What is a geared turbofan

“Whisper nozzle” cuts noise in half

Highly innovative technologies from MTU Aero Engines in Munich make it possible to cut fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 15 percent each in one fell swoop and almost halve the noise. This leap in innovation can be heard and felt: to the human ear, the latest generation of aircraft taking off is only as loud as a car that passes by at 60 kilometers per hour at ten meters. Since the beginning of the year, the "whisper nozzles" have been used for the first time in the latest generation of the most successful aircraft type of all time, the Airbus A320neo. The first customer of the aircraft, largely developed and manufactured in Hamburg, is Lufthansa, which has been using the aircraft on domestic German routes since January.

The Geared Turbofan (GTF) PurePower® PW1000G was developed by Pratt & Whitney and MTU Aero Engines. With the high-speed, low-pressure turbine for the geared turbofan engine, MTU has not only developed a key component for this innovative engine of the future, but has also delivered a technological masterpiece: the technology is unique in the world and is only used by MTU for this application.

"The geared turbofan is a star in our portfolio," explains MTU Board Member for Technology, Dr. Rainer Martens. "It is technologically very special and a complete success on the market: Orders soared at record speed - for five types of aircraft." Currently, 60 airlines around the world have ordered over 7,000 geared turbofan drives.

MTU received two German innovation awards for its high-speed low-pressure turbine. Further improvements - new designs, materials, manufacturing processes - are already being worked on in order to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions to minus 40%.

“This year we will start final assembly of the geared turbofan drive for the A320neo in Munich. This is a novelty for us, because a civil engine has never been assembled here, ”Martens continues. “On the occasion of the market forecasts, our production will change drastically and increase massively: By 2018 we expect our module deliveries to double. This is a challenge that we haven't had before, but which we are facing with great commitment. "

BDLI General Manager Volker Thum: "A reason for particular joy and pride is that the German aviation industry is pointing the way to the future: economically highly successful economy planes with whisper engines, most of which are developed and produced in Hamburg, Munich and other German locations , with Lufthansa as the first customer. Our long-term vision is to build aircraft that no longer pollute the environment. The Airbus A320neo with geared turbofan engines is a very important milestone. "

In addition to the high-speed low-pressure turbine, MTU has also worked with Pratt & Whitney to develop a new high-pressure compressor for the geared turbofan. The complete compressor is created using the innovative blisk design. Blisks (Blade Integrated Disks) are high-tech components in which the disk and blades are made from one piece and are no longer plugged together. This reduces the weight and therefore emissions. '

The geared turbofan is not only a technological quantum leap, but also a success on the world market with five applications. Airbus offers it for the A320neo. Bombardier is exclusively equipping the new CSeries with the GTF, Mitsubishi the MRJ and Embraer the new E-Jets of the E-170 and E-190 families. Irkut also wants the geared turbofan for the MS-21.