Kaveri & Aero-Engine: News & Discussion

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Arun_S
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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Arun_S » 30 Jun 2009 00:25

RaviBg wrote:IAF rejects French offer on engine for Tejas - Ravi Sharma

...
The LCA will not be operationalised with the Kaveri, since GTRE will not be able to satisfy the Indian Air Force’s requirement for a low altitude, high speed engine with a thrust of at least 90 kilo Newton (kN) within the extended timeframe, weight or volume.

GTRE officials told The Hindu that they hoped a Kaveri engine co-developed by the GTRE and the French aero engine house Snecma could at least become, in the distant future, the power for the Medium Combat Aircraft (MCA) that is still to be designed. “The IAF agrees that the MCA should be designed around a 90 kN thrust Snecma-GTRE Kaveri engine. The Kaveri could be tested on the LCA, but the aircraft won’t be operationalised.”


...
The IAF’s rejection of the French offer comes after a committee, headed by Air Vice-Marshal M. Matheswaran, pointed out that the Snecma offer did not meet the Air Force’s performance (air staff) requirements, did not give the GTRE the core engine technology it was looking for, and did not help eliminate deficiencies in the Kaveri’s design.

“Assimilate” technology


Both Snecma and the GTRE contested the IAF’s stand, saying that the relevant design technology would, in stages, be assimilated to the Indian defence laboratories.

According to Snecma’s chairman and chief executive officer Philippe Petitcolin, his company could pass on the design and manufacturing technology to Indian entities as soon as it “could assimilate it.” Mr. Petitcolin told The Hindu that collaboration could save the GTRE at least 20 years in developing an aero engine.

...


I have grudging respect for Air Vice-Marshal M. Matheswaran, and trust his decision to be in interest of Indian defense.
As director ASR at Air-HQ he knows subject matter and also how to bend the gora arms dealer into shape. The only missing piece is what is his game plan to realize the objective; saying no is easy, but does not solve the problem.

A birdie tells me he wielded Indian strategic deterrence during Op-Parakram and later SFC. In faint dreamy recollection I recall being co located on an airfield on western border, the launch pad of Indian strat weapons loaded on Mig-xx the day after (i.e. December 14, 2001) and the tamil bull in command.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Omar » 30 Jun 2009 06:28

I don't know if the author really knows what he's talking about (he's not an engineer...of course neither am I :D ) but maybe we don't need single crystal blade technology to achieve increased thrust for the same weight (assuming this hasn't already been tried since this article was written back in 2002). There *might* be other areas of the Kaveri engine that can be similarly 'optimized' using open source, non-proprietary processes.

The titanium blades fitted on to the hub of the Kaveri Jet engine built for the LCA - on the test bed at GTRE - are not made using nano-technology. Cooling channels carrying air are imbedded in the airfoil shaped blades made of Nickel-Chromium-Aluminum ‘super alloy’. This withstands a temperature of 1,000 degrees Celsius. When subjected to temperatures beyond this, dimensions of the blade may change....A Thermal Barrier Coat (TBC) of ‘micron-size’ ceramic on the surface of the blade can insulate the other side of the blade to remain at a temperature of about 800 degrees Celsius. The coat can be of a thickness of 15 micron. If nano-sized ceramic particles are used, the thermal barrier coat can be only five micron thick. Jet pipe temperature rises even up to 1,500 degrees Celsius. Higher jet pipe temperature can give more thrust. In other words successful adaptation of nano-technology helps to increase the thrust of the jet engine, for the same weight.


Link: http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/MONITOR/I ... akash.html

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Omar » 30 Jun 2009 06:57

An interesting paper written by two authors from DMRL about TBC. Applications of this research, however, seem destined for KMGT instead of the GTX-35VS :

"I. Gurrappa ⁎, A. Sambasiva Rao. "Thermal barrier coatings for enhanced efficiency of gas turbine engines" Surface & Coatings Technology 201 (2006) 3016-3029"

a) A two layer coating system has been successfully identified/developed for improved protection of super alloy blades against hot corrosion. The developed protective coating system enhances the super alloy life by about 600 times.
b) Thickness of thermal barrier coatings plays a significant role. The thickness of thermal barrier coatings has been optimised and determined to be 300 μm based on extensive hot corrosion studies on different thicknesses of TBC, as the super alloy life could not increase upon further increase in TBC thickness.
c) The composition of bond coatings for TBCs is extremely important. The compositionally optimised NiCoCrAlY bond coating promotes protective oxide scale formation preferentially depending on the environmental conditions and helps to enhance the life of super alloy considerably.
d) The developed two layer coating system can be successfully applied for marine and industrial gas turbine engines for their improved efficiency.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Drevin » 30 Jun 2009 07:03

yes i think single crystal blades improve life of the engine not thrust.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby PratikDas » 30 Jun 2009 11:44

Google returns plenty of hits suggesting that both thermal barrier coatings and single crystals combine to allow the blades to run hotter and faster, therefore providing more thrust. If you take any one of them away - the coating or the single crystal - you've compromised the performance of the engine to some extent. But best is the enemy of good. It might indeed take us a long time to match the best.

The IAF wants the best for the single-engined LCA. Perhaps they will accept the good enough for the double engined MCA - but perhaps they'll change their mind when time comes to put money on the table.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Drevin » 30 Jun 2009 13:46

You can run the engine hotter and faster even with directionally solidified blades. But it wont last long. Some guru spoke about this. Check the Kaveri Engine discussion archives. The onset of fatigue on ds blades is sooner than singl crystl ones.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Raj Malhotra » 01 Jul 2009 10:02

Arun_S wrote:


I have grudging respect for Air Vice-Marshal M. Matheswaran, and trust his decision to be in interest of Indian defense.
As director ASR at Air-HQ he knows subject matter and also how to bend the gora arms dealer into shape. The only missing piece is what is his game plan to realize the objective; saying no is easy, but does not solve the problem.

A birdie tells me he wielded Indian strategic deterrence during Op-Parakram and later SFC. In faint dreamy recollection I recall being co located on an airfield on western border, the launch pad of Indian strat weapons loaded on Mig-xx the day after (i.e. December 14, 2001) and the tamil bull in command.



I think that even DRDO is not immune from influence. France has shafted India on Dhruv engine deal where we are hardly getting any tech at all inspite of almost a Billion dollar deal (including life time spares).

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby PratikDas » 01 Jul 2009 11:26

Drevin wrote:You can run the engine hotter and faster even with directionally solidified blades. But it wont last long. Some guru spoke about this. Check the Kaveri Engine discussion archives. The onset of fatigue on ds blades is sooner than singl crystl ones.

If you can run an engine hotter and faster but it doesn't last then there's no point. So you'd be better off not running it faster, so you'd be better off compromising thrust. The single crystal blade changes the life span significantly and therefore enables us to use higher thrust to an extent that is "game changing". We don't need "higher thrust" only on the brochure with directionally solidified blades if we can't use it regularly.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby viveks » 01 Jul 2009 13:37

I sometimes fail to understand y our efforts dont bear fruit in regards to engine technology. Be it the Argun tank, the ALH, the Kaveri...etc.

If there are technical in-competencies, then y are not the Mech profs from IITs or private industry honchos like the TATA's or Mahindras not around to help out in terms of better quality man power.

There is recession all around...with multiple people out on leave/sabatical/simply..laid off......the people working there could try and get involved in these projects...upto the time when things get better.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby aditp » 01 Jul 2009 14:00

viveks wrote:I sometimes fail to understand y our efforts dont bear fruit in regards to engine technology. Be it the Argun tank, the ALH, the Kaveri...etc.

If there are technical in-competencies, then y are not the Mech profs from IITs or private industry honchos like the TATA's or Mahindras not around to help out in terms of better quality man power.

There is recession all around...with multiple people out on leave/sabatical/simply..laid off......the people working there could try and get involved in these projects...upto the time when things get better.



One must remember, the government's disinclination towards involving the private industry in anything hightech. It is only recently that the DRDO has started involving the domestic private sector in hi tech projects (Rustom UAV etc).

Level the playing field, allow competition, provide a minimum guarantee of steady revenues....and the results will show.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Drevin » 01 Jul 2009 15:48

PratikDas wrote:If you can run an engine hotter and faster but it doesn't last then there's no point. So you'd be better off not running it faster, so you'd be better off compromising thrust. The single crystal blade changes the life span significantly and therefore enables us to use higher thrust to an extent that is "game changing". We don't need "higher thrust" only on the brochure with directionally solidified blades if we can't use it regularly.


Clarity is an art. :arrow: life span of the engine is very critical. By using sc blades if you get a 33% inclrease in life span for the same thrust its worth its weight in gold. lifetime costs of fighters(and their engines) are being taken into account now.

Also, even with ds blades you'd get thrust but life of the engine decreases faster. This doesnot mean an engine with ds blades will explode if used at full thrust. Hope that clears the air.

jmt
Last edited by Drevin on 01 Jul 2009 16:09, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Kailash » 01 Jul 2009 15:53

NRao wrote:However, the IAF does not seem to be averse to the great thrust Kaveri being developed so that they can use the new Kaveri to power the MCA.


Was a higher thrust engine was ever planned for the MCA? If yes, were the external external dimensions compatible with LCA?

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby NRao » 01 Jul 2009 19:18

viveks wrote:I sometimes fail to understand y our efforts dont bear fruit in regards to engine technology. Be it the Argun tank, the ALH, the Kaveri...etc.

If there are technical in-competencies, then y are not the Mech profs from IITs or private industry honchos like the TATA's or Mahindras not around to help out in terms of better quality man power.

There is recession all around...with multiple people out on leave/sabatical/simply..laid off......the people working there could try and get involved in these projects...upto the time when things get better.


Lack of proper R&D - some R&D exists, but not a mature effort to compete with outsiders. Compete in both techs and on a consistent basis.

The result is that India can build a viable engine for the tank, but the ability to keep up with a user's requirements over time does not exist.

There are plenty of NRIs that consult with Ford, GM, Cat, etc, so that does not seem to be the issue. I personally know engineers with Ph. D from universities like Purdue that are working on next gen engines, etc for Cat.

I suspect that there is politics too - to what extent these engineers (NRIs) perhaps are not aware of - I do not expect them to know either.

On jet engines, all related techs do not exist - again it falls into lack of R&D. Brains are there, but to continuously fund R&D is lacking. By the time R&D catches up, the user recs have changed (this should be expected - specially over 5-10+ years).

Was a higher thrust engine was ever planned for the MCA? If yes, were the external external dimensions compatible with LCA?


Simple answer: No. Yes (to the best of my understanding).

The "higher thrust engine" is a recent development - past year or two. Which is why I think the IAF is willing to give GTRE, etc more time. It seems to me that the IAF is happy with the LCA, so they do not want to abandon that effort, but certainly want a "higher thrust engine".

However, there seems to be a belated effort to get a proper Indian engine - meaning that the IAF also wants Indians to get hold of the involved techs.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby vsudhir » 01 Jul 2009 20:30

However, there seems to be a belated effort to get a proper Indian engine - meaning that the IAF also wants Indians to get hold of the involved techs.


The $64k question then is, is the IAF willing to support desi R&D in the area by committing to orders and thereby to funding lifelines to these tech development efforts?

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby vera_k » 01 Jul 2009 22:00

NRao wrote:There are plenty of NRIs that consult with Ford, GM, Cat, etc, so that does not seem to be the issue. I personally know engineers with Ph. D from universities like Purdue that are working on next gen engines, etc for Cat.

I suspect that there is politics too - to what extent these engineers (NRIs) perhaps are not aware of - I do not expect them to know either.


I think there's both politics and a failure of imagination. With the money at play these days, the talent pool out there is not limited to NRIs alone. The lure of a payout of a few million $s should be enough to convince almost any top engineer in the field to come work for an Indian program.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby NRao » 01 Jul 2009 22:39

I am sure everyone knows this, but, India has an inertia problem - IMHO of course. This actually is very evident in areas other than R&D. Unless an external force is applied (Kargil like) we (as a society) rarely move to solve even mundane problems, forget major projects like the Kaveri. All one needs is this inertia in some upper levels to bring a project down.

Indians by nature are also risk averse (as pointed by one recent article). Some 20-30 years ago India published the highest number of technical papers in the world - but, they were also the lowest in the world to make something productive of these papers. Most were theoretical stuff - very great stuff, but ............ A lot of talk, no walk.

There has also been talk of people passing papers around and not take a position on matters.

Indians do not like competition (due to inertia?). I suspect Indian R&D are very reluctant to invite brain power into the country.

I am sure there are plenty of other points and some that I have mentioned perhaps are not as critical as I think them to be.

But, unless ALL of them are resolved at the same time, it cannot take off. For, one point could bog efforts.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby vera_k » 01 Jul 2009 22:48

OT, and usually wouldn't quote from this site, but your quote above of talk not walk reminded me of something I'd read. I suspect that phenomenon is due to the kind of engineering education available in India.

Rafiq made an interesting comparison in computer science curricula between three top universities in the world: Stanford (of course, since that was the conference site), Imperial College in London and the IITs in India. The chart showed that the UK and Indian institutions require far more CS courses than does Stanford–but Stanford requires far more outside-class work on projects. He concluded that the American system is better on the whole, which I agree with, but the difference was striking. (By the way, the chart also showed that Stanford requires far more courses in social sciences and humanities than do the other two institutions.)


