Tomorrow’s aircraft engines will burn less fuel and be kinder to our environment, in line with the objectives defined by Acare (Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe) for 2020.
Two complementary approaches to next-generation aircraft engines:
Computer image of LEAP, based on conventional turbofan architecture
- Conventional turbofan architecture, but integrating advanced technologies (composite lightweight fan, low-speed low-pressure turbine, etc.).
- Engines featuring an innovative, perhaps revolutionary architecture: several paths are being explored through various European programs, including a counter-rotating open rotor type engine (which could enter service towards 2020).
Achieving a satisfactory solution means striking the optimum tradeoff between certain contradictory requirements. For example:
Computer image of an open rotor engine, representing a disruptive technology
- Increasing the bypass ratio decreases engine noise, but also makes it larger, which means greater weight, drag and …. fuel consumption.
- An open-rotor type engine would lower fuel consumption by 20 to 25%, but is also noisier.
- Consumption (and therefore CO2) can be reduced by increasing the compression ratio, and therefore the combustion temperature, which in turn generates more oxides of nitrogen, or NOx.