Progress continues on the GE Aviation/US Army Future Affordable Turbine Engine (FATE) program with recent completion of component tests of the compressor, combustor and turbine. These tests, which followed inlet particle separator testing completed earlier, validate the use of the advanced technologies incorporated into these components in preparation for the full FATE engine demonstrations.
The FATE compressor rig demonstrated the highest pressure ratio on a single spool compressor in GE Aviation’s history. This tops the previous record of a 27:1 compressor ratio, which was reached earlier this year, by the GE9X. The GE9X is the world’s most fuel efficient engine designed for the next generation of long-haul wide body aircraft.
The combustor test incorporated reduced cooling flow through the use of ceramic matrix composites (CMCs). The FATE turbine rig demonstrated state of the art efficiency, advanced aerodynamics, and optimized cooling features. Throughout the FATE program, use of additive manufacturing has allowed for faster construction and lower development costs.
The FATE engine that will be tested is designed to meet a series of aggressive goals, including:
- 35% reduction in specific fuel consumption
- 80% improvement in power-to-weight
- 20% improvement in design life
- 45% reduction in production and maintenance costs relative to currently fielded engines
“The FATE engine is a world class advanced turboshaft engine, incorporating technologies for the next generation of propulsion,” said Harry Nahatis, GE Aviation’s General Manager of Advanced Turboshaft Programs. “We’re proud to work with the Army in maturing these breakthrough technologies and we’re very encouraged by the test results thus far.”
In 2011, GE was competitively awarded the FATE program to demonstrate technologies applicable to 5,000-10,000 shp class turboshaft engines for upgrades to existing aircraft or to meet future rotorcraft requirements such as the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) family of vehicles. Likewise, these technologies can be incorporated into new engines including the GE3000 which will be offered for the ITEP program or upgrades to existing engines such as the T700 and GE38.
“Between the T700, GE3000, GE38 and FATE, we have a unique multigenerational product and technology plan to meet future rotorcraft requirements,” said Jean Lydon-Rodgers, vice president and general manager of GE Aviation’s Military Systems Operation.
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