Image Credit: Aero Acoustic lab
Safran successfully tested the first ‘Open Rotor’ demonstrator engine in Istres, southern France.
The Open Rotor demonstrator, developed through Europe’s vast Clean Sky* research program, in which Safran plans to develop a propulsion system meeting aircraft manufacturers’ future needs towards 2030.
As its name indicates, the Open Rotor features a breakthrough architecture, with two counter-rotating, unshrouded fans, allowing it to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 30% compared with current CFM56** engines.
A propfan or open rotor engine is a concept to both the turboprop and turbofan, but distinct from both. The design is intended to offer the speed and performance of a turbofan, with the fuel economy of a turboprop. A propfan is typically designed with a large number of short, highly twisted blades, similar to a turbofan’s bypass compressor
An open rotor engine is essentially a turboprop with two rows of blades, or propellers, which can operate efficiently at higher speeds than a conventional turboprop. The blades of a turboprop tend to spin air out, rather than pushing it back. In an open rotor engine, the forward propeller pushes the air backwards, while the rear one sucks it.
— Safran (@SAFRAN) October 3, 2017