Consortia to start open rotor model testing

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Boeing, Rolls-Royce, RUAG Aerospace and German contract manufacturer Deharde Maschinenbau have struck an agreement to test a model concept aircraft with open rotor engines at the RUAG Low Speed Wind Tunnel in Emmen, Switzerland early next year.

Rolls-Royce is to provide propulsion input from its UK facilities, while Boeing will design the integrated wind tunnel model airframe. The model will be made by Deharde Maschinenbau using RUAG's background in counter-rotating open rotor engine simulation.

"Open-fan propulsion technology has potential for reducing specific fuel consumption, significantly below current turbofans," says Boeing director of technology in Germany, Michael Friend.

"While Boeing has made no decisions as to the type of propulsion system or propulsion supplier for a potential future commercial airplane, this investigation will help us to better understand the interaction of open-fan propulsion with a candidate airframe concept and how much fuel savings might be possible."