New U.S. Navy gas turbine used in U.K. Pyestock trials

New U.S. Navy gas turbine used in U.K. Pyestock trials

The WR-21 intercooled recuperated (ICR) advanced-cycle marine gas turbine has successfully completed the eighth in a series of 10 full system tests. The turbine is under development by an industrial team led by Northrop Grumman and including Rolls-Royce. The latest tests, which took place at the U.K. Defence Evaluation & Research Agency (DERA) test facility at Pyestock, near Farnborough, lasted nearly 260 hours. They were designed to test the WR-21’s highpressure turbine, engine control and combustor systems, and other components.

Further tests, scheduled to start at Pyestock in the near future, will run through until June, and will be followed by a 500-hour endurance test at the U.S. Navy’s test facility in Philadelphia, Pa. A planned 3,000-hour qualification test is expected to start in the middle of next year.

The core of the WR-21 is the RollsRoyce RB-211 Trent aero engine, which is expected to provide the U.S. Navy’s future surface combatants with a powerful unit for propulsion and power generation. The ICR cycle is predicted to achieve as much as 27 percent in fuel savings in its final service configuration. The turbine also is a candidate for the future European Horizon collaborative frigate project; the British and French defense ministries both have invested in its development.

Copyright Navy League of the United States Mar 1999

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