In our Clean AirEngine (Claire) technology agenda, we lay out our goals as well as the options for sustainable commercial engine concepts that will pave the way for emissions-free flight.
In the first stage, the introduction of a geared turbofan reduced fuel consumption and hence CO2 emissions by 16 percent each and the noise footprint by 75 percent. This is above the target of 15 percent.
The next stages will focus on the further development of the geared turbofan in order to exploit its full potential. For instance, there is scope to obtain even lower fan pressure ratios, which would achieve an even higher bypass ratio. Moreover, the core engine’s thermal efficiency could be further improved by increasing the pressure ratios, designing the compressor and turbine components as an integrated unit, and using new materials. Partial electrification of the propulsion system is also conceivable—a concept known as More Electric Engine.
In parallel, our engine experts are working on completely new, revolutionary propulsion solutions that surpass today’s technology: MTU is developing two propulsion concepts based on the tried-and-true GTF engine, for which it combines the gas turbine with brand new technologies: in the composite cycle approach, the conventional high-pressure compressor system is to be complemented by a piston compressor and motor; the steam-injected and water-recovering gas turbine integrates a steam power process into the gas turbine cycle.
Another revolutionary concept that MTU is pursuing is electric propulsion. Compared to battery- and hybrid-electric engines, the hydrogen-powered fuel cell has particular potential to enable emissions-free aviation down the line, without transport capacity and range restrictions.