Link

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby rajsunder » 01 Jul 2009 23:26

viveks wrote:I sometimes fail to understand y our efforts dont bear fruit in regards to engine technology. Be it the Argun tank, the ALH, the Kaveri...etc.

If there are technical in-competencies, then y are not the Mech profs from IITs or private industry honchos like the TATA's or Mahindras not around to help out in terms of better quality man power.

There is recession all around...with multiple people out on leave/sabatical/simply..laid off......the people working there could try and get involved in these projects...upto the time when things get better.

Material science unlike most other engineering disciplines is based more of a trial and error based approach, and one just cannot build expertise without investing billions into R & D. Try googling for the life history of Charls goodyear(the scientist without whom we would not have vulcanization of rubber) you would understand the complexities involved in material science research.
China tried doing that during the fall off of soviet during early 90's. they had soviet engineers filling defence research labs in china, but still china has trouble building a decent jet engine and still relies heavily on Russia to fulfill its jet engine needs.

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/A+Technol ... 0195137628
quotes from the above article
.... The GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team's F136 development engine for the Joint Strike Fighter
(JSF) contains third-stage, low-pressure turbine vanes made by GE from ceramic matrix composites (CMC). This could lead to the first commercial use of CMCs in a jet engine's hot section (combustor and turbine areas) when a F136-powered JSF begins flight testing in 2010. .....

...CMCs are made of silicon carbide ceramic fibers and ceramic resin, manufactured through a highly sophisticated process, and further enhanced with proprietary coatings. ....

....They are highly desirable for jet engine components for two main reasons: 1. They are lightweight - one-third the density of metal - providing weight reduction and thus, better fuel efficiency. 2. They are durable and more heat resistant than metals, requiring less cooling air, and thereby improving overall engine efficiency. Simply put, removing cooling air allows a jet engine to run at higher thrust and/or more efficiently. ....


here we are worried about single crystal technology where as the world has moved on to the next generation of technologies :( .

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby sudeepj » 02 Jul 2009 00:50

vera_k wrote:OT, and usually wouldn't quote from this site, but your quote above of talk not walk reminded me of something I'd read. I suspect that phenomenon is due to the kind of engineering education available in India.

Rafiq made an interesting comparison in computer science curricula between three top universities in the world: Stanford (of course, since that was the conference site), Imperial College in London and the IITs in India. The chart showed that the UK and Indian institutions require far more CS courses than does Stanford–but Stanford requires far more outside-class work on projects. He concluded that the American system is better on the whole, which I agree with, but the difference was striking. (By the way, the chart also showed that Stanford requires far more courses in social sciences and humanities than do the other two institutions.)


Link


That website can selectively pull any study to suit its agenda so you should not go by what it says.

Ultimately it boils down to money available with the university. Even 'outside class projects' dont happen in a vacuum, the university needs to provide equipment, support for said equipment and the surrounding economy has to provide/support applications for research done using this equipment. Such a virtuous cycle exists in the US but is missing completely from India.

So even the top notch Indian universities rely on simulations, theoretical projects etc. This is not to diss them, they are doing the best they can with the constraints that they have. There are a lot of 'outside class projects' going on, but these are more pedagogic in nature. One field where you dont really need humongous amounts of infrastructure is Computer Science, and there some fairly decent sort of work does happen.

In other areas such as mech, aero, this will take some more time. Hopefully, with the Indian aero field taking off with Saras/LCA etc. this will happen sooner than later. Also, the chap in charge today is an academic himself, so hopefully he will help the process along.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby PratikDas » 02 Jul 2009 11:57

Drevin wrote:...
Also, even with ds blades you'd get thrust but life of the engine decreases faster. This doesnot mean an engine with ds blades will explode if used at full thrust. Hope that clears the air.

jmt

Let that discussion rest on a good note.

Can we imagine the IAF settling for anything but the very best engine that it can afford and have access to?

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby k prasad » 02 Jul 2009 17:19

vsudhir wrote:Kindly look through k prasad's post.

He quotes the GTRE Director (as close to the Horse's mouth as you can get) as saying, unambiguously, that the GTRE developed kaveri has met the original design specs. Period.

There are many DDMs and phoren hands not interested in not muddling this simple picture.

