The Aerodays event spotlights Aircelle’s European research activities

October 28, 2015

The Aerodays event spotlights Aircelle’s European research activities
The Open Rotor scale model on Safran's Aerodays exhibit stand attracted significant attention during the aerospace innovation event in London.

Aircelle's growing role in European-wide research to improve engine nacelle technology was highlighted in London at this month's Aerodays event – Europe's flagship meeting for aerospace innovation.

Among the Aircelle-involved projects spotlighted during the three-day gathering was the Open Rotor propulsion system, for which the company has nacelle work package leadership in the framework of the European Commission/industry Clean Skies joint technology initiative. 

It was announced at Aerodays that the full-scale Open Rotor demonstrator will be tested next summer at Istres, France, with its components being shipped during the coming weeks and into early 2016.  This includes the large cone-shaped nozzle plug produced by Aircelle, with the company also having responsibility for overseeing the nacelle's integration at Istres.

Manufacturing and balancing the Open Rotor's nozzle plug

In contrast to typical turbofan jet powerplants, the Open Rotor's nozzle plug will rotate at speeds of the engine – requiring particular attention to how the plug is manufactured and properly balanced, according to Iain Minton, the engineering head at Aircelle's Burnley, England operation, who also oversees the company's cooperative European research and technology programs.

"Our involvement in Open Rotor is one example of how Aircelle is positioning itself for the future – looking ahead to technologies that could be applied to the next-generation of aircraft while actively participating in a European framework," he explained.  "This brings together the skillsets across all of Aircelle, taking best advantage of opportunities that funding at national and European levels gives us."

Management of the Open Rotor project is the responsibility of Snecma – which, along with Aircelle, is part of the Safran group.  A scale model of the engine was displayed on Safran's exhibit stand at Aerodays.

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