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Innovative design methodology for next generation aircraft engines

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Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Infrastructure Node
Project website
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Vehicle design and manufacturing (VDM)
Transport mode
Airborne icon
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

The aviation industry undergoes an enormous growth and development process, demanding more energy efficient, less polluting, quieter and cheaper aircraft. At the same time, aircraft manufacturers and airlines are faced with the global problems of decreasing fossil resources and climate change. To master these problems, the aviation industry has to develop new technologies.


The ModeAw project has the objective of improving existing design tools. The whole design process is optimised for quality and reliability. Design cycles should be accelerated and the scope of the processes extended.  This can be seen as a first step to developing new engines with higher efficiency and fewer emissions.

The main objective of the ModeAw project is broken down into five sub-goals, which correspond to the five project work packages:

  1. Develop new methods for a more precise forecasting of the temperatures on turbine blades.
  2. Improvements in calculation methods for turbine flow.
  3. Develop a new method to calculate the surge limit.
  4. Optimize the oil supply, achieving 50% less power dissipation at the bearings.
  5. Improve the methods for lifetime calculation of mono- and polycrystalline materials

The project was divided into five work packages, each one based on different disciplines in research and development.

  • WP1: Efficient cooling systems
  • WP2: adaptive CFD for turbine flow
  • WP3: interdisciplinary assessment of operability
  • WP4: optimized oil supply for high performance bearings
  • WP5: improved calculation of lifetime for materials


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi)
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)
Funding Source
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)


The final technical achievements of the project are considered positive. There was an advance of the design tools: Improvements of the process could be observed in quality and reliability. Further, the project achieved a shortening of the design cycles. Combined with an extension of scope for the processes, this led to an increased efficiency.

In more detail, the five work packages achieved the following:

WP1: By using 3D data models for a combination of several cooling techniques, the differential between gas and turbine temperature could be further increased while reducing development periods. New efficient labyrinth sealing systems further reduced  temperature loss. To support the development, initial CFD models were established using commercial software.

WP2: In addition to standard CFD models a new system was developed based on the existing Gamma-ReTheta model, which is independent of coop and net topologies.

WP3: For the operability design of the engine a detailed protocol for interdisciplinary co-ordination of several departments has been elaborated. This considerably helped to reduce time and effort for operability design and check procedures. Detailed measurements and simulations further supported the procedure.

WP4: Calculations, measurements and simulation of different forms and levels of oil supply at the turbine revealed that lower temperatures at the outer ring reduced oil consumption considerably. MTU has applied for a patent for the outer ring cooling.

WP5: More stress resilient materials were investigated on the basis of nickel alloys, which are widely used and for which an extensive literature is available. The available data did, however, not allow for general conclusions and recommendations on alloy mixtures.

Findings of the ModAw study are published by a final report (German only), which is available online via the Technical Information Library (TIB) of the Hannover University:


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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