Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rotary engine technology takes off in general aviation

25.07.2007
General aviation is currently in a high-growth phase and is desperately looking for new aircraft engine technologies. The four-stroke piston engine technology used in the majority of planes involved in general aviation dates back 60 years.

So, while designs are well proven, motors require some 70 or 80 moving parts and still use 100-octane low-leaded (100 LL) fuel that has long been displaced by kerosene for commercial aircraft. Thanks to EUREKA project E! 2743 KERO, advances in combustion chamber design and electronic management systems are making it possible to develop a reliable rotary engine for small planes running on standard kerosene jet fuel.

Swiss project leader Mistral Engines saw a major market for a safer, more reliable motor that could be easily adapted to any model of light aircraft and able to run on industry standard fuel. The design is based on the Wankel rotary engine developed in Germany in the 1930s but emerged at the wrong time. So far, it has only really been developed and commercialised by Japanese car maker Mazda in its RX-8 and previous models.

Safety and reliability are key factors in aviation. Advantages of the design include excellent reliability as there are few moving parts, a high power-to-weight ratio, compactness and smooth running compared with conventional piston-engine designs. Moreover, the engine will run on widely available standard commercial aviation fuels. The Wankel engine has a rotor instead of reciprocating pistons, doing away with any need for crankshafts, pistons and springs and reducing the number of moving parts to only two or three. Modern electronics has now made it possible to overcome timing and injection control complications, resulting also in similar fuel consumption figures to piston engines.

Several partners are involved in the EUREKA project. The Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is studying the best combustion conditions for the kerosene in terms of combustion-chamber design, injection and ignition. “We are also now developing a special exhaust silencer with the EPFL to limit the noise, using active and passive noise- reduction technologies able to work at very high temperatures,” adds Geles. “This has not been done before.”

EUREKA labelling played a key role in obtaining funding for the KERO project. “While we managed to start the work with ‘pocket money’”, explains Claude Geles, chairman of Mistral. “EUREKA labelling enabled us to put together the10 million euro in private equity financing that we needed to see the project through to a fully certified product ready for manufacture.” Most of the technical problems have already been overcome –one problem still being tackled is pushing away the detonation, or pre-ignition, limit. Nevertheless, Geles predicts full FAA certification within 18 months of the project ending. The sky is then literally the limit!

Sally Horspool | alfa
Further information:
http://www.eureka.be/inaction/viewSuccessStory.do?docid=3409978

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht Tool helps cities to plan electric bus routes, and calculate the benefits
09.01.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Realistic training for extreme flight conditions
28.12.2016 | Technical University of Munich (TUM)

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>