Airbus and CFM partner to flight test next-generation open-fan engine architecture
NEW DELHI: Airbus, a European aerospace major, and CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines, are collaborating to flight test CFM’s next-generation open fan engine architecture. The flight test demonstrator “aims to mature and accelerate the development of advanced propulsion technologies, as part of the CFM project Revolutionary innovation for a sustainable engine (RISE) demonstration program, on board an Airbus A380.
The flight test campaign will be carried out in the second half of this decade from the Airbus flight test facility in Toulouse, France. Prior to the A380 test flights, CFM will perform engine ground testing, as well as flight test validation at GE Aviation’s Flight Test Operations Center in Victorville, California.
Airbus technical director Sabine Klauke said: “New propulsion technologies will play an important role in achieving aviation’s net zero goals, along with new aircraft designs and sustainable power sources. By evaluating, maturing and validating the architecture of open-fan engines using a dedicated flight test demonstrator, we are collaboratively making another significant contribution to the advancement of the technological building blocks that will allow us achieve our industry-wide decarbonization goals.
Gaël Méheust, President and CEO of CFM International, said: “The CFM RISE program is about pushing the boundaries of technology, redefining the art of the possible and contributing to more sustainable long-term growth for our industry. CFM, its parent companies and Airbus share the same vision and commitment to the future; The Open Fan Flight Test Demonstration Program is an exciting next step towards achieving the industry’s net zero goals.
The flight test program will achieve several goals that could contribute to future improvements in engine and aircraft efficiency, including: a better understanding of engine/wing integration and aerodynamic performance as well as engine efficiencies propulsion system; validate performance benefits, including improved fuel efficiency that would result in a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to today’s most efficient engines; evaluate acoustic models; and ensuring compatibility with 100% sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), Airbus-CFM said in a joint statement.
In February 2022, the two companies announced a joint flight test program to validate hydrogen propulsion capability. “Airbus and CFM, along with parent companies GE and Safran, share the ambition to deliver on the promise they made by signing the Air Transport Action Group’s goal in October 2021 to achieve zero. carbon emissions from the aviation industry by 2050 by developing and testing the technology needed to make zero-emission aircraft a reality within the ambitious timeframe set,” he said.