Nexcelle’s Aircelle parent company exhibits its nacelle expertise at the Farnborough Airshow
July 25, 2014
The forward-looking research, development and production activity of Aircelle – one of Nexcelle’s two parent companies – was in the spotlight at this month’s Farnborough International Airshow.
Aircelle exhibited a full-scale nacelle that represented its technological leadership in engine nacelles, incorporating three different technology elements, including its PANACHE thrust reverser concept that has been applied to Nexcelle’s nacelle for the LEAP-1C engine’s integrated propulsion system on COMAC’s C919 jetliner.
PANACHE (Pylon And Nacelle Advanced Configuration for High Efficiency) incorporates numerous system improvements, beginning with its one-piece composite O-Duct. The O-Duct replaces two-piece “D” ducts on a traditional thrust reverser – resulting in reduced weight while also eliminating the D-duct reverser’s bifurcation in the flow-path, thereby improving the aerodynamic efficiency.
In addition, the Aircelle thrust reverser’s new kinematics – in which the entire O-Duct translates aftward to the reverse thrust position, while moving its blocker doors into the airflow – eliminates the need for drag links in the secondary flow-path.
Improving aircraft performance
Also displayed by Aircelle at the Farnborough Airshow exhibit was NAIAD (the Nacelle Innovative and Acoustic Demonstrator), which enabled the company to evaluate reductions in aerodynamic drag, thereby contributing to improvements in aircraft performance. An entire forward nacelle section was produced by the company in composites as a single 360-deg. component, eliminating joints and thereby providing a smoother airflow.
NAIAD also offers improved maintainability, as the new single-piece forward section no longer had the cowl door, which – on a traditional nacelle – provides easy access to the engine for maintenance. After the NAIAD program’s initial evaluation phase, Aircelle is now conducting additional research and technology activities, focusing on how it can apply such drag reduction benefits to future nacelle designs
Completing Aircelle’s air show nacelle exhibit was a formed titanium acoustically-treated nozzle and plug, which is produced by Aircelle for the Airbus A380 and designed to operate in the hot exhaust airflow. It is a core technology that is recognized as contributing to the A380’s low noise level, and which Aircelle plans to develop further, focusing on such aspects as producibility, maintainability in service, and meeting future potential increases in engine operating temperatures.”