Pratt & Whitney and Volvo Aero have reached an agreement in which Volvo Aero has been contracted to reduce the weight of the turbine exhaust case (TEC) for the GP7000 engine for Airbus’ new A380 jumbo jet. The agreement also anticipates that Volvo Aero will assume responsibility for manufacturing and product support for the TEC during the engine’s lifetime. “This is a major success for Volvo Aero’s technology efforts and solid confirmation that we are moving in the right direction with our focus on lightweight designs,” comments Olof Persson, President of Volvo Aero.
The turbine exhaust case is a highly critical part of the aircraft engine because, among other reasons, it has as an integral feature one of the two support systems that carry the weight of the entire engine. Pratt & Whitney has tracked Volvo Aero’s strategy of focusing on lightweight technologies for aircraft engine components and, when the need arose to redesign the existing component, Volvo Aero was contacted about an alternative design.
Among other features, the new Volvo Aero design reduces the weight of the TEC by more than 10%, resulting in a substantial benefit in terms of fuel consumption and environmental impact.
An extensive development program has been established to verify the new design and validate that the new TEC meets the high goals established. Following TEC validation, it is projected that series production of the new TEC for the GP7000 engine could start as early as 2010. At the end of the same year, Volvo Aero would take over full manufacturing responsibility.
“In addition to the sales generated, it is important for us that our efforts to develop our know-how in lightweight technology are bearing fruit,” says Olof Persson. “This is important for the future, particularly considering the current environmental debate.”
Source: Volvo Aero
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