Kaveri & Aero-Engine: News & Discussion

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SaiK
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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby SaiK » 22 Jan 2016 22:36

the flat rating in my understanding is to do with combustor ignition at high alt and stability.. like thrust drop at high ambience compensated by higher TET. so, the wet and dry kNs are maintained.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby JayS » 25 Jan 2016 11:28

^^ Flat rating can be achieved in many ways. But I wanted to know what's the specification for Kaveri thrust. As an example a flat rated engine could be specified as "30kN thrust till 30000 ft" which means it will have 30kN thrust from SL to 30000ft. Whats that spec for Kaveri?? I don't remember seeing such number for Kavri in past.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Indranil » 25 Jan 2016 13:59

Something very exotic has come up. TBRL has floated a tender for Liquid fuel-air mass flow rate measurement set up for pulse detonation engine.

It will be a 2.5 kN engine 8) . The set up specifies a 20 litre fuel tank. If the same tank is retained in the flying article, then this engine is going to power the flight for a few minutes. Therefore, if it materializes, it will be part of a weapon, not a drone!

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Gyan » 25 Jan 2016 14:09

Probably an add on booster kit for a 450/900kg bomb/PGM to extend its range.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Indranil » 25 Jan 2016 14:32

Unlikely.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby JayS » 25 Jan 2016 18:01

Our own Buzz bombs... :mrgreen:

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby PratikDas » 26 Jan 2016 12:56

indranilroy wrote:Something very exotic has come up. TBRL has floated a tender for Liquid fuel-air mass flow rate measurement set up for pulse detonation engine.

It will be a 2.5 kN engine 8) . The set up specifies a 20 litre fuel tank. If the same tank is retained in the flying article, then this engine is going to power the flight for a few minutes. Therefore, if it materializes, it will be part of a weapon, not a drone!

The tender is for TBRL Ramgarh, which has a Rail Track Rocket Sled. Methinks the pulse detonation engines will replace the rockets, perhaps for the ability to control thrust.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Indranil » 26 Jan 2016 21:56

That makes a lot of sense! You may be onto something here. The fuel storage vessel and air feed vessel are to be housed on a 1M (H) X 1.5M X 1.5M movable platforms.

On the other hand, this might be a test of the engine in motion, simulated on the test track. I think the engine has been developed. Because they know the exact pressures for the air and the fuel feed mechanism.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby member_29268 » 26 Jan 2016 22:36

NRao, seems there are lot of projects DRDO is pursuing with academia, couldn't find if those projects can be tracked though.
http://www.drdo.gov.in/drdo/boards/ardb ... ojects.htm

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby NRao » 27 Jan 2016 00:50

khedar wrote:NRao, seems there are lot of projects DRDO is pursuing with academia, couldn't find if those projects can be tracked though.
http://www.drdo.gov.in/drdo/boards/ardb ... ojects.htm


Seen that. Which is good. However, three observations: 15 per page * 12 pages = 180 is just not enough. I would expect that number to be in 1000s for India. Second, I really did not see MetSci projects, which IMVVHO is the key - new materials AND plenty of them (for all purposes, not just aero- engines). And, third, perhaps the MOST critical - how many are productized? No use conducting leading edge research and no products come out of it. And, an off-shoot of the third, how many start ups?

Have you been following what GE has done? 1) They are moving their HQ to Boston - to be around the brains. 2) They have hired an "Inovation" VP - yeah, GE, hired a person dedicated for "innovation". Result? GE saw the move to LEDs some time back (just heard her two days ago on NPR) and bought a leading business in LEDs and guess what, rest is history.

Let us see. I am expecting more from Modi, but he needs help. But, a very, very long way to go. The problem now is that others are not waiting either - so the gap is bound to increase.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby NRao » 29 Jan 2016 09:48

Not Top Gun Yet: China Struggles With Warplane Engine Technology

Some idea on engine dev for those in India.

The Shanghai-based Galleon group, which provides consulting services to the aerospace industry, estimates Beijing will spend $300 billion over the next 20 years on civil and military aircraft engine programmes.

Some sources said China had hired several foreign engineers and former air force personnel to work on engine development, although this could not be independently confirmed. The Chinese Defence Ministry declined to comment.

