German researchers develop hybrid engine concept to halve fuel-burn

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Hybrid propulsion concept Composite Cycle Engine (Image: Bauhaus Luftfahrt)

Engineers at German research institute Bauhaus Luftfahrt have developed a hybrid geared turbo fan engine that incorporates a piston engine into its core.

The Composite Cycle Engine (CCE) concept, which is being shown at the ILA Berlin Air Show this week, uses an engine with 20 pistons to increase thermal efficiency, which enables higher peak pressures and temperatures within the core engine.

The piston engine is connected with the high-pressure spool and powers the axial-radial high-pressure compressor.

The low-pressure system uses conventional geared turbofan (GTF) technology, so that the outstanding power-to-weight ratio of the low-pressure turbine can be fully used and to realize an ultra-high bypass ratio.

The concept uses a 16-blade fan with a diameter of 2.87m (9.4ft). The engine would be 5.88m long and weigh 7.27 tonnes.

“Assuming an entry into service in 2050, fuel burn improvements up to 50% relative to year 2000 turbofan technology can be reached”, said Bauhaus Leftfahrt in a press release.

April 24, 2018

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before eventually becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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