Quality Magazine

GE Aviation Receives Award for FAA CLEEN Research

June 25, 2010

EVENDALE, OH - GE Aviation received an award from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as part of the Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise (CLEEN) program. CLEEN is an FAA program to accelerate the development and maturation of aircraft and engine technologies that reduce noise and emissions and improve fuel burn. The program goal is to enable the new technologies to enter the fleet beginning in 2015. GE and the FAA will share the investment of up to $66 million for up to a five-year period.

The CLEEN award will help fund three GE technologies including TAPS II Combustor, Open Rotor and Flight Management System - Air Traffic Management (FMS-ATM) technologies.

“GE has always invested in advanced technologies to lower fuel burn, emissions and noise,” says Dale Carlson, advanced engine systems for GE Aviation. “This CLEEN award will allow us to quicken our pace on research on key technologies that will provide our customers with more fuel efficient technologies to help reduce their costs and their impact on the environment.”

The three GE technologies being funded are:

TAPS II Combustor: GE is developing the TAPS II combustor for its new engine core, called eCore. eCore will be part of CFM International’s* new LEAP-X engine for narrowbody aircraft as well as the new core for GE’s next generation regional and business jet engines. The new core will offer up to 16 percent better fuel efficiency than GE’s best engines in service today. GE began testing the TAPS II combustor in June 2009 at a special altitude test chamber in Evendale, Ohio, as part of the first eCore tests. The results were very positive. CLEEN funding will help advance dynamic modeling and size scaling of the TAPS II combustor.

Flight Management System - Air Traffic Management (FMS-ATM): Advanced FMS-ATM technology will enable commercial and military aircraft to routinely fly more optimum trajectories resulting in less fuel, emissions and noise. The CLEEN award will include technology demonstrations with Lockheed Martin, AirDat and Alaska Airlines. The program will develop and demonstrate two primary components: Improvement to GE’s FMS trajectory algorithms for fuel, emissions and noise performance, Development of technology to enable the airborne FMS to digitally exchange information with the En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) developed and deployed by Lockheed Martin. This allows the FAA to enable the 4-dimensional trajectory-based FMS to fly more optimum trajectories within the national air space.

Open Rotor: Back in the 1980s, GE successfully ground tested and flew an open rotor or unducted fan engine, which offered significant fuel efficiency advantages over conventional ducted fan engines. By applying today’s advanced data acquisition systems and computational design tools to the open rotor engine, GE has improved the design to reduce fuel consumption by 26 percent and address noise challenges. Last year, GE started wind tunnel testing with NASA to evaluate counter-rotating fan systems for an open rotor engine. The CLEEN award will support blade aero-acoustic and pitch change mechanism research. Open rotor engine designs are among the longer-term technologies being evaluated for the LEAP-X engine.

GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE, provides jet and turboprop engines, components and integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings.