50 SKY SHADES - World aviation news

GE Aviation fires up engine made from 35 percent printed parts

Download: Printable PDF Date: 05 Nov 2016 14:51 category:
Publisher:
GE Aviation fires up engine made from 35 percent printed parts - Manufacturer publisher
Tatjana Obrazcova
Aircraft: Airplanes
Source: New Atlas

3D printing has come a long way since the certification of a single printed part for aircraft was big news. General Electric Aviation has gone considerably further in the development of its Advanced Turboprop (ATP) for the Cessna Denali single-engine aircraft. The company has completed testing of a demonstrator engine on which the ATP will be based that is made from more than 35 percent 3D-printed parts. According to GE this has resulted in a 5 percent weight savings and a 1 percent increase in fuel efficiency.

The ATP will be derived from technology demonstrator (called the a-CT7) using components printed at GE Aviation's Additive Development Center (ADC) in Cincinnati, Ohio. Designed, built and tested in 18 months, the a-CT7 sees 900 conventionally made parts reduced to 16 printed parts. This adds up to an engine with 35 percent printed parts, which is a new aerospace record for the fraction of printed parts used.

When completed, the 1,240 bhp ATP itself will have 855 conventional parts reduced to 12 printed parts, which include the sumps, bearing housings, frames, exhaust case, combustor liner, heat exchangers and stationary flowpath component. GE Aviation claims the ATP will use 20 percent less fuel for 10 percent more cruise power compared to similar engines.

The advantage of 3D printing is that engine prototypes can be built much faster. GE Aviation says that the ATP combustor rig tests were completed six months early, with the combustor liners printed in two days. This means that there is less of a need to depend on computer models and allows for faster iterations of the engine to be developed and tested, so the time from initial design to final product is reduced. In addition, the parts used can be of a single, simpler design.

"With subtractive manufactured parts and assemblies, you traditionally use bolts, welds or other interfaces to attach the parts together, which adds weight to the engine," says Gordon Follin, ATP Engineering GM at GE Aviation. "On the ATP, additive reduces weight by eliminating those attaching features while also optimizing design of the parts."

GE Aviation says the first complete ATP engine will begin testing at the end of next year and the later versions will use even more printed parts.

 



Loading comments for GE Aviation fires up engine made from 35 percent printed parts...


Recommended

Gulfstream to showcase all-new G500 and flagship G650ER at Abu Dhabi Air Expo

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. will showcase two of its award-winning, large-cabin aircraft at the Abu Dhabi Air Expo from Feb. 26-28. The static display will include the all-new Gulfstream G500 ...

High-tech solutions used in airborne inspection of Latvian power grids

In this age of new technologies, all industries are trying to implement innovative solutions to make their daily operations easier and more efficient. As is the Latvian transmission systems operator A...

FACC subsidiary CoLT awarded ISO certification

CoLT Prüf und Test GmbH receives ISO certification for meeting the highest quality standards. The test laboratory’s professional quality management fully complies with the SO/IEC 17025...

Helipass: #1 online booking platform designs to reach the 6 million bookings.

During Heli Expo, Las Vegas 2018, the #1 online booking platform extends its footprint into the US market. Helipass, the digitally powered online helicopter booking with a span on over 235 destinat...