September 8, 2015
The Federal Aviation Administration awarded GE Aviation funding for the maturation and demonstration of several advanced technologies that will reduce fuel consumption, emissions and noise under the second phase of Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise (CLEEN II) program.
The five-year CLEEN II program builds on the success of the original CLEEN program, a public private partnership that began in 2010 and is a key part of the FAA’s NextGen efforts to make aviation more environmentally friendly. The original CLEEN effort focused on nine projects in the area of energy efficient aircraft technologies and sustainable alternative jet fuels. The first of these technologies, GE’s TAPS II combustor, will enter service on CFM International*’s LEAP engine in 2016.
“Programs like CLEEN II enable aerospace companies to work cooperatively with government agencies like the FAA to advance technologies that will have a significant impact on the next-generation of aircraft engines and aircraft and the environment,” said Chris Lorence, general manager of Engineering Technologies at GE Aviation.
Among the GE Aviation technology programs to receive CLEEN II funding are:
- TAPS III combustor: GE is developing the TAPS III combustor for its new GE9X engine that will power the Boeing 777X aircraft. The TAPS III combustor will incorporate additive manufactured fuel nozzles and ceramic matrix composite inner and outer liners for high efficiency, durability and reduced NOx emissions. GE9X combustor tests have been conducted with positive results. CLEEN II funding will help advance dynamic modeling and fuel injector durability and enable further reductions in NOx emissions.
- Optimized Electric Aircraft: GE continues its research into more electric aircraft power systems, generators and electric starters along with high power conditioning and power distribution and control. Electric aircraft research can improve fuel burn and reduce emissions.
- Flight Management System: CLEEN II funding will assist in efforts to optimize cruise/descent performance as well as wind-optimized cruise efforts to improve fuel burn and reduce NOx emissions and noise.
- Alternative Fuels: GE and the FAA will work together to evaluate alternative fuels to achieve ASTM approval for “drop-in” fuel for aircraft engines that help reduce emissions.
The CLEEN II goals include:
- Reducing fuel burn by 40 percent relative to the most efficient aircraft in service during the year 2000.
- Cutting nitrogen oxide emissions during takeoff and landing by 70 percent over the 2011 International Civil Aviation Organization standard without increasing other emissions.
- Lowering noise levels by 32 decibels (dBs) relative to the FAA Stage 4 noise standard; and
- Expediting the commercialization of ‘drop-in’ sustainable jet fuels through support for the fuel approval process.
The FAA anticipates that matured CLEEN II aircraft technologies will be on a path for introduction into commercial aircraft by 2026.
GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, components and integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings.