This paper presents an engine sizing and cycle selection study of ultra high bypass ratio engines applied to a subsonic commercial aircraft in the N+2 (2020) timeframe. NASA has created the Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) project to serve as a technology transition bridge between fundamental research (TRL 1–4) and potential users (TRL 7). Specifically, ERA is focused on subsonic transport technologies that could reach TRL 6 by 2020 and are capable of integration into an advanced vehicle concept that simultaneously meets the ERA project metrics for noise, emissions, and fuel burn. An important variable in exploring the trade space is the selection of the optimal engine cycle for use on the advanced aircraft. In this paper, two specific ultra high bypass engine cycle options will be explored: advanced direct drive and geared turbofan. The advanced direct drive turbofan is an improved version of conventional turbofans. In terms of both bypass ratio and overall pressure ratio, the advanced direct turbofan benefits from improvements in aerodynamic design of its components, as well as material stress and temperature properties. By putting a gear between the fan and the low pressure turbine, a geared turbo fan allows both components to operate at optimal speeds, thus further improving overall cycle efficiency relative to a conventional turbofan. In this study, sensitivity of cycle design with level of technology will be explored, in terms of both cycle parameters (such as specific thrust consumption (TSFC) and bypass ratio) and aircraft mission parameters (such as fuel burn and noise). To demonstrate this sensitivity, engines will be sized for optimal performance on a 300 passenger class aircraft for a 2010 level technology tube and wing airframe, a N+2 level technology tube and wing air-frame, and finally on a N+2 level technology blended wing body airframe with and without boundary layer ingestion (BLI) engines.

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