In its 7th Framework Programme (FP7), the European Commission co-funded a series of Level 2 aero engine projects with the objective to achieve and eventually surpass the goals of the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE) for 2020, and to move towards Flightpath 2050, Europe’s Vision for Aviation.
In ACARE’s new Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA), the targets for CO2 emissions were split into component areas: airframe, engine, ATM and operations. The engine sector has already been very successful in contributing to these targets by achieving breakthroughs in past and on-going research and technology development programmes, for instance LEMCOTEC targeting core engine technologies, and E-BREAK targeting system technologies for engines with ultra-high overall pressure ratio (OPR).
In the light of new opportunities for further significant improvements, especially regarding reduction of CO2 emissions and fuel burn as well as reduction of perceived noise, ENOVAL targets the low pressure system of ultra-high bypass ratio (BPR) propulsion systems (12 < BPR < 20) with ultra-high OPR (50 < OPR < 70) of ducted geared and non-geared turbofan engines. These engines are among the best candidates for the next generation of short/medium range and long range commercial aircraft applications with an entry into service in 2025 and onward. ENOVAL technologies will provide significant reductions in CO2 emissions in terms of fuel burn (-3% to -5%) and engine noise (-1.3 ENPdB).
Further development breakthroughs are required to improve the propulsive efficiency through higher engine BPR, a key technology identified in the SRIA to achieve the ambitious goals. ENOVAL will develop ultra-high BPRs of up to 20, being well beyond the state-of-the-art. This will result in a significant fan diameter increase of 20-35% vs. the year 2000 reference engine, which still can be accommodated within the limits of a conventional aircraft configuration and is thus fully in line with the SRIA roadmap for 2020.
ENOVAL will significantly contribute to a cleaner and quieter aviation future. As an example, a reduction of 5% in fuel consumption of one mid-range aircraft (e.g. A320) leads to an annual saving of 1,200 tons of CO2. The reduction of CO2 and noise will have a crucial economic impact on airlines and their customers who will be facing increasing fuel costs and the implementation of an Emission Trading System, as well as the necessary development of infrastructures and their acceptance by society to meet the requirements of future growing air traffic.