Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce Launch Research Project With Virginia Tech


Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce have signed an agreement with Virginia Tech to conduct research on the impact of environmental contaminants on aircraft engine operation and testing. Slated to last four years, the Virginia Tech departments involved in the project are expected to include Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace and Ocean Engineering and Geosciences. The project was designed to improve strategies for mitigating the impact of airborne particulates on aeroengines.

“Detrimental effects of particle ingestion are common concerns in the aerospace industry and can lead to accelerated engine aging and performance loss,” the companies said. “This is a multifaceted problem that ranges from basic scientific questions about complex chemistry of the environmental contaminants within the engine, to fleet operations, maintenance procedures, engine design and even weather prediction.”

The research project will start testing using a Rolls-Royce M250 engine. According to Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney, environmental contaminants are responsible for “hundreds of millions of dollars of losses annually for both commercial and military operations”. The companies have previously partnered on similar research projects including a study of volcanic ash damage to aircraft engines.

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Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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