France creates next-gen FCAS engine with an innovative turbine
PARIS, ($1=0.88 Euros) – The French aviation industry is working to create a new jet engine for next-generation fighter jets, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing the French Ministry of Defense.
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The French Ministry of Defense announced that at the end of 2021, the Directorate General of Arms [DGA – Direction Générale de l’Armement] has completed a large-scale test stand for the technology of the new generation fighter engine under the Future Combat Air System [FCAS].
The testing took place under the auspices of the Turenne defense technology project. A prototype based on the Rafale fighter engine was tested on a bench. Launched in 2015 by DGA and Safran, the Turenne program consists of two phases.
The first phase lasted 5 years and aimed to create and test digital technology solutions and create an innovative concept for a jet engine turbine using modern processes: scalable digital model, 3D-digital modeling, digital design of new metal alloys, prototyping in additive production.
The second stage, which began in 2019, allows you to test the prototype in real conditions, using the method of “thermal color” to compare the actual thermal reflection obtained with the simulation data performed digitally in the first stage.
This test is specific because of the technique used, called Thermocolor, which requires heat-sensitive paint – applied to the blades of a high-pressure turbine, it allows you to measure the temperature by changing the color.
This paint is very fragile – in its composition, it can only be subjected to a single thermal load. Then it loses its properties.
The French Ministry of Defense is also giving details of the forthcoming actions in the development of the new engine and the unique nougat turbine. According to the French, a series of tests has begun at the DGA centers.
Their final analyzes and assessments will outline exactly how to conduct the endurance test, which according to the French Ministry of Defense will last several months, without specifying whether all tests will be completed by the end of 2022.
DGA believes that these tests will establish the aging process, as well as simulate the rapid aging of the new turbine blades. In this way, engineers will specify the life of the engine and its capabilities. These tests must answer what is the maximum allowable period in the future for engine repair if its characteristics are loaded to the maximum.
Along with the tests of the new engine, the French are developing new ceramic material. It must increase its resistance to very high temperatures compared to that currently in use. The French Ministry of Defense says it is also working on developing new metal components, which will also be tested to determine their durability.
Dassault, a manufacturer of Rafale fighters, and Airbus are working on the FCAS fighter program. Germany and France create a new fighter with the participation of Spain. The new aircraft is expected to gradually replace the Rafale and Eurofighter fighters after 2040.
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