This is the best discussion I have been in, on desi dephenj. because no one here wants to see the LCA or Indian engine programs fail.
Enqyoob had it wrong. It was not that no one expected the LCA to fly (though many did), but absolutely no one expected GTRE to succeed.
I would like to believe that, but ..GTRE's "success" is still at a level that should have been reached in, say, 1992: "Can we build a very run-of-the-mill leaky turbojet, just to show that we can run a fan at a different RPM and match the turbine to the fan/compressor?"
No BLISK, no SingleCrystal, no shock-in-rotor transonic compressor (why else are the stage pressure ratios so small?)
Trouble is, this is 23 years since 1986. The argument that others took 20 years does not hold - because (a) that happened in the past, and now we have email and SMS, hey? No need to repeat ALL their mistakes.. (b) those people, in 20 years, reached the then-state-of-the-art.
GTRE in 23 years, has reached the state of the art of 40 years ago. Why does this cause jubilation as in the famous Aerospace Engineer's Poem:The Optimist fell ten storeys
At each window bar
He called out to his friends
ALL RIGHT SO FAR!!!
And again, at the risk of having someone get mad enough to develop a mijjile and send it at me, GTRE is the organization charged by the Constitutional mandate to advance engine technology in India. Not ADA, not NAL, not the too-sheltered DMBA or whatever, not HAL. Its GTRE, the organization, not GTRE the individuals, certainly not the PRESENT occupants of GTRE.
But its GTRE. They didn't do what they were supposed to do. The Directors of GTRE, through the years, should have done their yelling, going all the way to public complaint, if the resources allotted to GTRE were grossly and ludicrously inadequate for the job that they were PUBLICLY taking on.
This is something I've never understood (among many many other things, as Prasadji correctly point out..)
The building looked nice, the garden was well-kept. The glass case with the Advanced Axial Compressor Engine looked awesome. The offices were large and very peaceful (few people inside). So why is this organization so dissed?
Maybe this should be the focus of examination. WHY has engine technology ALWAYS been given short shrift in the Indian defence establishment? Is there a more useful answer than
I had never heard that the single crystal technology was offered by the Russians AND INDIA DID NOT BUY IT!!!
! That's the sort of decision that merits a CBI investigation, though stupidity is epidemic in Babudom when it comes to technical decisions. It sounds way too much like someone was making very sure that India would have to buy thousands of engines from phoren.
As for indigenous development, I hope they haven't given up, in fact it's never too late to start. There must be far better lab facilities today than there were in 1986 in Indian universities, or it must be possible to hook up with some other nation or company to get this - apparently HONDA has it. What's the delay then?
Also, vina, is there something in the laws of physics that SINGLE CRYSTAL is the only way to go? As I understand, the point is to have something that takes sharp cyclic stresses and shock loads, without cracking at very high centrifugal stress and temperature.
Can carbon-carbon composites achieve the same effect? Or some other exotic desi alloy used in making lotas, say? Hindalium Pressure Cooker?
Why is stage pressure ratio on the compressors so low? What inhibits going to transonic stages with ratio of 2 or 2.2?