"In 20 to 30 years time, given the amount of work they have done and the effort they are putting into it, they should have a viable military engine," said Greg Waldron, Asia Managing Editor at Flightglobal, an industry publication.


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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Will » 01 Feb 2016 01:00

And India thinks the measly k crores spent on the Kaveri till date have broken the bank :roll:

When will we learn that if we need to master a critical technology there is no substitute to consistently well funded R&D.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Vivek K » 01 Feb 2016 01:02

Need to put together a flying test bed for the Kaveri!!

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Neela » 08 Feb 2016 14:17

Some excerpts from a news article

New HAL helicopter facility in Karnataka

The trials of indigenously built Aero Engine HTFE 25 have already proven successful.
The engine which produces 25 kilonewtons of power can be used on primary, intermediate and advanced trainer aircrafts of the Air Force weighing upto 9 tonnes.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Kailash » 13 Feb 2016 07:49

Obviously article just puts 1+1=2 without any time frame or assured connection between the new 80KN engine(of unknown weight) and the LCA mk1. I dont see this flying on mk1. Only open question for me though is where are the order for 100 F404s?

How India is keeping Kaveri engine alive in disguise

SOURCE: Anand SG / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG/ IMAGE CREDIT : Anand SG

Last July Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on the floor of parliament informed Parliamentarians that Indian government has spent over 2,101 crores on the development of the indigenous Kaveri Engine but also earlier last year media reported that DRDO along with GTE had decided to wind up the Kaveri engine (GTX-35VS ) programme, signaling an end to a desi dream of equipping its own fighter jet with a home-grown power plant.

Same year GTRE officials on the sidelines of Bharatiya Vigyan Sammelan in Goa also had confirmed to me that Kaveri engine will no longer power LCA and more or less project was on the back-burner due to constant delays over the years and bad press which lead to official delinking of the project with LCA-Tejas programme which eventual lead to funds drying up .

last July Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) issued Tender seeking Expression of Interest (EOI) from reputed Indian private / public sector industries / organisations for manufacturing and assembly of 80 kN thrust class engine consisting about 20000 number of components and parts.

Tender documents spoke of manufacturing and assembling of 80 kN thrust class engine prototypes (20 engines) over a period of 3-4 years. at that point of time, it was unclear why India was keeping Kaveri programme alive since IAF was not interested in Tejas MK-1 and was only considering buying only Tejas MK-2 which was to be equipped with higher-thrust GE engines with a 98kN thrust to meet its power requirements.

Revival of MK-1

But later in 2015 reports started emerging that Upgraded Tejas MK-1A will take to air equipped with New Aesa Radar of Israeli origin and will have 5 % reduction in drag due to design optimization and also will shed some weight to improve maneuverability and performance of the aircraft.

HAL which initiated Improved Tejas MK-1A project has promised first flight by 2017 and is working on improving serviceability of the aircraft by making changes to aircraft internally to reduce downtime and manhours while aircraft is in service. MK-1A will also get On-board Oxygen Generation System (OBOGS), Upgraded Avionics and podded Electronic Warfare (EW) Suite along with In-flight refueling probe.

Revival of Kaveri?

GTRE was sanctioned Rs 300 crore to take up future projects and another additional sanction of Rs 700 crore is on its way to help realize these gen-next technologies while a separate fund was to be also sanctioned to the tune of 2,600 crores to take up new projects for unnamed projects.

With 100+ orders been now confirmed for Tejas MK-1A by Indian air force, it is pretty much obvious now why GTRE is allowed to work on development of 80Kn thrust class engine under different name which might eventually be used on Tejas MK-1A when aircraft is up for engine change since it is believed each aircraft requires nearly 3.5 engines throughout its operational history .

