Vital programme follows Silencer as European Union continues drive for quiet, clean and efficient powerplants

Snecma is proposing a new green engine study under the European Commission's recently begun 6th Framework Programme (FP6), which has allocated €1.07 billion ($1.17 billion) to aerospace research over the next four years.

The programme will be a follow-on to Silencer (significantly lower community exposure to aircraft noise), a €110 million noise-reduction technology effort led by the French engine maker. Dubbed Vital, it will also involve Rolls-Royce as well as several former Silencer team partners.

R-R is expected to be responsible for low-pressure systems, light/low-cost fan designs, ultra-low emissions studies and novel aircraft/engine installations.

The effort continues engine studies begun under the European FP5-funded environmentally friendly aero engine (EEFAE) project, which also involved MTU and the former FiatAvio (now Avio) among others. Snecma says Vital will be aimed at "continuing the European Union's acquisition of technologies for quiet, clean and efficient engines".

Vital is expected to be aimed at developing better predictive codes to model noise attenuation and propagation, as well as technologies to control flow separation and model fuel injection and burning.

The project is expected to form a major plank of Snecma's technology strategy for engines from 2013-2018 onwards. "We can't count on evolution for the future; we must have revolution," says the company, which also plans to study new dynamic/active engine control methods by using technologies such as MEMS (micromechanical systems). Other potential areas of research include control of engine component aeroelasticity by active flaps or piezo-electric control, of flow separation by micro-flaps and valves, and of fuel injection by pulsed injection valves.

Source: Flight International