HAL HTFE-25 & Other Indigenous Aero Engines Developments

Gautam

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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
 

Chain Smoker

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Arup Chatterjee, Director (Engineering and R&D), HAL says :


Source: Aeromag
Cooling holes on SCB
IMG_20210904_123608.jpg
 

Ashwin

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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.


Source: Aeromag
We need to establish these test facilities for engine development.
  • Twin test cell at GTRE
  • High altitude test bench
  • Flying testbed
There is no update on the twin test cell facility after an EOI five years ago.

You can get a used 747-8 at cheap rates for a flying testbed.

DRDO actually already acquired 100 acres of land at Telangana for High altitude test facility.

From 2016 standing committee report:

16_Defence_26-pdf.png
 

Ashwin

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More on planned GTRE Rajanukunte test facility from 2016:

GTRE has planned to set up Full Engine Test Facilities for Aero Gas Turbine Engines and Component Test Facilities at Rajanakunte Campus, Bengaluru.

The following Component Test Facilities to test Gas Turbine Engines have been envisaged at Rajanukunte, Bengaluru.
  • Fan and Compressor test facility, combustor, Turbine and Afterburner test facility with thrust Vectoring Nozzle.
  • Twin test cells for full scale engine testing along with Engine Assembly Hangar and Compressed air House.
  • Small Engine Test Facility.
  • Test facility to test Marine Gas Turbine Engines.
  • Air supply facilities for test rigs, buildings, roads and other infrastructure has also been planned.
The above test facilities are likely to cost approximately Rs.2100 Crore.
 

Aditya b7777

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Nov 30, 2020
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We need to establish these test facilities for engine development.
  • Twin test cell at GTRE
  • High altitude test bench
  • Flying testbed
There is no update on the twin test cell facility after an EOI five years ago.

You can get a used 747-8 at cheap rates for a flying testbed.

DRDO actually already acquired 100 acres of land at Telangana for High altitude test facility.

From 2016 standing committee report:

View attachment 20809
There are no used 747-8s available as of now and it is the newest and most expensive variant of the 747 family, I think you are confused with the 747-400….anyway IMO the last 747-400s left with Air India should be converted for the purpose of flying test bed like the former air India a319 “ Anusandhan” for testing sensors and avionics of the AMCA program.
 

Ashwin

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There are no used 747-8s available as of now and it is the newest and most expensive variant of the 747 family, I think you are confused with the 747-400….anyway IMO the last 747-400s left with Air India should be converted for the purpose of flying test bed like the former air India a319 “ Anusandhan” for testing sensors and avionics of the AMCA program.
Yes, I meant 747-400. There are so many available in the open market. Doesn't have to be AI.
 
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Gautam

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Bharat forge/Kalyani are developing a number of small gas turbine engines. Currently there are 120 KgF, 160 KgF, 200 KgF, 300 KgF & 400 KgF small turbojet engines being built. Apparently they also want to build turboshaft engines for helos & power generation. All the engines will be made using 70-90% 3D printing.

The turboshaft engines are still far away. Most of their work now is focused on the turbojet engines. Unsurprisingly the most amount of progress is seen in the first & the smallest engine of the bunch, the 120 KgF turbojet. 120 KgF translates to ~ 1.18 KN of thrust and/or 220 KW of electrical power.

Kalyani has put out a Augmented Reality app to market the engine. Some snaps from the said app:
screen-6.jpg

The 3 sections of the engine:
screen-3.jpg

The engine has a reverse flow annular combustor. the advantage of using a reverse flow combustor is that it reduced the overall length of the engine. However it is only effective up to a certain thrust class. At this thrust class, a reverse flow combustor is a very good design choice.
screen-2.jpg

Cut out of the engine when it is running:
screen-9.jpg

The engine has been test fired multiple times & is nearing the completion of its development. Here are the other engines. You can see the 120, 160 & the 400 KgF engines here:
KCTI-400.jpg

This is the 160KgF/1.57 KN engine:
1630837749614.png

The 160KgF engine has also probably been test fired. The poster below was released by the company. Notice the 160KgF engine secured on a test bench on the top right. Also blue flames from the 120KgF engine.:love: Very clean combustion:
8orvaszpda261.jpg

And finally this is the 400 KgF/3.92 KN engine. This is the most powerful engine so far from Kalyani. For comparison, GTRE's Manik STFE produces 4.25 KN of thrust.
RJ20Zk.jpg

Interestingly, this engine uses a conventional straight flow combustor instead of a reverse flow combustor. We have not seen any prototype of Kalyani's 400KgF engine. All we have now are display models. Safe to say this engine is a few years away from bench testing. No display models of the 200 & 300 KgF engines have been seen so far. Wonder if they have been dropped.