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby saumitra_j » 13 Feb 2016 08:24

Looks like classic speculation from DDM. Kaveri program was never stopped IMHO, the funds had dried up during the UPA sarkaar days. When I spoke to GTRE folks at AI 2015, they were pretty much going ahead with the testing. Kaveri had by then done 3000+ hours of ground testing (also including flight tests on IL 76). The next target was 4K hours to be certified to run on twin engine jet and then 5K hours before it is allowed on a single engine jet. BTW, there were no Single Crystal Blades - IMHO their target is to get the basic configuration tested on a single engine jet (with DS blades) and once that happens (it will be a BIG milestone!!) , they can go for incremental changes including Single Crystal Blades. This tender for 20 engine means NaMo Govt. is funding GTRE adequately and they are going ahead full steam. Whether LCA Mk1A will actually fly with some version of Kaveri during its operational life cycle is pure kite flying IMHO ... we still have a lot more things to achieve!!!

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Aditya G » 13 Feb 2016 13:37

No news of KMGT in a while. Navy had offered to re-equip R-Class destroyers with the same!

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby fanne » 13 Feb 2016 18:27

What stops HAL from upgrading the jaguar engine (the original was upgraded by RR by just using lighter materials as Tech progressed) by using tech from current Kaveri? The DS Blades can reduce weight, maybe increase RPM and thus thrust?

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby shiv » 13 Feb 2016 20:24

fanne wrote:What stops HAL from upgrading the jaguar engine (the original was upgraded by RR by just using lighter materials as Tech progressed) by using tech from current Kaveri? The DS Blades can reduce weight, maybe increase RPM and thus thrust?

The things that happen inside a jet engine are too extreme and too complex for jugaad like this. With copious research funding, liberal allowance for failure and endless time - yes. Otherwise no.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby ragupta » 13 Feb 2016 20:38

fanne wrote:What stops HAL from upgrading the jaguar engine (the original was upgraded by RR by just using lighter materials as Tech progressed) by using tech from current Kaveri? The DS Blades can reduce weight, maybe increase RPM and thus thrust?


Why waste time on Adour engine, whatever improvement if done those IPs will be claimed by BAE.

Better to perfect hal 25KN engine and scale to 30 to 35KN and use it instead of adour or Honeywell.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby SaiK » 13 Feb 2016 21:40

With 80 kN++ wee should include upgradable platforms like the Mig29s.

Come up with a design that almost fits for few if not all.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Yagnasri » 13 Feb 2016 22:36

Proposal for the use of Kaveri for proposed UCAV is final right?

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby SaiK » 15 Feb 2016 09:50

Where is the proposal?

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Indranil » 26 Feb 2016 02:22

Tender for CFD analysis of icing characteristics of turbofoan engine's struts & bullet nose including the effect of air intake is out. Shows the inlet design of IUSAV/Aura/Ghatak.

Image
Turbo-fan engine inlet

Image
Layout of the intake

Image
Engine intake model


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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby srai » 14 Mar 2016 10:32




Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE): FDM Cuts Time to Prototype Jet Engine from 1 Year to 6 Weeks.

“With FDM we created an engineering prototype that perfectly reflected our design intent and facilitated the complex engine development.”
— Dr. U. Chandrasekhar, GTRE

Preparing for Flight

The Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) of Bangalore, India is a government laboratory whose primary function is research and development of marine and aeronautic versions of gas turbines. Development of GTRE’s flagship product, the Kaveri jet engine, was commissioned for the HAL Tejas aircraft, which has an all-terrain capability that spans from hot deserts to the world’s highest mountain range.

Real Challenge

One of the greatest challenges in designing the Kaveri was positioning its many piping runs and line replaceable units (LRUs) on the outside of the aircraft. Many of the LRUs are connected to the interior of the engine with pipes that carry hydraulic fluid, fuel, and lubricants. It was a major challenge to design each piping run to minimize length to reduce weight and cost while avoiding interference.

The initial piping layout was created with CAD software, but CAD alone can’t portray the complex intertwined piping non-ambiguously to all the developers. “The virtual environment cannot represent the design to the level that we need to meet our requirements,” says Dr. U. Chandrasekhar, GTRE Group Director. “The computer comes close, but close isn’t good enough when you are about to make a decision to invest tens of millions of dollars to bring a new product to market.”

Building an engineering prototype is easier said than done. There are approximately 2,500 engine components that had to be included in the assembly. In the past GTRE would have considered building the prototype using CNC machining. However, using these methods, it would have taken a minimum of one year and cost an estimated $60,000 to build the physical prototype assembly.

