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Russian partners to test new ‘VITAL’ booster

On 11 December 2007 in Liege, Belgium, VITAL project partner Techspace Aero delivered a newly developed booster module to Russian partner CIAM for the next phase of testing in a programme aimed at reducing the environmental impacts of air transport.

The VITAL booster module
VITAL booster module ready
for delivery

“Developing better propulsion systems is a key element in reducing environmentally harmful CO 2 and NO X emissions, and noise,” said VITAL coordinator Jean-Jacques Korsia of Snecma. The specific aim of the booster subproject is to deliver a 6 dB noise reduction and a 7% reduction in emissions, he explained.

Techspace Aero has been working at breakneck speed to hand over the new booster on time, with special emphasis on innovative, aerodynamically superior, low-pressure compressors that are lighter and more compact. The entire module includes the new compressor with a fan, intermediate casing and sump.

Fagim Gelmedov
Fagim Gelmedov

The module will now be shipped to CIAM (Central Institute of Aviation Motors) in Moscow for testing in 2008. CIAM’s Fagim Gelmedov said, “We want to congratulate everyone who has worked on this new booster and we are very happy to be involved in the next phase.”

Major R&D initiative

VITAL brings together a large number of stakeholders in the European aviation industry. Snecma leads a consortium of 53 partners, including all major European engine manufacturers – Rolls-Royce Plc, Volvo Aero, MTU Aero Engines, ITP, Avio, Techspace Aero, Rolls-Royce Deutschland – and Airbus, as well as innovative small businesses, universities and research centres. Non-EU participants include CIAM in Russia and South African partners. The European Commission is providing €51 million of VITAL’s €90.9 million budget.

Jean-Jacques Korsia with EU Air Transport Research Head Liam Breslin
Jean-Jacques Korsia with EU
Air Transport Research Head
Liam Breslin

The targeted 6 dB noise reduction and 7% reduction in CO 2 emissions are in comparison to engines in service prior to 2000, but VITAL will also assess the overall benefits of other on-going EU-funded research projects on weight reduction (EEFAE) and noise reduction (SILENCE(R)). The impacts of these initiatives at whole-engine level will be assessed and then combined with VITAL results to deliver, by the end of the project in 2008:

  • 8 dB Noise reduction per aircraft operation
  • 18% reduction in CO 2 emissions.

Next phase

The handover of the new module marks the culmination of three years of R&D work that involved a hundred or so of Techspace Aero staff. European Commission Scientific Officer Daniel Chiron said, “VITAL is part of an extremely important group of projects for cleaner air transport. The challenge now falls upon CIAM to deliver what we hope will be positive test results next year.”