Rolls-Royce Receives $16M FAA CLEEN Technologies Program Award

Under this contract, Rolls-Royce will perform aero engine test demonstrations specifically focused on reduced fuel burn technologies and evaluating alternative aviation fuels.


Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, has received awards valued at $16 million for its participation in the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions & Noise (CLEEN) Technologies Programme.

Under this contract, Rolls-Royce will perform aero engine test demonstrations specifically focused on reduced fuel burn technologies and evaluating alternative aviation fuels. The goals established by the U.S. FAA’s CLEEN program are to achieve a 33 per cent reduction in fuel burn, against a baseline of current performance technology and advance sustainable alternative aviation fuels, by 2015.

James E. Skinner, Programme Manager, CLEEN Technologies, Rolls-Royce said: “We are committed to evaluating alternative fuels and advancing future technologies that are ‘match fit for purpose’ and meet criteria of critical importance for our environment, energy conservation, energy and industry economies.”

Fuel burn reduction

This segment of the CLEEN programme will be performed in concert with undertakings already established under the Environmentally Friendly Engine (EFE) programme. Rolls-Royce will evaluate alternative product designs to achieve fuel burn reduction by providing large gains in cycle efficiency through reductions in turbine cooling airflow. Design and manufacture of these alternative product parts will be conducted in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA and testing will be conducted in Bristol, UK.

Rolls-Royce future engine technologies are aimed at progressing advanced engine cycles that meet or exceed CLEEN goals for fuel burn reduction, while improving engine weight and noise.

Alternative fuels

This CLEEN Programme initiative is to characterise alternative fuels using accepted ASTM International procedures, through component, engine, rig and flight testing of a Rolls-Royce AE 3007 engine and Cessna Model 750 aircraft. Testing will be carried out by Rolls-Royce at its Indianapolis, Indiana, USA facilities and by Cessna Aircraft Company at its Wichita, Kansas, USA facility.

A complementary alternative fuels programme of laboratory-scale, rig and engine testing will also be performed in a controlled environment at Rolls-Royce facilities in Derby, UK.

The company’s aim is to assess various characteristics of alternative fuels, including suitability, environmental sustainability, and industrial and commercial viability. Rolls-Royce will further endeavour to build on the fundamental scientific understanding of the roles of alternative fuel properties and composition, aimed at improving the overall environmental performance relative to current day performance.

Rolls-Royce collaboration in the CLEEN programme further enables the company’s drive to meet ACARE (Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe) established targets of reducing CO2 and noise by half and NOx by 80 per cent by 2020, relative to a baseline for technology in 2000.

As significant, the programme also affirms Rolls-Royce global position on environmental initiatives with activities now spread across the United Kingdom, Germany and North America.

Today’s announcement follows the successful running of the latest core engine build in its E3E (efficiency, environment, economy) two-shaft research program, which is part of the German Aeronautics Research Programme.

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