The second build of the advanced six-stage high pressure compressor (HPC) being developed at part of CFM Project TECH56 has successfully completed full-scale rig testing, with a third build scheduled to go on test in 2002.
Project TECH56 is a technology acquisition and maturation program of CFM International (CFM). CFM, the world's leading aircraft engine manufacturer, is a 50/50 joint company between Snecma Moteurs (Safran Group) of France and General Electric Company of the United States.
"CFM has a long tradition of stall-free compressor operation," said Pierre Fabre, CFM president. And CEO. "With Project TECH56, we're taking that advantage to the next level, demonstrating a quantum leap in compressor technology."
The HPC has a simplified design that achieves much higher stage loading with fewer airfoils and rotors, thus providing operators with high efficiency and lower maintenance costs. Build I, which completed testing in 2000, achieved design intent airflow and demonstrated outstanding operability. Build II featured newly contoured airfoils to maintain operability and improve efficiency. Testing has confirmed a substantial efficiency improvement with no compromise in operability, establishing a new standard of performance for this class of compressor. Overall, the HPC has completed more than 335 hours of testing at GE's compressor test facility in Lynn, MA.
CFM has recorded more the 1,430 data points on Build II during tests that encompassed: variable stator vane (VSV) optimization for operating line performance and stall margin, mapping with inlet distortion, blade tip clearance variation, bleed flow variation, and simulated altitude variation. The compressor demonstrated a low sensitivity to all of these variations, proving it's robustness for the real engine operating environment. Validation of other TECH56 components will continue in 2002, including hollow fan blade crosswind testing and a full-scale blade-out test, as well as a new booster design being tested on a CFM56-5B engine. This booster is designed to achieve higher reliability with fewer parts by eliminating variable bleed valves (VBVs). The company will also test its Twin Annular, Pre-Swirl (TAPS) combustor with a new fuel nozzle design.