HAL HTFE-25 & Other Indigenous Aero Engines Developments

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HAL's HTSE Concept.JPG


The latest milestone in aircraft engine development that Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd unveiled, counted with its other helicopter engines project, may be two new tiny steps which, however, may be no match for the giant gap that exists for indigenous aero engines, experts in the field say.

The projects that the premier military aircraft maker has embarked on will be respectively for small jets and trainer planes; and light helicopter projects. Engine development technology being extremely complex as it is, India is still a far cry from propelling the bigger fighter planes with its own engine. It could be a new quest 25 years after the DRDO’s Kaveri engine for Indian light fighters failed to rev up.

HAL on December 14 trial-ran the HTFE-25 - the engine that can potentially power its basic trainer plane and perhaps business jets - in the presence of the Defence Minister. Around October this year, it initiated the design of the second one, HTSE-1200, meant for 3-tonne to 6.5-tonne helicopters.

They stand for Hindustan Turbo Fan Engine and Hindustan Turbo Shaft Engine.

The two projects are expected to reach fruition by around 2020-21 and would meet HAL’s upcoming projects - the HTT-40 trainer; the Light Combat Helicopter, the Light Utility Helicopter and the future ALHs (Advanced Light Helicopters), a senior official said. The ALH is now powered by the Shakti engine of HAL and its French partner Turbomeca.

Calling the engine’s debut run a speedy achievement, Ashok Baweja, who was HAL's Chairman during 2004-09 is and now CEO of QuEST Global Defence, said, “Developing an engine is almost as challenging as making an aircraft fly. This is the beginning. The real challenge will be in extensively running [HTFE-25], quickly getting it qualified and certified, may be within two years. And once certified, it has immense [market] potential.”

Government officials have often said various agencies would need 4,000-6,000 helicopter engines by the end of this decade. . Considering the huge requirement, Mr. Baweja said the larger HTSE-1200 being pursued for light helicopters would also be a potent product; “We have never done this 1200-kW-class engine before.”

Comparing the HTFE-25 progress to conquering a hillock before a mountain, K. Tamilmani, DRDO's Director-General for Aeronautical R&D, said it was a desirable baby step as “we are nowhere in engines globally”.

An engine for the fifth generation concept, the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft, for example, he said, could be at least a decade away and perhaps made in a partnership.

Indigenous engine technologies, Dr. Tamilmani remarked, are essential; India, in spite of its aircraft manufacturing maturity, cannot claim self-reliance in aeronautics without its own engine.

Future focus should be on aiming for multiple engines and pooling of diverse capabilities.

Mr. Baweja also said the old and now stalled DRDO effort, the Kaveri GTX-35VS engine, which did not make it as intended into the LCA fighter, should also be somehow completed.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-pape...r-hals-new-aircraft-engine/article8009277.ece
 
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Ashwin

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For more: October | 2015 | A Quantum of Mind

Title: Development of Medium Thrust Class Turbofan Engine – HTFE25

by Devanathan, AERDC, HAL

Presenter emphasizes on two points:

  • Time should be the first priority.
  • Role of SME is of paramount importance.
Four technical aspects covered:

  • Multi-disciplinary approach for design
  • Systems Engineering Simulation/Concept
  • Digital Manufacturing
  • Testing
  • Currently (Aug-2015) manufacturing core of the engine and soon to be tested.
  • Planned concept is to develop core engine first and then develop full engine based on the platform it would be fitted to.
  • Emphasize on MD design iterations with quick iteration churning.
  • Secondary flows: First 3D simulations to capture flow characteristics and then use 1D models calibrated using the 3D simulations. 1D for unsteady simulations. Verification sing existing engine data done as a whole.
  • Idle = 70% rpm
  • 3D printing technology adapted right from concept stage. Main idea behind this was to reduce lead time to manufacture critical components in order to reduce risk of program. (Since only CAD input need to be changed to change component produced).
  • Casting to be replaced by 3D printing while forging, sheet metal processes retained.
  • Nozzle GV 3D printed with Inconel material – intricate cooling passages with additional which would not be possible with conventional techniques are easily made with 3D printing.
  • CC part- (flame tube section), Turbine blades, HPC all stator vane sectors, HPC tandem stator, gear box parts,
Pros of 3D printing:

  • Practically zero lead time for implementing design change in manufacturing
  • Full Freedom to designer
  • Possibility of lot of weight reduction by having internal cavities at non-critical locations.
Q: Why build 25kN engine when HAL license mfg same thrust class engines (adour-871 et al). Why not make Al-55 replacement?

