B. Aerospace Propulsion and Power
Advances in aeropropulsion technologies are needed to support Army objectives for improved rotorcraft and transport performance, and for other services, attack and fighter aircraft, and unmanned air vehicles.
Technology subareas include rotorcraft propulsion (encompassing small gas turbine engines and rotorcraft drive systems) and fuels and lubricants. Table E.II-1 below provides a summary of key capabilities and trends. The importance of gas turbine propulsion in civilian aircraft markets has led to the development of world-wide capabilities for their development and production, with over 40 producers in 11 countries listed as suppliers in recent global surveys. Many other countries have production technologies for repair and overhaul. Market figures indicate that the U.S. has continued to capture a growing share in a declining market, largely through exports. A growing number of companies look to international joint venturing as a strategy for dealing with this market. International cooperative R&D in gas turbine technologies and products may, in addition to providing access to state-of-the-art technology, also provide access to an increasingly competitive international market.
Table E.II-1. Aerospace Propulsion and Power
|B. AEROSPACE PROPULSION AND POWER||UNITED KINGDOM||FRANCE||GERMANY||OTHER COUNTRIES||JAPAN||PACIFIC RIM||FSU|
|SMALL TURBINE ENGINES||
|High temperature gas turbines Rotorcraft propulsion||Israel, Canada Small gas turbines||Russia Wind tunnel test facilities|
|ROTORCRAFT POWER TRANSFER SYSTEMS||High- performance transmission||Bearingless rotor hub||Bearingless rotor hub Composite and high-strength alloy shafting|
|FUELS AND LUBRICANTS||High- temperature lubricants||High- temperature lubricants|
France, Germany, and the U.K. are at, or nearly on a par with the U.S. in many aspects. Key areas of capability with leveraging potential include materials and coatings, and related structures and aerodynamic design and modeling. Russia, Canada, Israel, and Japan have substantial infrastructures and niches of excellence (e.g., Japanese ceramics; Canada, small gas turboprops).
The following summary highlights one area where an existing or near-term pending agreement offers significant opportunities for advances in aeropropulsion. Advances in materials, structures, and coatings (see Subsections II.O and III.F) should also support improved efficiency and performance in ground vehicle propulsion systems.