.”

 

As part of the fiscal 2014 appropriations bill passed in January, the Air Force was given $15.7 million toward exploring the 3.5 program. Hartmann estimates that the money will be enough to outfit “a handful” of older C-130 models, perhaps four to six, with the enhanced engines.

 

Those kits could be delivered to the Air Force in 2015. While the service will have the final decision on which aircraft get the first upgrades, the Air National Guard would make sense, given its reliance on the older C-130H.

 

Getting in as a program of record was a huge step forward, according to Hartmann, who noted that “every battle is a tough battle when you’re looking to add something.

 

“We’re cautiously optimistic” about getting further funding, likely a small increase, in the fiscal 2015 budget, he said.

 

“I think the budget situation will make modifications like this more attractive,” Chrisman said. “With the current [US federal] budget constraints, it’s a whole lot cheaper to upgrade airplanes than buy new ones. The success of a lot of these things depends on the support they get in Congress.”

 

While the Air Force may be the first customer, Hartmann said Rolls has recently talked to “quite a number” of potential international partners.

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18 novembre 2013 1 18 /11 /novembre /2013 19:50
photo UK MoD

photo UK MoD

 

18 November 2013 Ministry of Defence and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

 

Defence scientists are investigating how to protect helicopter engines from a common problem that occurs in Afghanistan.

 

Materials experts from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) are working to protect helicopter engines from sand erosion.

Gas turbine engines in helicopters suck in air from the surrounding environment. In desert conditions, particularly during take-off and landing, the air contains sand particles that damage the engine’s components.

When components are damaged by sand erosion, the engine is forced to work harder, burning more fuel and struggling to produce the required power. Sand-eroded components need to be replaced more often, resulting in costly repair bills and loss of capability as helicopters are taken out of service for maintenance.

To investigate whether erosion-resistant coatings could be the answer, an international project was set up by The Technical Cooperation Program (TTCP).

TTCP enables technical collaboration on specific issues between defence organisations in the UK, United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

An RAF Merlin helicopter takes off with an underslung load in Afghanistan (library image) [Picture: Sergeant Andy Reddy, Crown copyright]

An RAF Merlin helicopter takes off with an underslung load in Afghanistan (library image) [Picture: Sergeant Andy Reddy, Crown copyright]

The UK contribution was to design and conduct effective and reliable tests that would indicate the relative strengths and limitations of a number of commercially available coatings.

Dstl identified that the University of Birmingham had suitable facilities within its metallurgy and materials department to support this work.

The tests that have been conducted include measuring bending stress on small specimens. Since the specimen is rotating at 3,000 revolutions per minute, a test of 1 million cycles can be conducted in around 11 hours.

Tests undertaken in Australia, Canada and New Zealand looked at hardness, adhesion and erosion, enhancing the international defence community’s understanding of commercially available products.

Industry suppliers in the UK and Canada applied their coatings to the test specimens without charge. In exchange, they will find out how their coatings performed in 5 tests and have ongoing support from the international defence organisations, helping them to improve their technology for defence applications.

Dstl’s involvement in this project was funded by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) via the Materials and Structures Science and Technology Centre.

The results of the tests are already being used by MOD as it assesses technologies to protect its helicopter engines

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27 septembre 2013 5 27 /09 /septembre /2013 16:40
Pulse detonation engine tested in Russia

27.08.2013 Rostec.ru

 

UEC experts will produce an entire family of engines based on the new technology

 

The Lyulka Design Bureau, which is a subsidiary of Saturn of the United Engine Corporation, has developed, manufactured and tested a prototype of a resonator pulsed detonation engine with two-stage combustion of a kerosene-air mixture.

 

The average measured engine thrust was about 100 kg, and it was able to operate continuously for more than 10 minutes. UEC plans to manufacture and test a full-size pulsed detonation engine by the end of 2013.

 

According to Aleksandr Tarasov, Chief Designer of the Lyulka Design Bureau, the testing simulated operating conditions that are typical for turbojet and ramjet engines. Measured values of thrust and specific fuel consumption were 30–50 percent better than conventional jet engines. The new engine as well as traction control were turned on and off multiple times during testing.

 

The Lyulka Design Bureau intends to produce an entire family of pulse detonation aircraft engines based on data obtained during these tests and on a circuit design analysis. In particular, it intends to create engines with a short service life for unmanned aircraft and missiles as well as aircraft engines that can achieve supersonic cruising speeds.

 

In the future, engines are intended to be created for space-rocket systems and combined propulsion aircraft that are able to fly in both the atmosphere and space.

 

According to the design bureau, the new engines will increase thrust-to-weight ration by a factor of 1.5–2 times. In addition, the use of such powerplants can increase the range or weight of air-launched weapons by 30–50%. At the same time, the specific weight of the new engines will be 1.5–2 times less than that of conventional jet propulsion engines.

 

It was reported in March 2011 that Russia was working to create a pulse detonation engine. Ilya Fedorov, Managing Director of Research and Production at Saturn, reported this development at the time. The Lyulka Design Bureau is a subsidiary of Saturn. Fedorov did not specify what exact type of detonation engine was being developed.

