Core Demonstrator for Highly Efficient Miniature Turbofan
Small Business Information
1701 Military Trail, Suite 110, Jupiter, FL, 33458
AbstractSmall expendable gas turbine engines historically suffer from poor thrust-specific fuel consumption and do not meet cost goals for military applications. These engines are single-shaft turbojets and their use in propulsion systems for future advanced munitions such as the Air Force's Low Cost Miniature Cruise Missile (LCMCM), limit the munition's operational capability. Because of their poor fuel consumption, small (<300 lbs thrust SLS) turbojet propulsion systems offer short range and low loiter times. Florida Turbine Technologies, Inc. (FTT) recently developed and demonstrated a unique twin-spool micro turbofan (37 lbf) with half the fuel consumption relative to today's military turbojet baseline. FTT will leverage this technology by scaling the engine core components and developing a core demonstrator for an efficient, high performance 250 lbf turbofan engine. While typically new engine centerline development is quite costly, FTT's scaling approach provides a means to significantly reduce the cost of development for new engines. This program will advance the state-of-the-art in long-range high efficiency small engine propulsion and provide data to support the viability of scaling for engine design. The resulting technology can be directly applied to the development of a 250 lbf turbofan. BENEFIT: Forecasters project that small turbine engines will replace legacy propulsion systems for small munitions and UAVs at significantly rapid rates in the next ten years. Turbine engines offer advantages in speed and altitude over piston engines, and are more reliable over the long term. Anti-ship and land attack cruise missiles that were previously rocket powered have seen a great increase in range thanks to the development of "throttleable" turbine engines. The component technologies developed in this activity are an important step in the development of an innovative highly efficient small turbine engine. FTT's alternative approach to today's small turbojets offers significantly longer range for small turbine powered munitions. Longer range will enable better accuracy which will reduce the number and overall cost of munitions, and longer stand-off which will help to save lives. Further, the approach can be directly applied to a range of engine sizes and vehicle applications, thereby providing significant benefit to all armed forces that utilize or anticipate the need for propulsion with lower fuel consumption. The approach can also be applied to commercial land, air and sea vehicles to reduce fuel consumption and emissions compared to today's technology, leading to improved air quality and reduced dependence on foreign fuel.
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