Rolls-Royce says it has completed testing on a new advanced technology compressor for the US Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL) Highly Energy Efficient Turbine Engine (HEETE) programme to develop a next-generation turbofan for future subsonic military aircraft.
The company says that its version of the HEETE compressor demonstrated its "ultra-high pressure ratio performance goal and an ability to manage component temperatures at ultra-high ratio design conditions through advanced thermal management". R-R adds that its HEETE compressor achieved the highest pressure ratio ever demonstrated at the AFRL's compressor research facility during its testing.
"This successful ultra-high pressure ratio testing validates the Rolls-Royce compressor design," says Mark Wilson, chief operating officer for the company's LibertyWorks division. "The advanced compressor technology can be applied to future transport, patrol and ISR [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] applications."
R-R and General Electric are working on HEETE engines contracts that were awarded in 2007 by the AFRL, with the former's work worth $23.5 million.
The original goal of the HEETE programme was to achieve pressure ratios in excess of 70:1 while cutting specific fuel consumption by 25%, which is a significant improvement over the best commercial turbofans that are in development. By comparison, the GE GE9X will have a pressure ratio of 61:1.