 

Currently there are three types of pulsejet engines: valved, valveless and pulse detonation. These types of powerplants work by periodically supplying fuel and an oxidizing agent into the combustion chamber where the fuel mixture is ignited and the combustion gases rush out of the nozzle to form jet thrust. The difference between pulsejet and conventional jet engines is in the ignition of the fuel mixture, where the combustion wave moves faster than the speed of sound.

 

The Swedish engineer Martin Wiberg invented the first pulsejet engine in the late nineteenth century. A pulsejet engine is easy and cheap to manufacture, but due to how the fuel is ignited it is not dependable. The new type of engine was used in mass production for the first time on the German V-1 flying bomb during World War II. These weapons were equipped with the Argus As-014 pulsejet engine, which was made by Argus-Werken.

 

Currently, several major defense contractors in the world are engaged in research in the field of high-performance pulsejet engines. In particular, France-based SNECMA and American-based GeneralElectric and Pratt & Whitney are working on the technology. In 2012, the Research Laboratory of the U.S. Navy announced its intention to develop a rotating detonation engine, which will replace conventional gas turbine propulsion on ships.

 

Rotating detonation differs from pulse detonation in that the fuel mixture inside the chamber is continuously being detonated ─ the combustion wave moves through the annular cylinder in which fuel mixture is continuously being added.

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17 septembre 2013 2 17 /09 /septembre /2013 12:20
Rolls-Royce Boosts Power for V-22 Engines

Rolls-Royce says it has increased the power of the engine it supplies for US V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft by 17 percent. (photo USMC)

 

Sep. 16, 2013 - By AARON MEHTA – Defense News

 

WASHINGTON — Engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce has increased the power output of its V-22 Osprey engine by 17 percent, a significant jump that should boost the reliability of the tilt-rotor aircraft in high-altitude, high-heat conditions, according to a company official.

 

“We’ve been upgrading the [AE family] of engines to provide more thrust as more challenging requirements came up in the commercial market, so we knew there was more power available” said Tom Hartmann, the company’s senior vice president of defense. “Now that we’re through the hurdles of wrestling and working the time-on-wing improvements, we recognize there is additional capability we haven’t taken advantage of that could provide high power to the Pentagon for their particular missions.”

 

The engine improvements came from three relatively small changes. First, the company added a new turbine to the engine, known as the Block 3 turbine. That design is based on a commercial product Rolls-Royce has used.

 

Some of those turbines are already in the field; the company has been installing them into all new-production models since July 2012, and began upgrading older turbines during regular maintenance two months later.

 

The other modifications included an increase in the flow capacity of the fuel valve and a software update, which allow the engines to deliver the higher power when needed.

 

Each V-22 Osprey is powered by a pair of Rolls-Royce AE 1107C engines. The US Air Force’s fleet of CV-22s are used for special operations missions. The US Marine Corps’ MV-22 has two variants, the B and C models, which are used in the transportation of troops and equipment.

 

Most of the time, the V-22 won’t need the extra power. It’s really designed for use at higher altitudes — the 6,000-8,000-foot range — where the V-22 has struggled.

 

“Without flight tests, it’s hard to say the real-world impact” of the improvements, Hartmann said. But Rolls aims to give US military operators full engine capability at 6,000 feet with an air temperature of 95 degrees, a challenge that he said Air Force officials asked the company to look at.

 

“Right now, they are limited on what load they can carry at 6,000 feet and 95 degrees.” Hartmann said. “The plan is to provide that full capability in the near term, and then, in a future upgrade, give enhanced capability at 8,000 feet and 95 degrees.”

 

The company will begin tests of its upgraded engine in the fall, beginning the Federal Aviation Administration review process. Hartmann expects kits for the improved engines to arrive late 2014.

 

Rolls also is keeping an eye on a more comprehensive Block 4 upgrade, which should increase power by 26 percent over the current baseline, allowing the engines to hit close to 10,000 horsepower. It also could improve fuel consumption, which the company expects to be key as the Pentagon focuses more on the Asia-Pacific region.

 

“You have the ‘tyranny of distance’ in the Pacific, so better fuel consumption is obviously a benefit in that region,” Hartmann said.

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24 avril 2013 3 24 /04 /avril /2013 07:50
Crédits A. Paringaux

Crédits A. Paringaux

LONDON, April 23 (UPI)

 

British engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce is selling its interest in the RTM322 engine program for powering Apache, Merlin and NH helicopters.

 

The sale of its 50 percent interest will be to Turbomeca of France, a member of the Safran group, Rolls-Royce said.

 

Turbomeca is progressively buying Rolls-Royce shares and will eventually hold sole interest in the program. The deal is worth a total of about $382.5 million in cash.

 

The sale is expected to be complete before the end of this year, subject to closing conditions.

 

"Turbomeca will assume full responsibility for the design, production and support of the RTM322 engine, which powers the Apache, EH101 Merlin and NH90 helicopters," Rolls-Royce said. "Rolls-Royce will provide full assistance to Turbomeca during the multi-year transition period to ensure all RTM322 customers continue to receive effective support."

 

The RRTM Adour engine program which powers the Hawk and Jaguar aircraft, is unaffected by this agreement.

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16 avril 2013 2 16 /04 /avril /2013 17:50

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