GTRE also considered stereolithography, but the project was not well-suited for this prototyping method due to excessive supports needed for components like turbine blades, combustor swirlers, inlet guide vanes and combustors. GTRE also realized that most conventional rapid prototyping methods would have made it necessary to produce solid pipes which would have eliminated the possibility of flow testing.

“FDM technology provided the ideal solution because the supports and interior of hollow components can be easily dissolved in a water-based solution,” says Dr. Chandrasekhar. “It allowed us to create the geometry we needed. FDM was also much faster [than traditional means] because it is possible to combine several parts into assemblies, which can be produced in a single run.” GTRE also like the fact that FDM creates parts from real engineering thermoplastics, such as ABS, which allowed them to make high-strength durable components for the project.

Real Solution

With over 2,500 FDM components, the Kaveri jet engine prototype may well be the most complex rapid-prototype assembly ever created. It took GTRE only 30 days to produce all these components from ABS plastic using two FDM-based Fortus machines. It took another 10 days to assemble the engine. The total cost to produce the FDM assembly was about $20,000.

Real Benefits

“With FDM we created an engineering prototype that perfectly reflected our design intent and facilitated the complex engine development,” says Dr. Chandrasekhar. “It enabled engineers to identify and resolve problems that would have been easy to miss with only the computer model.” The FDM assembly allowed the design and manufacturing teams to better understand how the engine components would need to fit together during manufacturing. In addition, the prototype enabled a number of GTRE’s partners, including the Indian Air Force, to better understand the engine. The net result was a lighter engine that took less time to validate and build.

- See more at: http://www.stratasys.com/resources/case ... RgBr3.dpuf

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby JTull » 14 Mar 2016 16:35

So, GTRE is also using 3D printing. Hopefully some prototype test results will be known soon.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby agupta » 14 Mar 2016 17:03

JTull wrote:So, GTRE is also using 3D printing. Hopefully some prototype test results will be known soon.


Tullji - It depends on what you mean

Lest the uber-brochure-technologists on BRF get carried away, this is NOT using 3D printing on a working engine. And you can already see the ambiguous use of the word "engineering prototype". Usually a prototype "works" or functions as a GT. Here, they are using it as a eng. mockup model for precisely the purposes explained ... from virtual to a real mockup to be able to visualize/troubleshoot/optimize configurations, design for assembly etc. Good work, great progress, vital every modern tool used to speed up development process. Nothing less, nothing more.

HAL-disease infecting GTRE.... from the old LCA "prototype" rollout days where they actually rolled out a Engineering model with a tractor :)

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby geeth » 14 Mar 2016 21:17

How is it pulled out in other parts of the world?

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Gyan » 15 Mar 2016 08:45

I think a very important pending step in Kaveri saga is award of tender for 20 Kaveri/80kn Engines. Once and If that tender is awarded, we will see in which direction the project is going. My hope is that L&T wins but I suspect either HAL or BHEL will win and we will be back to the rut.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby maitya » 15 Mar 2016 10:21

JTull wrote:So, GTRE is also using 3D printing. Hopefully some prototype test results will be known soon.

I think you were looking for indigenous usage/capability of 3D printing usage in turbofan core - in which case this article is not exactly pointing to that.

But do note that, as opposed to the litany of know-all-smart-alecs with an axiomatic mindset of "if it is indigenous it must be useless only" that graces BRF nowadays, there are actually a hint in this article and also a few posts wrt 3D printing etc usage in a turbofan-core*, some of which has been allegedly mastered by HAL.
(but details are very very scanty and sketchy even there, so a lot of deductive reasoning and FWIW type acceptance etc required, if one decides to read-up and understand and deduce).

So point is, if it's HAL engine division who has mastered it, how difficult would it be to percolate to GTRE folks (or it may be actually the other way round).
Anyway, essentially it boils down to which path/mindset you (or for that matter anybody else, except these know-alls) want/choose to believe/accept/further-search etc - these posts and articles can be a good starting point. Happy searching ...

