SAE 2013 AeroTech Congress & Exhibition

September 24-26, 2013

Montréal, Quebec, Canada

Palais des congrés de Montréal
Panelist Julie Payette Graham Webb, Ph.D.
Vice President and Chief Engineer
Next Generation Product Family
Pratt & Whitney

Presentation title: Advancements in Propulsion for a Sustainable Future

The commercial aerospace industry is now facing a period of rapid change brought on by innovative propulsion systems that offer double-digit reductions in fuel burn for improved economics. Two architectural approaches have been proposed: the traditional direct-drive system and the innovative fan-drive gear system architecture (Geared Turbofan™). The geared turbofan approach offers the greatest opportunity for continued advancement in propulsion system efficiency in that it provides more system capability for technology insertion. Geared turbofans enable large, slow-turning fans for increased propulsive efficiency, while increasing the speed of the turbomachinery. Speed helps compression, enabling fewer compressor stages, and increases the efficiency of the low pressure turbine (LPT), which then needs fewer airfoils to take the energy out. Both characteristics also reduce maintenance cost. The fundamental physics of speed enables more conservative temperatures for an equivalent level of engine efficiency, which, when combined with advanced materials and cooling schemes, reduces high pressure turbine cooling airflow 20% without the use of exotic materials.

The conservative temperatures and technologies in today's generation of geared turbofan engines provide significant room for future growth. Geared turbofan engine roadmaps indicate an additional 20-30% fuel savings over today's engines will be available by the mid-2020's, through advanced aerodynamics, lighter-weight fan rotors, higher gear ratios to increase bypass ratio, cores with overall pressure ratios (OPRs) beyond 60, active combustor control, and new materials and cooling approaches in the turbines. High reliability flight weight gearboxes offer the opportunity for new distributed engine architectures where the gas generator is separated from the propulsor. These arrangements facilitate even higher OPR core designs by eliminating the requirement for a LPT shaft to run through the center of the engine. Such innovative capabilities will continue to be developed in conjunction with aircraft companies in the continuous drive for increased fuel efficiency and reduced emissions for future commercial aircraft.

Graham Webb is the Vice President and Chief Engineer of Commercial Development at Pratt & Whitney. In this capacity he coordinates and directs system integration and engineering execution for all next generation engine models and directly manages all technical interactions with customers, airframe manufacturers, and regulatory agencies.

Prior to this assignment, Graham was the Vice President and General Manager of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Florida and Mississippi Operations where he led the P&L operation of the space business.

Graham joined Pratt & Whitney from ALSTOM where he was Vice President and General Manager of Gas Turbine Engine Technology and Development. He led the development and successful fielding of the GT24 (60Hz) and GT26 sequential combustion F-Class heavy duty industrial gas turbines for combined cycle power generation.

Prior to ALSTOM, Graham was the Director of Engineering for Honeywell International's Military, Helicopter, Marine and Industrial Gas Turbine Engine Product Line. During this time Graham led development of T55-714A turboshaft engines.

Graham holds a Ph.D. degree from Georgia Institute of Technology in Material Science, and has published numerous technical publications. He is a Project Management Professional (PMP) certified through the Project Management Institute.