HAL HTFE-25 & Other Indigenous Aero Engines Developments

I won't be surprised if the MMRCA ends up being cancelled in favour of a domestic twin engine jet for the IAF. If you recall, any MMRCA tender now will deliver a jet only between 2028 and 2030. That's more than enough time to develop our own Tejas derived TE jet.

The IAF doesn't really need more than 80 Rafales if a cheaper, less capable twin engine jet is available for most other missions. Bonus points for matching Rafale or surpassing it.

And that's okra, bro, not orca. But this new jet could turn into a vegetable.

@vstol Jockey @Picdelamirand-oil @halloweene @Bon Plan @A Person Post 466.

The HTFE-25 is a long ways away from becoming suitable for fighter jet operations. This engine has been designed for business jets and UAVs with a requirement for low acceleration and high fuel efficiency. Post HTFE-25, HAL should have the expertise to develop a derivative or a new clean-sheet design for fighter jets, but you can imagine how long away that will be.

If O in ORCA refers to omnirole, then we could be talking about a Rafale competitor.
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A team led by Profs. Santanu De and Shantanu Bhattacharya, IIT Kanpur has entered into an MoU with TurboTech Precision Engineering Pvt. Ltd., an Aerospace and Defence company, Bangalore during DefExpo 2020 in Lucknow for the joint development of Micro Gas Turbine (MGT). According to the MoU, IIT Kanpur will be working on designing the various sub-sections of the projects, TurboTech will be responsible for the physical realization of the designs and complete assembly of the envisioned technology.

The development of an upscaled version of the MGT, which is envisaged to fuel the automotive and aerospace sectors in addition to the power generation at IIT Kanpur is supported under the IMPRINT scheme of the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) and the Ministry of Power.
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High pressure compressor stator for the HAL HTFE-25 manufactured by 3D printing using the alloy Ti-6Al-4V. A stator converts KE into pressure energy. The complete design to realize cycle for the combustion chamber was done in less than 5 months, traditionally it takes 14 months.
When can we fly with the engine.?
HAL has built 2 cores for the HTFE. Both of the cores have clocked several hundreds of hours of bench tests. Both have achieved max power requirements. I would say the work on the cores should end soon. From there on the whole engine will be tested for a couple of years. We will see it flying only after that

HTSE has also completed 100s of hours of bench tests. Given HAL's expertise on helos, availability of indigenously made twin engine helos and the relatively less stringent requirements of turbo shaft engines, it is likely to fly sooner that the HTFE.

Just my two paisa.
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Arup Chatterjee, Director (Engineering and R&D), HAL says :
Harvesting all the learnings of small engines and co-development, today the R&D unit of HAL, AERDC (Aero Engine Research and Design Centre) is tasked to develop two prestigious engines namely; Hindustan Turbo Fan engine (HTFE-25) of 25 kN thrust which can power trainer aircraft, UAV’s, Twin engine small fighter aircraft or regional jets and Hindustan Turbo Shaft engine (HTSE-1200) of shaft power rating which can power Light & Medium weight helicopters (3.5 to 6.5 tonnes in single/ twin engine configuration)

Significant progress has been made in both the projects with successful trial runs of 25 kN core engine and 1200 kW Jet mode version engine up to 100% RPM. HAL is confident of achieving the targeted design parameters and productionising these engines.

However the challenges are many in aero engine design like:
  • Funding challenges
  • Technological challenges
  • Trained man power specific to aviation industry
  • Testing facilities from component test facility to Flying Test bed
  • Precision manufacturing and established Vendor base etc.
As a strategy, HAL has earmarked nearly 1000 crores from its internal funds exclusively for Engine Development.

The HTFE-25 and HTSE-1200 engine programs, both of which are in prototype evaluation phase are loaded with some of the concurrent technologies like High Pressure Compressor, Effusion cooled combustor, SX Blades, 3D printed parts, laser shock peening, FADEC, Atomizers, High speed Gearbox etc. In parallel, futuristic developments in technology are also in progress, like Afterburner on PTAE and HTFE, Flame propagating nozzles, EHSV and Stepper motor based FMUs etc.

On the material and processes front, HAL is developing SX blades with DMRL for HTSE-1200 engine program. The coating by EBPVD method is also being established with ARCI Hyderabad to be utilized on SX blades. The process has been proven on sample blades. Similarly the Laser shock peening will be utilized through Coventry University UK. We are developing atomizers with IISc.

HAL is constantly imparting knowledge to its work force for training its manpower. It is trying to keep abreast with the latest happenings in the field by joining hands with inland and foreign universities like IITs, IISc, Cranfield University etc.

HAL is utilizing the established but limited facilities at NAL, GTRE and other DRDO labs for testing combustor, gas generator turbine, electronic components etc. However we do not have the facilities in the country to test compressors, HP turbines, power turbines of the order of 1 MW and above with matching speeds. Flying test bed and altitude test benches are the two major facilities which have to be established on case to case basis, which demand an investment of the order of 1500+ Crores. These facilities are expected to be established under the proposed AERO ENGINE COMPLEX by MoD as National Test Facilities.

On establishing and handholding the MSMEs, HAL is providing opportunities to be partners in development. There are 70+ vendors with AERDC-HAL which are exclusively sensitized for engine development. They are onboard in the development stage itself so that there can be a smooth transition to production stage.

Source: Aeromag