*Note - Refer to Part-III, for the 3D printing part etc, but Part-I and II needs reading thru to get a perspective of what's being talked here.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby SaraLax » 15 Mar 2016 13:49



Fusion Deposition Modelling machines from this very company have been existing in India since at least 2 decades. In the university where i did my bachelors - they had a very good FDM machine in their CAD/CAM lab (it was actually donated by an European country). We even had a course called Rapid Prototyping. This lab used to do lots of rapid prototyping/modelling projects using ABS material for corporates (Ashok Leyland, TVS companies, Apollo Hospital - some special 3D model of brain & etc) as well as for organizations like ISRO & DRDO. All this was happening 15 years before itself in some of our universities. What we studied as Rapid Prototyping is now being called as 3-D Printing or Additive manufacturing and so on. Of course there is also the more interesting LASER based sintering/heat-based-fusing of fine metal powders and in this case - we may actually make the real metal part itself, instead of having to create a hardened plastic prototype form of the actual part. The input fed for these prototypes though is the CAD model of the part. I believe that ISRO, HAL, DRDO, BARC & etc must all be definitely having & using these types of prototype building machines for atleast a decade or more now.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Neela » 21 Mar 2016 15:13

Some Questions on HTFE-25 from HAL .
- What is the SFC?
- HAL claims to target Business customers as well. Shouldn't the SFC of it be comparable to the same-class engines from other vendors?

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Prem » 27 Mar 2016 09:31


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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Neela » 07 Apr 2016 17:20

Neela wrote:Some Questions on HTFE-25 from HAL .
- What is the SFC?
- HAL claims to target Business customers as well. Shouldn't the SFC of it be comparable to the same-class engines from other vendors?


Answering my own question.
No details on SFC.
But other key parameters extracted for HTFE 25kn

Image


The closest engine is Ivchenko-Progress AI-222 ( used by PLAAF's Hongdu L15)


General characteristics

Type: Two-spool low-bypass turbofan
Length: 1,960 mm (77.17 in)
Diameter: 640 mm (25.20 in)
Dry weight: 440 kg (970.03 lb) in base configuration, 560 kg (1,234.59 lb) in afterburning configuration

Components

Compressor: axial, 2-stage LP compressor and 8-stage HP compressor
Combustors: annular
Turbine: 1-stage HP, 1-stage LP

Performance

Maximum thrust: 2520 kgf / 24.7 kN (5,552.78 lbf) in takeoff mode (non-afterburning), 4200 kgf / 41.2 kN (9,262.13 lbf) afterburning.
Overall pressure ratio: 15.43:1
Bypass ratio: 1.19:1
Turbine inlet temperature: 1,470 K (1,200 °C)
Specific fuel consumption: 0.64 kg/kgf-hr
Thrust-to-weight ratio: 5.68 (non-afterburing), 7.5 (afterburning)




HTFE seems to match above performance.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Gyan » 07 Apr 2016 19:17

http://www.spsmai.com/exclusive/?id=468&q=HAL-unveils-engine-for-Trainers-Biz-Jets

The 25 kN turbofan engine, slim in design, is 1,730mm long, 590mm in diameter and weighs 350 kg


The way I see it, the specifications for HTFE are way more advanced compared to Al-222 or even Al-55. So I wonder, if HAL is being overambitious? Only BRF Gurus can answer it :D

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby SaiK » 16 Apr 2016 19:42

GE spent $1b for 7 years just for the AETP engine design alone!


superb video


cMC
https://youtu.be/is1BBilkyUM

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby ramana » 19 Apr 2016 06:16

X-Post...
indranilroy wrote:
deejay wrote:a) If you are aware: What are the plans for acquiring a flying test bed? Last mentioned was securing a Su 30 off HAL production line(?). Are there other test beds required but not available?

I have seen nothing except newspaper reports on getting a flying test bed. I am not entirely sure if a fighter jet can become a flying test bed. The reason why an IL-76 is used as a test bed is because there is a lot of instrumentation for data collection and analysis. I don't know if there is enough room on a fighter jet for the same. It is within GTREs capability to build a flying test bed. The problem is the funding.
deejay wrote:b) Multiple Engine development programmes are in place both at GTRE and HAL. What are the mutual outreach and oversight mechanisms so as to help speed up R&D, reduce cost and mutually use available talent? I know that they interact regularly.