The 400 KgF engine can be used for cruise missiles. Most modern anti-ship &/or land attack cruise missiles in the 300-600 km range use engines of this class. However this engine will face competition from the Manik STFE. The fact that Manik is more powerful & mature only darkens the prospect of this engine.

But the Kalyani 400KgF engine is more powerful than the 3.75 KN HAL PTAE-7 engine. The PTAE-7 was developed in the mid-80s & has been extensively used on target drones like Lakshya & Abhyas. The Navy's version of the upcoming CATS Warrior UCAV will be powered by 2 PTAE-7 engines.
1630842994359.png

Sooner or later the PTAE-7 will need to be replaced. There the 400KgF Kalyani engine maybe a very good replacement. The Kalyani's engine is likely to be smaller, lighter & more efficient than the PTAE-7.

If Kalyani is still working on their 200 & 300 KgF engines then there is competition coming up for that too. DRDO's RCI & NAL are collaborating to develop a small gas turbine jet engine for UAVs & missiles. the specs of the RCI/NAL engine are given below:
1630843249251.png

The 120 & 160 KgF engines will also be used in UAVs & missiles. There are no other Indian engines that can be a direct competition to these Kalyani engines yet. If these engines are used in air-launched subsonic cruise missiles we can have a range of ~500-600 km. For ground launched missiles the range will be 250-300 km at best.

In a few years we will have the entire gamut of turbojets in the 100-500 KgF class. That should be enough for most if not all of our UAV/UCAV & missile needs.
 

Chain Smoker

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Mar 2, 2020
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Bharat forge/Kalyani are developing a number of small gas turbine engines. Currently there are 120 KgF, 160 KgF, 200 KgF, 300 KgF & 400 KgF small turbojet engines being built. Apparently they also want to build turboshaft engines for helos & power generation. All the engines will be made using 70-90% 3D printing.

The turboshaft engines are still far away. Most of their work now is focused on the turbojet engines. Unsurprisingly the most amount of progress is seen in the first & the smallest engine of the bunch, the 120 KgF turbojet. 120 KgF translates to ~ 1.18 KN of thrust and/or 220 KW of electrical power.

Kalyani has put out a Augmented Reality app to market the engine. Some snaps from the said app:
View attachment 20833
The 3 sections of the engine:
View attachment 20834
The engine has a reverse flow annular combustor. the advantage of using a reverse flow combustor is that it reduced the overall length of the engine. However it is only effective up to a certain thrust class. At this thrust class, a reverse flow combustor is a very good design choice.
View attachment 20832
Cut out of the engine when it is running:
View attachment 20831
The engine has been test fired multiple times & is nearing the completion of its development. Here are the other engines. You can see the 120, 160 & the 400 KgF engines here:
View attachment 20835
This is the 160KgF/1.57 KN engine:
View attachment 20837
The 160KgF engine has also probably been test fired. The poster below was released by the company. Notice the 160KgF engine secured on a test bench on the top right. Also blue flames from the 120KgF engine.:love: Very clean combustion:
View attachment 20836
And finally this is the 400 KgF/3.92 KN engine. This is the most powerful engine so far from Kalyani. For comparison, GTRE's Manik STFE produces 4.25 KN of thrust.
View attachment 20838
Interestingly, this engine uses a conventional straight flow combustor instead of a reverse flow combustor. We have not seen any prototype of Kalyani's 400KgF engine. All we have now are display models. Safe to say this engine is a few years away from bench testing. No display models of the 200 & 300 KgF engines have been seen so far. Wonder if they have been dropped.

The 400 KgF engine can be used for cruise missiles. Most modern anti-ship &/or land attack cruise missiles in the 300-600 km range use engines of this class. However this engine will face competition from the Manik STFE. The fact that Manik is more powerful & mature only darkens the prospect of this engine.

