Snecma has signed an agreement with the European Commission to launch the four-year Vital research programme to reduce aircraft engine noise and carbon dioxide emissions. The French manufacturer will lead a consortium of 53 partners.

With a budget of €90 million ($117 million), including €50 million from the EC's Sixth Framework research mechanism, the Vital programme aims to achieve the goals of halving perceived noise and emissions of carbon oxides by 2020 set by ACARE, the EC's advisory council for aeronautics research.

Research will focus on the engine low-pressure system, including counter-rotating and lightweight fans, and highly loaded and reduced blade-count turbines. Snecma says resultant weight reductions will enable development of very-high bypass-ratio turbofans that reduce noise by 5-8dB while cutting CO2 emissions. Components will be validated by large-scale aeroacoustic and mechanical rig tests.

Vital will build on previous research programmes, including the Efficient and Environmental Friendly Aero Engine (EEFAE) and Silencer. EEFAE ends this month and includes two technology testbeds: the Rolls-Royce-led ANTLE near-term low emissions demonstrator and MTU/Snecma-led Clean longer-term component validator. Silencer ends in April.

Source: Flight International