NASA and Pratt & Whitney to Advance Jet Engine Combustor Design Under HyTEC

In 2021, NASA announced the Hybrid Thermally Efficient Core (HyTEC) project, which, unlike other NASA projects, is aimed at the aviation world to help fight climate change. The project aims to improve the combustion chambers of aircraft engines to ensure that the future of commercial flight is cleaner, more efficient and sustainable.

As part of HyTEC, NASA recently awarded a cost-shared contract to Pratt & Whitney worth a total of $13.1 million. The goal of this two-year collaborative effort is to advance new combustor designs for small-core engines. An aircraft engine’s combustion chamber, also known as the combustion chamber, is where fuel is added to compressed air and ignited, creating the high-temperature gas that powers the engine.

As part of this initiative, NASA and Pratt & Whitney will test the performance of these future combustor designs when using sustainable aviation fuels. The HyTEC project will ultimately develop highly efficient jet engines to support the future of sustainable aviation by using less energy, running on renewable fuels instead of fossil fuels, and enabling electrified propulsion for commercial aircraft. single aisles.

“In order to meet the carbon emissions targets of the Aviation Climate Action Plan, future single-aisle aircraft engines will need to be able to burn sustainable aviation fuels,” said Tony Nerone, HyTEC project manager at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. “HyTEC’s role is to develop these small core engine combustors that are more efficient, longer lasting and capable of using sustainable aviation fuel without compromising engine performance and while providing significant fuel benefits. of emissions.”

The 2021 U.S. Aviation Climate Action Plan projects the U.S. fleet will grow to use 40% more jet fuel by 2050. While efficiency improvements like small prime movers help To reduce fuel demand, sustainable fuels are essential tools in the industry’s arsenal to reduce net carbon emissions from commercial aircraft. The projected increase in the use of renewable fuels would significantly reduce global aviation emissions and slow climate change caused by aircraft.

“Over the next 30 years, the use of sustainable aviation fuel is the low-hanging fruit to deliver major emissions improvement coupled with all the efficiency improvements of the Sustainable Flight National Partnership,” said Nero. “In fact, the sustainable use of aviation fuel is the largest contributor to the carbon emissions targets of the US Climate Action Plan 2050.”

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