Pratt & Whitney wins US Army rotorcraft R&D award
Pratt & Whitney will carry out work to research and develop an Advanced Variable-Speed Power Turbine (AVSPOT) to meet the range and lift requirements for current and future rotorcraft for the US Army under a new contract announced on 27 November.
The AVSPOT programme, a US Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate initiative in collaboration with NASA, aims to develop turbine technology that improves performance, efficiency, and affordability of rotorcraft engines, and to validate that technology in a laboratory environment by 2016.
As future mission requirements evolve, AVSPOT intends to develop a power turbine that would allow future medium as well as large rotorcraft to hover at up to 10,000 ft and cruise at up to 25,000 ft altitude while maintaining high operating efficiency; and to optimise power turbine speed in the range of 55-105 percent while optimising fuel consumption, cost, weight and durability.
According to the company, there are significant challenges to enabling the higher power and rotor speed needed for takeoff and climb, as well as slower optimised rotor speed at cruise, and Pratt & Whitney will address these challenges by pursuing a technological approach that reduces the speed of the power turbine while optimising its efficiency.
Annette Jussaume, general manager, Small Military Engines, said: ‘Pratt & Whitney looks forward to participating in the AVSPOT programme, and we're confident we will be able to meet the mission profile requirements needed for future rotorcraft engines. We have the technology know-how that will allow us to develop an efficient high-power turbine that can operate over a wide range of engine speeds.’
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