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Pratt & Whitney and AFRL testing adaptive fan rig

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posted on Sep, 26 2013 @ 11:28 AM
Pratt & Whitney, the Air Force Research Lab, in conjunction with the AETD, US Navy Fuel Burn Reduction program are testing an adaptive fan rig, based on the F135 engine in use on the F-35.

The adaptive fan is similar to the ADVENT engine, with a third flow. Below about Mach 0.85 the third flow would be used to increase the bypass ratio and boost efficiency. For higher speeds, or higher acceleration rates, the flow would be fed through the core to increase the speed of the exhaust. It would also be used for cooling.

The results of the test will be fed into the AETD program which aims for a 25% reduction in fuel consumption, and a 10% increase in thrust over current fifth generation engines, such as the F135.

Pratt & Whitney and the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) have begun testing with an adaptive fan engine test rig that is based on the company’s F135 afterburning turbofan found on the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

According to P&W, the fan rig test is being conducted at the AFRL Compressor Research Facility in Dayton, Ohio, in tandem with the USAF’s Adaptive Engine Technology Demonstration (AETD) programme, the US Navy Fuel Burn Reduction (FBR) programme and other company-funded efforts.

“Developing an effective adaptive fan concept is a critical step in advancing technology that will ensure next generation air dominance for our military,” says Jack Hoying, the AFRL’s programme manager for the AETD effort.

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