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Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Aircraft Engine

Impact of Adverse Environmental Conditions on Rotorcraft Operational Performance and Pollutant Emissions

[+] Author and Article Information
Jesus Ortiz-Carretero

Propulsion Engineering Centre,
Cranfield University,
Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK
e-mail: j.ortizcarretero@cranfield.ac.uk

Alejandro Castillo Pardo

Propulsion Engineering Centre,
Cranfield University,
Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK
e-mail: a.castillopardo@cranfield.ac.uk

Ioannis Goulos

Lecturer
Propulsion Engineering Centre,
Cranfield University,
Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK
e-mail: i.goulos@cranfield.ac.uk

Vassilios Pachidis

Professor
Propulsion Engineering Centre,
Cranfield University,
Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK
e-mail: v.pachidis@cranfield.ac.uk

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Aircraft Engine Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received July 7, 2017; final manuscript received July 18, 2017; published online October 3, 2017. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 140(2), 021201 (Oct 03, 2017) (14 pages) Paper No: GTP-17-1313; doi: 10.1115/1.4037751 History: Received July 07, 2017; Revised July 18, 2017

It is anticipated that the contribution of rotorcraft activities to the environmental impact of civil aviation will increase in the future. Due to their versatility and robustness, helicopters are often operated in harsh environments with extreme ambient conditions. These severe conditions not only affect the performance of the engine but also affect the aerodynamics of the rotorcraft. This impact is reflected in the fuel burn and pollutants emitted by the rotorcraft during a mission. The aim of this paper is to introduce an exhaustive methodology to quantify the influence adverse environment conditions have in the mission fuel consumption and the associated emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx). An emergency medical service (EMS) and a search and rescue (SAR) mission are used as case studies to simulate the effects of extreme temperatures, high altitude, and compressor degradation on a representative twin-engine medium (TEM) weight helicopter, the Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawk. A simulation tool for helicopter mission performance analysis developed and validated at Cranfield University was employed. This software comprises different modules that enable the analysis of helicopter flight dynamics, powerplant performance, and exhaust emissions over a user-defined flight path profile. For the validation of the models implemented, extensive comparisons with experimental data are presented throughout for rotorcraft and engine performance as well as NOx emissions. Reductions as high as 12% and 40% in mission fuel and NOx emissions, respectively, were observed for the “high and cold” scenario simulated at the SAR role relative to the same mission trajectory under standard conditions.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

HECTOR architecture scheme [9]

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Fig. 2

Resonance chart of the Sikorsky UH-60A MR

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Fig. 3

Shape of the MR vibration modes, Ω0 = 27.01 rad/s: (a) flap mode, (b) lag mode, and (c) torsion mode

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Fig. 4

Rotorcraft model flight dynamics trim results

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Fig. 5

GE T700-GE-700 turboshaft engine layout [24]

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Fig. 6

TURBOMATCH engine model validation: (a) gas generator speed versus fuel flow and (b) shaft power versus fuel flow

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Fig. 7

GE T700-GE-700 engine combustor layout

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Fig. 8

HEPHAESTUS emission model results comparison: emission index NOx versus combustor inlet temperature

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Fig. 9

Helicopter power demand in forward flight at different: (a) ambient temperature, (b) flight altitude, and (c) helicopter AUM

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Fig. 10

Powerplant fuel flow rate in forward flight at different: (a) ambient temperature, (b) flight altitude, and (c) helicopter AUM

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Fig. 11

Powerplant NOx formation rate in forward flight at different: (a) ambient temperature, (b) flight altitude, and (c) helicopter AUM

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Fig. 12

Airspeed for maximum range at different: (a) ambient temperature, (b) flight altitude, and (c) helicopter AUM

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Fig. 13

Airspeed for minimum NOx formation at different: (a) ambient temperature, (b) flight altitude, and (c) helicopter AUM

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Fig. 14

Fuel flow versus shaft power at different: (a) ambient temperature, (b) flight altitude, and (c) compressor degradation (Δη = −2.5%, ΔΓ = −5%)

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Fig. 15

NOx production rate versus shaft power at different: (a) ambient temperature, (b) flight altitude, and (c) compressor degradation (Δη = −2.5%, ΔΓ = −5%)

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Fig. 16

Combustor inlet temperature versus shaft power at different ambient temperature

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Fig. 17

Combustor inlet pressure and airflow versus shaft power at different altitude

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Fig. 18

Combustor FF and PZ flame temperature and equivalent ratio versus shaft power: effect of compressor degradation (Δη = −2.5%, ΔΓ = −5%)

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Fig. 19

EMS mission definition: (a) geographical trajectory and (b) altitude and airspeed versus time

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Fig. 20

SAR mission definition: (a) geographical trajectory, (b) altitude and airspeed versus time (SL scenario), and (c) altitude and airspeed versus time (high and cold scenario)

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Fig. 21

Effect of temperature on EMS mission: (a) engine power, (b) fuel flow, and (c) NOx rate

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Fig. 22

Effect of degradation on EMS mission: (a) fuel flow and (b) NOx rate

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Fig. 23

Effect of altitude and temperature on SAR mission: (a) engine power, (b) fuel flow, and (c) NOx rate

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