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GE Wins NASA Award for Compact Engine Core

Oct. 27, 2021
The jet engine maker and the space agency are partnering to test compressors, combustors, and high-pressure turbine technologies in the effort to make commercial aviation more thermally efficient.

GE Aviation has drawn a series of contracts from NASA to conduct ground tests on a new, compact engine core, seeking to improve thermal efficiency in commercial aerospace power plants. The multiple cost-share contracts totaling more than $20 million are part of the space agency’s Hybrid Thermally Efficient Core (HyTEC) project, and will carry out tests on a new, compact engine core by mid-decade.

According to GE, it will test and mature compressor, combustor, and high-pressure turbine technologies as part of the targeted, compact jet engine core. It also will continue developing heat-resistant ceramic matrix composite materials (CMCs) as part of the effort to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions in jet engines.

In 2020, NASA awarded a contract to GE Aviation under the HyTEC program, to mature maturing power extraction technology for turbofan engines.

GE is developing compact engine core designs as part of the CFM RISE (Revolutionary Innovation for Sustainable Engines) Program, a series of “technology maturation efforts and demonstrators” to increase propulsive and thermal efficiency, while advancing alternative energy options for commercial aircraft engines, including 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel and hydrogen.

“The HyTEC project further expands GE Aviation’s partnership with NASA on the future of flight with our shared commitment to accelerate the introduction of technologies that reduce the environmental impact of commercial aviation and make a step-change reduction in fuel burn,” stated Mohamed Ali, vice president of engineering for GE Aviation.

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