A: Initially 20kN was proposed. Since Al-55 is ~17kN, a 20kN would have been good for IJT MK2. But the higher authorities went with 25kN. Wrt adour871 advantage in technology (smaller size, PR 11 vs 20, ~600mm vs ~450mm Turbine dia – huge turbine operating at lower rpm for Adour) , weight and size. So This engine while replacing Adour would give better performance. This engine can be used for Jagaur (which has 28kN engine) as well. Just need to change mounting points (and perhaps LP module?). Its very easy to adjust the design to various thrust levels by changing materials etc. Analysis already done. With similar core 35-40kN is achievable easily. SFC for this engine 0.72, better than older engines
.​
 

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List of small turbofan/turbojet engine projects in India

1. 0.30-0.45 kN : HAL (for Abhyas HEAT) and other UAVs
2. 1 kN (turbojet) : NAL
3. 2.75 kN (turbojet) : Upcoming RCI/NAL: This will be a formal step up , project completion of NAl's 1kN effort (part of the 12th 5-year plan)
4. Manik class: 4 kN - HAL/NAL/GTRE: For Nirbhay (formerly called Laghu shakti) upgradable to 7kN (according to SJha).
5. PTAE-7 engine : 4 kN (turbojet): HAL

According to Indranil of BR
 

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Small Turbo Fan Engine (STFE): DRDO is involved in the development of technologies for indigenous STFE. It is proposed to develop 5 engine sets for development testing and 3 engine sets for Nirbhay integration with development partner M/s Brahmos Aerospace Thiruvananthapuram Limited (M/s BATL). Five prototypes (T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5) have been realized. High altitude start trials and endurance tests were completed.

65 hp Rotary Engine and 180 hp Indigenous UAV Engine:During the period (January, 2018 – March, 2019), high altitude test were completed at Leh (11,400 ft) and Changla (17,600 ft) for 65 hp Rotary Engine and 180 hp indigenous UAV Engine. Flight trials of 65 hpWankel engine were also carried out
 
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Gautam

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Take my word, this is going to power Jaguar in an uprated version. When I asked about such a possibility a few months back, I was laughed at.
I would be very happy if it that happens. Although, isn't the Hawk a single engine aircraft ? Isn't it a bit dangerous to test new engines in single engine planes ?
 

Milspec

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Take my word, this is going to power Jaguar in an uprated version. When I asked about such a possibility a few months back, I was laughed at.
let's see what happens when it goes on the fatigue rig.
 

Parthu

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let's see what happens when it goes on the fatigue rig.

Don't know about the more recent builds but I think it simply won't be worth the money to re-engine the Jag by the time an F125-equivalent version of HTFE is ready (uprating cores is easier said than done....otherwise uprated Kaveri for LCA would be a reality by now).

The time is now for a Jag engine upgrade. And right now it doesn't look like the proposed F125IN is getting anywhere. Re-engining these jets 10 years from now is just that much less viable. Might as well buy more Rafales as a complete replacement.
 

Milspec

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Don't know about the more recent builds but I think it simply won't be worth the money to re-engine the Jag by the time an F125-equivalent version of HTFE is ready (uprating cores is easier said than done....otherwise uprated Kaveri for LCA would be a reality by now).

The time is now for a Jag engine upgrade. And right now it doesn't look like the proposed F125IN is getting anywhere. Re-engining these jets 10 years from now is just that much less viable. Might as well buy more Rafales as a complete replacement.
If ready in time, its viable but I do not think the HTFE 25 is aimed at the Jags.

A 25 KN system is going to indispensable in coming years and this probably is a strategic gem for Indian defence manufacturing, with applications in both next iteration of the IJT, HJT, as well as the Combat drones.

A X47 has a twr or 0.65, with a similar twr with a 25KN system you can get up to 4- 5 tons of flying weight. at reasonable flying dynamics, with a 1.5 tons empty weight, you can get ample payload for combat drones. Flight controls and unmanned navigation are going to get more accessible and simpler with time, what you will need is a 20-35KN engine at the time, and if developed in time (Which is a big concern with HAL given its track record and current state) it will be worth it's weight (or in this case thrust) in gold.
 

TARGET

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2 - HTFE 25 engine seems to be used in AURA... And we will never know whether it exists or not. May be secretly flying over our neighbor airspace:cool:
 

Ashwin

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If ready in time, its viable but I do not think the HTFE 25 is aimed at the Jags.
Its for Hawk. Its at least 5 years away from full certification. More years to get it uprated. By then re-engine of Jag won't make sense.

With this core they could theoretically replace all trainers and Dhruv engines (by 2030?). IMO, They should aim for a ~1200 shp turboprop for HTT-40 after certification.
 
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Milspec

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Its for Hawk. Its at least 5 years away from full certification. More years to get it uprated. By then re-engine of Jag won't make sense.

With this core they could theoretically replace all trainers and Dhruv engines (by 2030?). IMO, They should aim for a ~1200 shp turboprop for HTT-40 after certification.
We have been building GARRETT TPE 331-5 for ages for the Do228, It is a pretty solid engine. If anything if the MoD can obtain the rights for 331 with the F125N re-engine project, HTT will be golden across it's life cycle.

HTSE is the 1200KW option that will go into the LCH, ALH, MRHH, and LUH (one day - hopefully), HTFE25 will be for AJT, IJT, and hopefully few other combat drones.