BOEING FRONTIERS / MAY 2013 27 Deep in the Mississippi swamps of Hancock County, a Rolls-Royce airplane engine roared to life against a palette of purple and pink skies of a winter sunset. Installed on the back of the engine at NASA’s Stennis Space Center was an exhaust nozzle made of ceramic matrix composite (CMC) material, designed to make engines quieter, lighter and more efficient. Watching the test from a Stennis con-trol room was Boeing’s Mitch Petervary, the team leader overseeing development of the nozzle. As data poured in, he and the rest of the test team grew increasingly confident of what it would reveal several weeks later: The material performed as promised. “This was a big step forward for the technology, and I know our customers are going to appreciate the benefits,” Petervary said of the Stennis ground tests conducted earlier this year. The tests represent a major milestone for Boeing and a Federal Aviation Admin-istration program known as CLEEN, short for Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise. The five-year, jointly funded research-and-development effort by the FAA and industry includes ground and flight demonstrations of airframe and engine technologies to speed the reduction of aircraft fuel burn, emissions and noise. As part of FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation System development effort, the program was open to competitive bidding, and the FAA selected Boeing and four other companies to participate, including Rolls-Royce. Boeing Research & Technology is leading. Boeing was working on these technolo-gies before the CLEEN program. But the joint effort exemplifies how Boeing teams on technology research-and-development activities to make discoveries faster and more efficiently than it could on its own, said Don Winter, vice president of Flight and Systems Technologies with BR&T. “By collaborating with the FAA and our partners and suppliers in this program, Boeing intends to accelerate the maturation of these promising technologies,” Winter explained. And by taking a “One Boeing” approach, he added, “these technologies can be integrated onto commercial air-planes more quickly for the benefit of our environment, airline customers and the flying public.” It won’t be long before the nozzle gets its day in the sky. With ground tests wrapping up, the nozzle will be installed on what will be the second aircraft in Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program, a 787 Dreamliner scheduled to fly later this year. As part of the CLEEN program, Boeing and its partners are also working on other technologies to make airplanes more fuel-efficient while reducing emis-sions and noise. Some of this innovative technology was flight-tested last year on the first Boeing ecoDemonstrator, “Boeing intends to accelerate the maturation of these promising technologies.” – Don Winter, vice president of Flight and Systems Technologies with Boeing Research & Technology PHOTOS: (Left) At twilight, a Rolls-Royce airplane engine equipped with a ceramic matrix composite, or CMC, nozzle roars to life at the NASA Stennis Space Center. (Above) Boeing CLEEN team members inspect the nozzle prior to testing.
Frontiers May 2013 Issue
To see the actual publication please follow the link above