Further, in subsequent posts, we learn that the kaveri:
1. will be integrated onto LCA to further knowledge and experience
2. the kaveri-integrated LCA will not be operationalized but tested for study purposes
3. The IAF has no objection to considering the present kaveri for the MCA to come.

Kindly do correct if I'm mistaken anywhere. TIA.


I'm not sure that Pt #3 was there anywhere... MCA wasn't really up for discussion anywhere at AI seminar. However, what I do remember is that he said that future Kaveri versions may be ready and can power any a/c developed in the future by us.

Kaveri IN PRESENT FORM is operationally dead, ie wont be put on a combat LCA. In that you are right. But the Kaveri-Eco is a different baby altogether (although i don't know where that will stand at present), and is (was??) meant to power the Mk.2 Tejas.

Prem Kumar wrote:Interesting possibility. A while ago, I remember the discussion in this thread about how the Snecma deal might not be so great after all - if they offer just the engine core but no transfer of design know-how. This could be IAF's way of forcing more concessions from Snecma if they "want in" on the project. Again, why the IAF should care or why GTRE is siding with Snecma - one doesnt know. But if the Rafale MRCA episode is anything to go by, we have learnt that its good to deliver a kick in the butt to the French every now and then to get them to shape up.


Highly possible - GTRE was counting heavily on the French for the SC and TBC tech and other allied tech. Given that being the critical part of the project, if the Frenchies refused/backtracked, I'm sure IAF would have had a good long look and decided to chuck it. However, as expected GTRE would be angry - knowing them, they'd have looked at any help as good at present. But that may be shortsighted thinking on their part in their present demoralised form.

But I'm sure IAF's opinion will say that anybody can come as consultant without issues, but if there is a JV, there have to be tangible benefits for us. Given that the Kabini core is pretty good, i guess IAFs opinion is that we can wait for a few more years and let GTRE develop the core well... however, this is a very chankian move by IAF, with heavy risks. If GTRE isn't able to get the SC tech up within a very short time (and GTRE dir clearly said that we dont have it), and if the TBC program we've following hits roadblocks, then the engine program will flag, and IAF will conveniently put the blame on GTRE, since the people who took this decision may no longer be there at that time. Even if all goes well, we are looking at a 5-7 year development timeline for the new Kaveri Mk2 engine. (Note: my designation, not official)

Katare wrote:Decoupling of LCA with Kaveri is critical for the success at this time.


Already decoupled since 2005-06, when the new changes came in, and GTRE, ADA and IAF slowly realized that the Kaveri Mk.1 wouldnt cut it at all. This was also around the same time that we saw a spurt of "Kaveri failing" and "LCA dead articles", all works of ignorant DDMs who couldn't sift the info clearly.

rajsunder wrote:here we are worried about single crystal technology where as the world has moved on to the next generation of technologies :( .


We are already hard at work on CMCs... don't need to be so dejected.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby chetak » 02 Jul 2009 17:28

k prasad wrote:
vsudhir wrote:Kindly look through k prasad's post.

He quotes the GTRE Director (as close to the Horse's mouth as you can get) as saying, unambiguously, that the GTRE developed kaveri has met the original design specs. Period.

There are many DDMs and phoren hands not interested in not muddling this simple picture.

Further, in subsequent posts, we learn that the kaveri:
1. will be integrated onto LCA to further knowledge and experience
2. the kaveri-integrated LCA will not be operationalized but tested for study purposes
3. The IAF has no objection to considering the present kaveri for the MCA to come.

Kindly do correct if I'm mistaken anywhere. TIA.


I'm not sure that Pt #3 was there anywhere... MCA wasn't really up for discussion anywhere at AI seminar. However, what I do remember is that he said that future Kaveri versions may be ready and can power any a/c developed in the future by us.

Kaveri IN PRESENT FORM is operationally dead, ie wont be put on a combat LCA. In that you are right. But the Kaveri-Eco is a different baby altogether (although i don't know where that will stand at present), and is (was??) meant to power the Mk.2 Tejas.

Prem Kumar wrote:Interesting possibility. A while ago, I remember the discussion in this thread about how the Snecma deal might not be so great after all - if they offer just the engine core but no transfer of design know-how. This could be IAF's way of forcing more concessions from Snecma if they "want in" on the project. Again, why the IAF should care or why GTRE is siding with Snecma - one doesnt know. But if the Rafale MRCA episode is anything to go by, we have learnt that its good to deliver a kick in the butt to the French every now and then to get them to shape up.


