The United States has a coordinated government/ industry turbine engine technology program in place to double propulsion capability by the year 2003. The Integrated High Performance Turbine Engine Technology (IHPTET) program is slightly more than half complete, with specific goals identified for engine thrust to weight, compressor exit temperature, acquisition and maintenance cost. The IHPTET program represents a significant improvement in turbine engine technology. The program plan is to achieve the goals in three steps Phases I-III each resulting in 30% improvement. The achievement of these goals is project through the use of advance aerodynamics, materials and design concepts. The successful demonstration of the IHPTET goals depends on the technical success of composite structures. All types of composites: OMC (Organic Matrix Composite), MMC (Metal Matrix Composites), CMC (Ceramic Matrix Composite) as well as C/C (Carbon-Carbon), have been aggressively works since the program began in 1988. The composite experiences before the IHPTET program will be included in the form of lesson learn.

The IHPTET program has worked all aspects of composite development design, failure mode behavior and fabrication. The thrust in OMC’s has been primarily focus on Life prediction, low cost fabrication techniques and High temperature (>700F). The thrust in MMC’s has been mainly focus on fiber-reinforced titanium for high performance rotating engine hardware. The technology development includes design; failure mode behavior and testing of multiply engine components as well as Life prediction and low cost fabrication techniques, have been investigated. The thrust in high temperature composites CMC and C/C has been mainly focus on CMC’s. The technology development span both man-rate and non man-rate engine (cruise missile) applications, in the areas of design, failure mode behavior and testing of both rotating and nonrotating applications.

The payoffs to the aircraft derived from the IHPTET are enormous. Many radical new mission capabilities are made viable through the IHPTET program. The high Mach multi-role fighters as an example are only possible with a variable cycle design, which requires extensive use of composite structures. These new capabilities will provide truly affordable ways to carry out the military’s mission by allowing aircraft resources to effectively operate from fewer worldwide locations as well as more affordable and environmentally friendly.

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