EUROJET: reach for the sky

Rolls Royce has designed an advanced, high-tech, turbofan for the next generation of military fighters that includes the Eurofighter 2000. Mark Venables reports

It is not only the Eurofighter aircraft that has been a collaborative effort from the European aerospace industry but also the engine that powers it. The EUROJET EJ200, Europe’s latest high-performance, advanced technology military turbofan, has been designed and developed to fulfil the demanding requirements of the next generation of military aircraft by a consortium of Rolls-Royce, of the UK, Motoren und Turbine Union Munchen (MTU), of Germany, FiatAvio (Fiat) of Italy, and Industria de Turbo Propulsores (ITP), of Spain.

Under the banner of EUROJET GmbH, the four partners have operated since 1986 with Rolls-Royce and MTU each having a 33% stake and Fiat and ITP with 17.5%.

In the UK Rolls-Royce have designed, developed and manufactured the combustion system and the high-pressure turbine along with the intermediate casing. As with the main project all the final assembly for the engines required for the UK Eurofighters will be undertaken in the UK at the Rolls-Royce facility at Bristol.

Although developed to power the Eurofighter 2000, from the start of the design studies a strategy was adopted and pursued to make the EJ200 easily adaptable for use in other multi- or single-engined combat aircraft.

The simple two-spool layout with full modular construction takes advantage of advanced technology features such as wide-chord aerofoils, blisks (integrated bladed discs), brush seals, single crystal turbine blades, convergent/divergent nozzle and full authority digital electronic control (FADEC).

The latest technologies have been incorporated during design in a low risk approach by making extensive use of technology demonstrators involving rig, spool and full engine testing. Equal priority has been given to performance and supportability, with specific attention directed towards achieving the lowest possible life cycle costs.

For the participating companies and nations, the EJ200 not only provides a common military product with the associated benefits of scale and interoperability but, through technology transfer, it provides the basis for Europe’s long-term strength in the highly competitive field of aero-engine design, development, production and support.

The achievements of the EJ200 development programme for Eurofighter 2000 are well established with all progress milestones having been met or surpassed within their planned costs. The first flight of an EJ200 powered aircraft took place on June 4 1995.

The Eurofighter/Typhoon flight programme involves 28 engines supporting seven development aircraft. The total development flight programme, which will continue until Full Operational Clearance (FOC), will consist of 7,300 aircraft flight hours with a maximum of 480 hours dedicated to engine development. The EJ200 flight development engines have completed over 3,800 engine operating hours and over 1,150 engine flight hours.

The bench engine testing continues to support the flight programme, with almost 7,000 hours of sea level testing and 2,500 hours of altitude testing completed. This testing has already provided the evidence for Completion of initial Certification Testing (CICT). This has shown that EUROJET has a production standard engine which has attained all the requirements of NETMA and the four participating companies for Eurofighter Typhoon. Delivery of production engines to NETMA nations is scheduled to begin later this year.

In January 1998 the four participating nations signed contracts for the production launch of Eurofighter 2000 totalling in excess of 1,500 engines over the next 17 years.

{{Technical Information

Thrust class: 20,000 lbf (90kN) with reheat 13,500 lbf (60kN) without reheatApplication: Eurofighter 2000Potential applications: Multi-role combat, light combat and trainer aircraft

EJ200 Engine Data

Bypass ratio: 0.4:1Pressure ratio: 26:1Compressor stages: 3 LP, 5 HPCombustion system: AirsprayTurbine stages: 1 HP, 1LPBasic engine weight: 2180-2280 lb (990-1035 kg)}}