Highly possible - GTRE was counting heavily on the French for the SC and TBC tech and other allied tech. Given that being the critical part of the project, if the Frenchies refused/backtracked, I'm sure IAF would have had a good long look and decided to chuck it. However, as expected GTRE would be angry - knowing them, they'd have looked at any help as good at present. But that may be shortsighted thinking on their part in their present demoralised form.

But I'm sure IAF's opinion will say that anybody can come as consultant without issues, but if there is a JV, there have to be tangible benefits for us. Given that the Kabini core is pretty good, i guess IAFs opinion is that we can wait for a few more years and let GTRE develop the core well... however, this is a very chankian move by IAF, with heavy risks. If GTRE isn't able to get the SC tech up within a very short time (and GTRE dir clearly said that we dont have it), and if the TBC program we've following hits roadblocks, then the engine program will flag, and IAF will conveniently put the blame on GTRE, since the people who took this decision may no longer be there at that time. Even if all goes well, we are looking at a 5-7 year development timeline for the new Kaveri Mk2 engine. (Note: my designation, not official)

Katare wrote:Decoupling of LCA with Kaveri is critical for the success at this time.


Already decoupled since 2005-06, when the new changes came in, and GTRE, ADA and IAF slowly realized that the Kaveri Mk.1 wouldnt cut it at all. This was also around the same time that we saw a spurt of "Kaveri failing" and "LCA dead articles", all works of ignorant DDMs who couldn't sift the info clearly.

rajsunder wrote:here we are worried about single crystal technology where as the world has moved on to the next generation of technologies :( .


We are already hard at work on CMCs... don't need to be so dejected.



The frenchies would definitely have transferred the core technology
just before it became obsolete. They would also have extracted an arm and a leg, not to mention your first born son, in the bargain.

People are being either foolish or naive if they are expecting anybody, specially some gora of any description, to sell you their family silver.

They would much rather that you rented the silver and paid handsomely for the privilege.

The IAF has done the right thing in grounding this project and cutting their losses.

THe DRDO approach, after many missed deadlines, has always been " trust us, pump in more money and we will deliver " This approach has rarely succeeded so far.

Someone has to crack the whip. :)

Drevin
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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Drevin » 02 Jul 2009 18:25

PratikDas wrote:Let that discussion rest on a good note.

Can we imagine the IAF settling for anything but the very best engine that it can afford and have access to?


Agree with you on all your posts. As usual i end up flogging a dead horse. :mrgreen: This always happens to me .... dunno why.

Anyways, back to topic, It is true that IAF should be capable of getting the best. I hope IAF gets the best replacement for the kaveri for combat situations. pce.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Kanson » 03 Jul 2009 21:57

K prasad worte
If GTRE isn't able to get the SC tech up within a very short time (and GTRE dir clearly said that we dont have it),


Is this infered by the speech given by dir or from the reply to a pointed question ?

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby shiv » 04 Jul 2009 05:54

Well I am no longer able to pinpoint and say what is a "good engine". The latest Vayu has an article on a series of advances in engine tech coming up which are "frightening" in terms of "catching up". They (GE and others) are looking at engine power/weight ratios of 80:1 with increases in fuel efficiency of 20% and such dramatic figures.

"Catch up" is a game we not be able to play anytime soon. What we may have to accept is compromise based on national security and national capability concerns.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby NRao » 04 Jul 2009 06:25

"Catch up" may have to be defined in relation to .....

The US? UK? France? Russia? Nigeria? Or the dreadfully great Pakistan or is it China-Pakistan?

It will also have to be determined with respect to the expectations of the IAF.

And, of course, all those agents of foreign vendors. Who can forget them.

Engines will be a challenge.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby p_saggu » 04 Jul 2009 08:16

I would say that to keep up with the latest developments, we will have to be ruthless to a degree we haven't been yet.
This will mean:
1. A huge military industrial complex, with mainly private centric research and development,
2. Ruthlessly employ industrial espionage.
3. Make our nation more integrated with the rest of the world, so that the country does not get denied small but significant things such as machinery, parts and raw material. Some amount of technology denial will always be there, but our leaders have to ensure, that we don't fight the unnecessary battles where we don't have funding, or don't have test rigs, or the lack of some equipment does not hold back the scientists, clearances come on time.

Our leaders take our nation to a strategic level, where the only issue before our scientists is developing new tech, not fighting the battles for re-inventing the wheel, not developing tech which is available to a group of nations but is denied to us.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby KrishG » 04 Jul 2009 11:28

In China all the R&D and manufacturing units are state owned. What intrigued me was that they have many R&D centres for the same job for eg. Aircraft Engines. Each institute acts as a private entity and the state encourages competation among them. Whenever there a requirement for anything, each centre comes with their own designs and submits them to the military. They even build their own prototypes. The state then selects the best design and also includes good R&D from other designs into the final product.

