MUNICH --- MTU Aero Engines, Germany’s technology leader in aircraft propulsion systems, has revamped the concept for its exhibition booth at this year’s Paris Air Show. On the “Path of Excellence”, the company introduces visitors to the innovative high-tech products and services it is offering to support commercial and military engines throughout their entire life cycle. Among the highlights on display at its trade show booth in Hall 2A (No. C254) are high-tech engines and engine components made by MTU and visualization tools that provide a glimpse into the future of digitalization in engine development and production.
Breaking new ground in development and production
A mouse click in lieu of trial and error: Simulations are transforming development and production – and this also holds true for the aviation industry. A simulation screen at MTU’s booth demonstrates how it all works. For MTU, simulations are indispensable, virtual development making processes faster, more efficient and more cost-effective. They ensure a validated and optimized design of the propulsion system. Production, too, is changing.
When it comes to manufacturing technologies, MTU Aero Engines is among the world’s leading companies in the industry: It has developed a new process for producing high-pressure compressor nickel blisks, dubbed precise electrochemical machining (PECM). Blisks are high-tech components manufactured in one piece that eliminate the need to fix separately manufactured blades to the disk. Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, allows highly complex components to be produced at a high rate. MTU Aero Engines has achieved a breakthrough in engine construction: As one of the first companies worldwide, MTU is manufacturing a production part for the PurePower PW1100G-JM, the engine powering the A320neo, using additive manufacturing technology.
Highlights in commercial and military programs
In terms of their technology, the latest narrowbody aircraft have ushered in a new era of efficient and sustainable aviation. A case in point are the PurePower® PW1000G-family geared turbofan (GTF) engines. The holography box, an interactive communication platform, provides trade show visitors with a unique insight into the technology of GTFs. The 3D animations and video sequences provide information on topics such as MTU’s core modules, as, for instance, the high-pressure compressor or the high-speed low-pressure turbine.
An original copy of the latter is also exhibited at the trade show booth. The main focus is placed on the benefits the GTF technology affords both for the customer and for the environment: fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are reduced by 16 percent, perceived noise is cut in half, and maintenance costs are lower. The message has reached the market: The current order backlog stands at more than 8,000 engines.
Among the components showcased by MTU that go into propulsion systems for long-range air-craft is the turbine center frame for the GEnx engine, which powers the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Boeing 747-8. Other exhibits from the military business include a cutaway model of the EJ200 engine powering the Eurofighter Typhoon and a T408 engine, which will power the Sikorsky CH-53K helicopter.
Tailor-made solutions for customers
MTU’s commercial maintenance sector will be presenting its cutting-edge aftermarket solutions. Take V2500 drum repair, for example. This procedure prevents fretting damage at the middle stages of the high-pressure compressor by incorporating newly designed damper wires with improved ends that MTU has developed. Another innovative repair procedure is MTUPlus ERcoateco for application of a high-temperature-resistant erosion protection coating onto high-pressure compressor blades and vanes. The coating is produced using nanotechnology.
This repair helps reduce specific fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. What’s more, it increases the life of the blades and vanes by protecting the base material from excessive erosion. Both repair solutions are being demonstrated on a V2500 high-pressure compressor on display at MTU’s booth.
Perspectives for the future
Aviation continues to have plenty of innovations in store down the road. As guests at MTU’s booth, futurologists from the Munich-based Bauhaus Luftfahrt think tank will be showcasing their latest concept study. In cooperation with 12 students from the Glasgow School of Art, 25 scientists from Bauhaus Luftfahrt have developed a well-matched airport and aircraft concept: “CentAirStation” and “CityBird”.
Their mission statement: New inner-city airports and new aircraft operating regionally between these new inner-city airports and conventional airports will contribute greatly to solving major air transport challenges in 2040 and beyond.
MTU Aero Engines AG is Germany's leading engine manufacturer. The company is a technological leader in low-pressure turbines, high-pressure compressors, turbine center frames as well as manufacturing processes and repair techniques. MTU operates a network of locations around the globe; Munich is home to its corporate headquarters. In fiscal 2016, the company had a workforce of some 9,000 employees and posted consolidated sales of approximately 4.7 billion euros.