Air Transport World

Rolls Royce studies propfans.

Rolls-Royce studies propfans London--Rolls-Royce, which aims to take a decision on whether to go to the stage of a full-scale propfan engine and propeller by the end of 1987, is inclining to the view that such powerplants must be allied to new designs of airframe, rather than retroffited to existing types, if the full potential for future reductions in aircraft operating costs are to be realized.

The British company is currently examining a range of propeller shapes on models two feet in diameter and plans to run these in a wind tunnel to evaluate their aerodynamic, vibration, blade integrity and noise characteristics.

Conclusions on propfans contained in a paper written by Rolls-Royce suggest that they offer potential reductions of 35% in fuel burn and 10% in DOCs relative to the 1990's turbofan. …

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