Financing multiple entities for the same job might seem like financially unviable at the beginning but on the long term it is much cheaper than spending on particular bunch of intellectuals for some job (eg. GTRE). Encouragement of competation naturally makes people give in a bit extra for the sake of victory if not incentives and pride. It also results in a larger pool of HRD and R&D as all the centres do their own R&D.

India is still dependent on sole 'babu'ish-entities to get their job done and as a result there is and always will be a shortfall. If the idea of multiple entities can work for China, why willn't it work for India, after all almost all of our in-house defence R&D is done by government organizations.

China has Chengdu AC, Shenyang AC, Xian AC and god knows how many more. All do their own R&D, come up with their own designs and prototypes, yet all are owned and financed by the the Chinese government. We on the other hand have a single ADA (ofcourse they have done a wonderful job with the available resources) and a single GTRE for aircraft turbine R&D. we all now that the people in these organizations work very very.... hard but just imagine how many options multiple entities may open up.

Just my 2 cents........ :) :)

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby vasu_ray » 04 Jul 2009 12:28

multiple institutions need

more money (govt. has only so much outlay, export oriented development cycles don't exist). The Dhruv ALH has 450 on order the production lines are booked for next 5 years, HAL plans to enter US market which has so many competitors with a huge backlog

more manpower (currently our production of software grads shadows all else, ISRO has established its own university, created a iconic project the moon trip) now any institution attracting/retaining talent would have to go through those hoops?

university-industry alliance isn't mainstream yet and ownership of a vision/goal in PSUs usually doesn't go beyond the call of duty, without the latter you cannot capitalize on your successes and show business sense by expanding

anyways, I do not understand how different ethos are built in different institutions including private sector, perhaps it has lot to do with leaders and trend setters

ISRO tried offloading satellite building to private sector, not sure how successful they were, nano sat launches from Indian universities just started, private sector is a nil which comes short when measured with the stated goal of launching a sat a month

I am yet to hear about "eco system" managers/entrepreneurs from B-schools, this development can solve our low volume problem across the board

my 2 cents too

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby arunsrinivasan » 04 Jul 2009 12:29

Thanks to our history of socialism, the political / babu class dont appreciate the role competition plays in improving human performance. US extensively uses competition to develop new technologies, faster and potentially at a much lower cost. Take for example the X-prize foundation, the DARPA autonomous vehicle competition, etc. IIRC even the review of our Defence R&D establishment suggested setting up competitive R&D outfits for same technologies.

The irony is "Communist" China, better understands the value of competition than India. :) my 2 cents.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby k prasad » 04 Jul 2009 13:59

Kanson wrote:K prasad worte
If GTRE isn't able to get the SC tech up within a very short time (and GTRE dir clearly said that we dont have it),


Is this infered by the speech given by dir or from the reply to a pointed question ?


Direct quote... unequivocal. He said "We dont have it" in response to the question of how advanced we were in SC tech. check AI thread.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby maitya » 04 Jul 2009 15:02

k prasad wrote:
Kanson wrote:
Is this infered by the speech given by dir or from the reply to a pointed question ?


Direct quote... unequivocal. He said "We dont have it" in response to the question of how advanced we were in SC tech. check AI thread.

k prasad, the SC blade metallurgy technology was with DMRL for couple of years now (sorry, I've misplaced :oops: the link/scan-of-the-article, that was posted in BR couple of years ago), but that was, at that time, more of a laboratory level and not at mass-scale-engineering-level. So in effect, it meant, while theoretically it could have been claimed that we have the capability build SC blades et all, but converting it to building low/high pressure blades for turbines etc for engine core(s) may not have been possible.
One would have hoped that there must have been some progress, over the years, to build the required engineering capabilty to move from a theoretical to actual-engine-build level. But GTRE dir's quote puts that to rest, I guess. :(
So either we get that technology thru JV etc or develop it indigenously, we need it to graduate from 1500K to 1850-1900K TET level to be able to match the thrust level (for a given engine-weight level) that's being demanded by IAF.
No other easy way out ...

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby k prasad » 04 Jul 2009 15:07

^^ Exactly Maitya. Technology and Engineering capabilities are different, and in this case, getting from the Tech to Engg has been extremely difficult. Its sad, but there is nothing we jingos here can do except join DRDO (or the IAS) in droves and change the system from inside through our expertise and dedication.