But the Kalyani 400KgF engine is more powerful than the 3.75 KN HAL PTAE-7 engine. The PTAE-7 was developed in the mid-80s & has been extensively used on target drones like Lakshya & Abhyas. The Navy's version of the upcoming CATS Warrior UCAV will be powered by 2 PTAE-7 engines.
View attachment 20839
Sooner or later the PTAE-7 will need to be replaced. There the 400KgF Kalyani engine maybe a very good replacement. The Kalyani's engine is likely to be smaller, lighter & more efficient than the PTAE-7.

If Kalyani is still working on their 200 & 300 KgF engines then there is competition coming up for that too. DRDO's RCI & NAL are collaborating to develop a small gas turbine jet engine for UAVs & missiles. the specs of the RCI/NAL engine are given below:
View attachment 20840
The 120 & 160 KgF engines will also be used in UAVs & missiles. There are no other Indian engines that can be a direct competition to these Kalyani engines yet. If these engines are used in air-launched subsonic cruise missiles we can have a range of ~500-600 km. For ground launched missiles the range will be 250-300 km at best.

In a few years we will have the entire gamut of turbojets in the 100-500 KgF class. That should be enough for most if not all of our UAV/UCAV & missile needs.
IMG_20210905_190214.jpg

There is one more private company
Any update about this. @Gautam
IMG_20210905_190740.jpg
 
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Gautam

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Didn't know about this. What is HAL planning to use this on ? Or are they just making an engine with no specific use in mind.
There is one more private company
I remember Poeir Jets. Haven't heard from them in a long while. So I thought they disappeared/stooped working in engines/went bankrupt or something.
Any update about this. @Gautam
IMG_20210905_190740.jpg
This is the first time I am hearing of it.
0.75 kN = 71.38 KgF

So it is significantly smaller than the 275 KgF RCI/NAL engine. It is also smaller than the 120 KgF Kalyani engine. In fact this is the smallest micro-turbo engine any Indian entity ever attempted to make. Who is making this engine ? GTRE ?

What could be the potential application of such an engine. Swarm drones is the only thing that comes to mind. But swarm drones are better off with electric engine or piston driven IC engines. A jet engine is significantly more expensive. A deep penetration suicide drone maybe. I don't know.

To think a couple of years ago, besides the PTAE-7, the micro-turbine engines were non existent in India. In such a small amount of time it has become cut-throat competitive.

So by my rudimentary count there are some 12-14 micro-turbine engines of various size & power being developed right now. Some of them have completed development, many others are in advanced stages of development. It looks like DRDO & Co. are going to start raining micro-turbine driven PGMs, drones, missiles soon.
 

Tatvamasi

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Intech Additive Solutions

Bengaluru-based Intech Additive Solutions, earlier called Intech DMLS Limited, was the first Indian company to have indigenously developed jet engine series. A metal 3D printing provider and metal additive manufacturing establishment in 2018 helped India to become the first country in Asia and only the fourth country after the US, Europe and Israel to indigenously develop such an engine in the private space.

Poeir Jets, an R&D subsidiary of Intech Additive, showcased its series of jet engines to be used in unmanned aerial vehicles and remote-controlled aircraft. The engine MJE 20 is indigenously designed and manufactured with a thrust of 20 Kgf. It is currently undergoing testing at their Bengaluru facility.

 

Chain Smoker

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Mar 2, 2020
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Didn't know about this. What is HAL planning to use this on ? Or are they just making an engine with no specific use in mind.

I remember Poeir Jets. Haven't heard from them in a long while. So I thought they disappeared/stooped working in engines/went bankrupt or something.

This is the first time I am hearing of it.
0.75 kN = 71.38 KgF

So it is significantly smaller than the 275 KgF RCI/NAL engine. It is also smaller than the 120 KgF Kalyani engine. In fact this is the smallest micro-turbo engine any Indian entity ever attempted to make. Who is making this engine ? GTRE ?

What could be the potential application of such an engine. Swarm drones is the only thing that comes to mind. But swarm drones are better off with electric engine or piston driven IC engines. A jet engine is significantly more expensive. A deep penetration suicide drone maybe. I don't know.

To think a couple of years ago, besides the PTAE-7, the micro-turbine engines were non existent in India. In such a small amount of time it has become cut-throat competitive.

So by my rudimentary count there are some 12-14 micro-turbine engines of various size & power being developed right now. Some of them have completed development, many others are in advanced stages of development. It looks like DRDO & Co. are going to start raining micro-turbine driven PGMs, drones, missiles soon.
Poeir jets are now a production partner of HAL.