Abstract

The paper provides design and performance data for two envisaged year-2050 state-of-the-art engines: a geared high bypass turbofan for intercontinental missions and a contra-rotating pusher open rotor targeting short to medium range aircraft. It defines component performance and cycle parameters, general powerplant arrangements, sizes and weights. Reduced thrust requirements for future aircraft reflect expected improvements in engine and airframe technologies. Advanced simulation platforms have been developed, using the software PROOSIS, to model the engines and details of individual components, including custom elements for the open rotor engine.

The engines are optimised and compared with ‘baseline’ year-2000 turbofans and an anticipated year-2025 entry-into-service open rotor to quantify the relative fuel-burn benefits. A preliminary scaling with non-optimised year-2050 ‘reference’ engines, based on Top-of-Climb (TOC) thrust and bypass ratio, highlights the trade-offs between reduced specific fuel consumption (SFC) and increased weight and engine diameter. These parameters are then converted into mission fuel burn using linear and non-linear trade factors from aircraft models.

The final turbofan has an optimised design-point bypass ratio (BPR) of 16.8, and a maximum overall pressure ratio (OPR) of 75.4 for a 31.5% TOC thrust reduction and a 46% mission fuel burn reduction per passenger kilometre compared to the respective year-2000 baseline engine and aircraft combination. The final open rotor SFC is 9.5% less than the year-2025 open rotor and 39% less than the year-2000 turbofan, while the TOC thrust increases by 8% versus the 2025 open rotor, due to assumed increase in aircraft passenger capacity. Combined with airframe improvements, the final open rotor-powered aircraft has a 59% fuel-burn reduction per passenger kilometre relative to its year-2000 baseline.

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