Unfortunately, there is no quick solution to this problem, except to buck up, push the babus to shower funds and freedom on the labs. Nothing less. (incidentally, this Tech to Engineering gap is something that is widespread in our country and in DRDO)

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Willy » 04 Jul 2009 16:39

If they want the Kaveri to power the MCA then they better get their heads down and tie up whatever JV's are necessary and get cracking so that the engine is ready by the time the MCA gets ready for flight testing.Supercruise and thrust vectoring is going to be a mandatory requirement I take it.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby shiv » 04 Jul 2009 16:42

KrishG wrote:In China all the R&D and manufacturing units are state owned. What intrigued me was that they have many R&D centres for the same job for eg. Aircraft Engines. Each institute acts as a private entity and the state encourages competation among them. Whenever there a requirement for anything, each centre comes with their own designs and submits them to the military. They even build their own prototypes. The state then selects the best design and also includes good R&D from other designs into the final product.


In the case of Aircraft engines - China is a strawman example. It has not come up with anything original that is worth mentioning in the international market. We hear the China example in everything we discuss and while the China example undoubtedly has some things worth emulating - jet engines is not one of those areas.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby NRao » 04 Jul 2009 18:27

2003 :: HAL sees major spin-offs from AJT deal

"As HAL will do 80 per cent of the manufacturing, it will acquire new technologies like the directionally solidified blades, which will give us the technology for the future engines. Similarly, from the Sukhoi (Su-30 fighter deal) we acquired the single crystal blade technology, which will be the basis for all future turbine blades. This way, we get to master these technologies and meet our own requirements and exports, which is the thrust at HAL," Mr Mohanty said.


response to that (http://**************/2009/0 ... to-be.html}:

To Anon@8:29AM: That statement by former HAL Chairman N R Mohanty was made in 2003 but subsequent developments saw HAL abandoning this clause in the Su-30MKI licenced-production agreement as it was cost-prohibitive to acquire and master such technologies. I already gave you the latest quotes coming out of Aero India 2009 from Russian technocrats. If HAL had indeed acquired such technologies from Russia then by now it would have been HAL, and not GTRE or MIDHANI, that would be entrusted with the task of designing and fabricating single crystal turbine blades for the Kaveri turbofan. But that is clearly not the case and MIDHANI continues to do R & D work till this day for developing the metallurgical and industrial production expertise reqd for fabricating single crystal turbine blades. This issue was also extensively deliberated upon during one of the seminars organised by the DRDO during Aero India 2009.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Sona R » 08 Jul 2009 13:29

It is a total failure of GTRE & HAL.
Why they didn't reverse engineer license produced soviet and western engine's
They had good chance to do it like the path the Chinese have followed

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Sona R » 08 Jul 2009 13:42

HAL & GTRE had opportunity to reverse engineer RD33 engine.
The Chinese have tried to develop WS-13 TianShan as reveresed engineered copy of RD33
The Specifications of RD33 are broadly comparable to General Electric F404 which is used on LCA with exception of diameter.
Modifing RD33 for use in LCA should had been attempted by HAL but they failed there.

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby NRao » 08 Jul 2009 18:45

Sona ji,

India DID debate the virtues of both the paths ------------ in the 80s!!!!!!!!!!!

There was a aeronautics prof at IIT Bombay who argued that the best option - for India - was to modify the MiG-21. He had laid out all the bad points of the aircraft and had a decent path to modify it.

The other team wanted to go it alone.

The "other" team "won". (There is a lot more to this "won" - clearly the LCA is very late, but there are reasons, outside this post.)

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Re: Kaveri & aero-engine discussion

Postby Vivek K » 08 Jul 2009 20:28

Folks, Calm down! The good part is that a Kaveri will be integrated with the LCA. If they can fly that and learn from it, that will be the first step. Heck GTRE can try to tweak the Kaveri the best they know how to and who knows where it will go from there. If this mating can deliver a good, low maintenance high MTBO engine with a GE-404 like thrust, then the GTRE's efforts can be called successful. Leaping from there to what the MCA will need should then be the direction.

Also, can this engine substitute others that power our aircraft - Mig-27s, Mig - 21s, Mig-29s? Since the RD-33 is close to the 404 then the Kaveri would also be in the same league. So how about also re-engining say the Mig-29s with the Kaveri?

The knowledge gained from the Kaveri program should not be lost. The people that worked on the program should be retained.


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