Actually, there is next to no overlap. They collaborate with each other very closely. They need each other.
deejay wrote:c) Finally, are all the Kaveri offshoots based on Kabini core or are there further core developments too? Is there any timeline mentioned anywhere?

Let me get back to you on this. There were tenders for the cores. I think Kabini core is retained in the 125 kN engine.
deejay wrote:
d) Any progress or news on the same about fulfilling the Gas Turbine requirement for our Naval Ships?

Unfortunately, progress on this has been really slow.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Gyan » 23 Apr 2016 13:32

There was some talk of BHEL joining the engine effort. Has GTRE roped in BHEL yet or not?

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby ShauryaT » 23 Apr 2016 20:47

A Russian assisted effort for Tejas?
How choices get made: Develop indigenous Vs. lisc.produce
Another such but slightly different, decision may soon be on MOD’s table. It involves the jet power plant for Tejas. The original General Electric F-404 capable of 80-85 KiloNewtons of thrust equipping Tejas is to be replaced by the GE 414-INS6 engine capable of 98KN or 22,000 lbs of thrust, turbofan, with afterburner. This was an indent for the navalised version. IAF, always the laggard fetched up later to demand the same engine. In 2010, India contracted to buy 99 of the 414s for the Tejas Mk-2 program, with the delivery begun in 2013. With the total requirement of 500-600 engines for the Tejas (with each 414 engine estimated to pull 3,000 hours of flying, and 3.5 engines for the lifetime of each aircraft), HAL is seeking to license produce them in Banglaore, in its well-honed SKD-CKD assembly mode that guarantees HAL continues to learn nothing about ingesting and innovating technology, and even less about designing and making aircraft engines.

The incorrigible IAF, meanwhile, reconsidered the up-powered engine for the Tejas, and decided that because the heavier S6 power plant would require a heavier rear fuselage and hence a redesigned Tejas, it was in too much of a hurry and couldn’t wait for this modification to be engineered into Tejas. So, could it have 44 more Rafales (beyond the 36 of these French items PM Modi so kindly, and w/o much forethought, approved for purchase) please!

Russia, after being disappointed with India turning down offer to co-produce the FGFA Su-PAF FA engine, is now offering to collaborate with the GTRE (with experience of designing and developing the indigenous Kaveri engine for Tejas that attained the 81KN on its testbed before it was abruptly ended) to design and develop an engine exactly to fit the redesigned Tejas Mk-2 to accommodate the larger 414 engine to meet the heightened performance standard of the GE 414 EPE (enhanced performance engine) able to produce 26,400 tons or 120 KN of thrust and a 11:1 thrust-weight ratio. Incidentally, the 414 EPE is powering the Super Hornet F-18 and the advanced Gripen the US and Sweden respectively offering to India in lieu of the French Rafale. Thus, powered Tejas would be an extraordinary all-INDIAN combat aircraft. In fact, the imported old 414s (in the 99 unit lot) could exclusively equip the export version of the LCA for which many countries are already lining up as potential customers, among them Sri Lanka and Egypt (both friendly states dropped their interest in the Chinese-Pakistani JF-17 Thunderbird after their representatives saw the Tejas put on a show in Bahrain a few months back). Neighbours and friendly states such as Vietnam, Philippines, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and states in Africa will not need much persuasion to buy it.

So the GE 414 EPE equivalent is what Russia is offering to design and build from scratch in India at GTRE, and get Indian jet engine designers and engineers in on its development from the start. The choice is then between a Russian-assisted Indian advanced engine or HAL license-manufacturing an American engine that is already 25 years old. Russian-assisted projects — Arihant SSBN, for instance, have not turned out badly, have they? It would be preferable to GE even permitting HAL to screwdriver the EPE, which’s the likely offer the American company will make to counter the Russian proposal. Because, insofar as one is able to confirm, the combat aircraft engine parameters the US has offered to co-develop with India (one of the projects on DTTI’s “doable” list the recently visiting US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter mulled over with the Defmin Parrikar), is below 414 EPE level.


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