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P&W’s Geared Turbofan – right engine, right time?

Having just spent two days at Pratt & Whitney’s Connecticut facilities, some of the company’s fervour for the Geared Turbofan appears to have rubbed off on me. With oil at $110 at barrel and jet fuel at $2.70 a gallon, an engine that promises to reduce aircraft fuel burn by 12%, and noise and emissions […]

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GE patents pulse-detonation core for a turbofan

On the subject of PDEs – pulse detonation engines – General Electric has just been assigned a US patent for a turbofan that uses a rotating pulse-detonation system, rather than low- and high-pressure turbines, to drive the fan and compressor. Basically, each turbine stage is replaced by a radial array of raked and angled pulse-detonation […]

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First flight for PDE = pretty darned extraordinary

It’s not every day a new form of propulsion makes its first flight: the turbojet in August 1939 (Heinkel He178), the ramjet in April 1949 (Leduc 010), the scramjet in July 2002 (University of Queensland HyShot). Now it’s the turn of the pulsed detonation engine (PDE) – a simple, lightweight powerplant that promises efficient operation […]

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Is Pratt’s broken blade a break for GE/R-R’s JSF engine?

Timing is everything. Bad timing is breaking your engine on the very day your customer tries for a third time to cancel your rival and a new report rubbishes the benefits of competing engines. But that’s what happened to Pratt & Whitney on February 4, when a turbine blade on an F135 Joint Strike Fighter […]

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Knives come out as second F-35 engine faces axe – again

How’s this for timing? The day after the Pentagon says it will try again to cancel the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 alternative engine for the F-35, the Lexington Institute defence think-tank publishes a study arguing “one engine is enough” to power the Joint Strike Fighter. Either the Institute’s Loren Thompson worked through the night or he […]

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Flight’s 100 – name your power pick

To celebrate 100 years of Flight International, we want to discover the "100 Greatest" in aviation; by determining the top twenty civil aircraft, military aircraft, engine, people & moments. Here the best engine is put forward! Flight International is 100 years old this year, and the “100 Greatest” forum on flightglobal’s AirSpace wants nominations for […]

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GTF to power new single-aisle (the one from Bombardier)

Not exactly a surprise, but Bombardier has announced it is working exclusively with Pratt & Whitney to power its CSeries airliner with the Geared Turbofan. The GTF has already been selected to power the Mitsubishi Regional Jet. Neither aircraft has been launched yet, but if they are Pratt will find itself developing two sizes of […]

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More power to the F-35 – competitive engine to stay

Reuters is reporting that US Congressional negotiators have agreed to fund contined development of the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 alternate engine for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The Pentagon had sought to cancel the F136 to save money, and the $480 million in FY2008 funding will have to come from somewhere, but the preservation […]

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Open debate on open rotors

Anyone think open rotors are for real this time round? By open rotor I mean propfans, unducted fans – engines with the fans on the outside. Engine manufacturers are again talking about open rotors, but as part of a long-term technology plan that begins with today’s turbofans, advances through ultra-high bypass engines (those with the […]

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