Boeing, Rolls-Royce, RUAG Aerospace and Deharde Maschinenbau have entered into a collaborative research agreement to explore the potential of fuel-efficient open-fan (open rotor) propulsion technology for future commercial airplanes.
Using technologies and techniques contributed by each of the parties, tests of a model concept airplane with open-fan engines are planned for early in 2010 at the RUAG Low Speed Wind Tunnel in
“Open-fan propulsion technology has potential for reducing specific fuel consumption significantly below current turbofans,” said Michael Friend, Boeing director of Technology in
“While Boeing has made no decisions as to the type of propulsion system or propulsion supplier for any potential future commercial airplane, this investigation will help us to better understand the interaction of open-fan propulsion with a candidate airframe concept, and how much fuel savings might be possible.”
As a global leader in technology, Rolls-Royce is providing propulsion design expertise from facilities in the
“This research is an example of how we partner with technology leaders in
“Rolls-Royce is delighted to be working with Boeing to investigate possible power solutions for future generations of aircraft,” said Ric Parker, director, Research and Technology at Rolls-Royce. “Open Rotor engines provide an opportunity to make a step change in efficiency for narrow body aircraft and this research will help underpin future full scale demonstration and point the way for future developments.”