Chinese Engine Development


Xizor

Captain
Registered Member
If you read the links in that article you will find it is recycling original sources from almost 1 year ago, I remember the reports were posted here back then and apparently there have been no new developments in the mean time. It's worth noting that laser drilling for blade cooling holes is a relatively established technology - nobody's surprised anymore that China manufactures competitive CNC mills at this point, so I'm not sure whether it's so noteworthy that general progress in Chinese machine tools now extends to this kind as well.

The other (not mentioned in the above article) was TiAl LPT blades for RR, IIRC. This is a relatively new technology, but common on current and next generation engines (LEAP, GTF, PD-14, GEnx, GE9X, Trent XWB). Not sure what the world first was supposed to be in this field, but surprisingly at least the CJ-1000AX demonstrator was stated not to have TiAl blades AFAIK.
Yes. Spot on. News like this shouldn't be noteworthy for China. If it is...it only points to how lagging it is.
China indeed is lagging in civilian (as well as military) turbofans. Only a mass production item successfully powering an international civilian airliner will settle the issue for China. That seems to be something 20 years away.
 

ougoah

Brigadier
Registered Member
If you read the links in that article you will find it is recycling original sources from almost 1 year ago, I remember the reports were posted here back then and apparently there have been no new developments in the mean time. It's worth noting that laser drilling for blade cooling holes is a relatively established technology - nobody's surprised anymore that China manufactures competitive CNC mills at this point, so I'm not sure whether it's so noteworthy that general progress in Chinese machine tools now extends to this kind as well.

The other (not mentioned in the above article) was TiAl LPT blades for RR, IIRC. This is a relatively new technology, but common on current and next generation engines (LEAP, GTF, PD-14, GEnx, GE9X, Trent XWB). Not sure what the world first was supposed to be in this field, but surprisingly at least the CJ-1000AX demonstrator was stated not to have TiAl blades AFAIK.

The TiAl blades for Rolls Royce was read like a real breakthrough that only the Chinese team managed to achieve. It may or may not have been exclusive but the way the news was delivered certainly made it clear that no western development managed to deliver this. Laser drilling on blades was delivered with a similar tone. Perhaps the exclusivity on technology that was hinted had to do with details on how the Chinese drilling offered some advantages. This is why I'm asking for literature and clarification. To ascertain just how much of these are embellishments and if not, what details are offered if any. Laser drilling may be commonplace like titanium processing but some are certainly better than others.
 

nugroho

Junior Member
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Image: Reuters

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China's air force could be about to get a big boost.
by
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Key point: China is quickly becoming an elite player in the Jet Age.

Chinese engineering has become so advanced that German jet engines could soon get a major boost from China.
Officials in China have begun talks to
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sophisticated aerospace technology and manufacturing equipment to Germany for the production of high-performance jet engines.

As China moves to rapidly build its commercial and military aviation industry, the nation has made significant engineering breakthroughs, most notably in turbine blades, which convert the heat from fuel combustion into thrust. Turbine blades are one of the most critical components of an airplane, determining a jet engine’s safety, power and endurance.

Engineers in China have developed new processes that can make lighter and stronger blades using a hollow structure as well as single-crystal alloys that can withstand high temperatures and a special coating to facilitate cooling. These advances mean Chinese-made turbine blades are able to withstand temperatures several hundred degrees Celsius higher than the melting point of metallic alloys.
These advances are at the center of a possible sale to Germany along with manufacturing equipment that uses lasers to drill ultra-fine holes in turbine blades to keep blades cool by increasing air flow.

“Our machine has outperformed [Germany’s] on some benchmarks,” an anonymous source involved in the negotiations
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the South China Morning Post. “The Germans have seen and grown interested in our technology.”

Discussions for the sale are still in the early stages, but even the possibility of an agreement with Germany, which
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the world’s first production-ready jet engine and has long been revered for its design and manufacturing prowess, is a major victory for China as it seeks to shift its reputation away from cheaply made knockoffs to high-end innovation.

Aerospace is one of the key sectors of the
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” initiative, which calls for massive government investment to create thriving self-sufficient domestic industries. But long before the initiative was announced, China has been hard at work developing domestically-produced military aircraft.

In 2011, China
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the world with the J-20, the nation’s first stealth fighter meant to rival America’s F-22 Raptor. With the J-20, China became only the second nation after the United States with a tactical stealth jet in service.

Just three years later, China
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the J-31 stealth multirole fighter jet, which looks remarkably like the American-made F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Analysts
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the Chinese built the J-31 using stolen F-35 blueprints.

China’s fifth-generation fighters currently rely on Russian engines, but recent breakthroughs have given the nation the ability to manufacture their own. In September, images
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China had built a stealth engine for the J-20 equipped with serrated afterburner nozzles and interior flaps to help minimize its radar signature.

As China turns its attention to commercial airliners, it is only a matter of time before it begins to produce jet engines for commercial use.

In China’s rapid rise, it has previously turned to German aerospace companies to gain intellectual property and industrial know-how. In 2013, China
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Germany’s Thielert Aircraft Engines after it filed for bankruptcy. The agreement included Thielert’s technology as well as their manufacturing facilities and equipment.

More recently, China has set its sights on
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Cotesa, an innovative German aerospace manufacturer that supplies parts for Airbus and Boeing. But the deal is currently on hold pending a
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by the German government under new rules that grant the state more authority to block foreign takeovers.

The rules were passed in the midst of growing concerns of Chinese companies acquiring German and other EU companies operating in sensitive industries like aerospace, robotics and computer chips.

China’s plan to supply Germany with jet engine turbine blade technology is likely to face similar hurdles as Germany partners with Pratt & Whitney, General Electric and other American engine manufacturers. Even if German authorities approve the deal, the sale could still be blocked by the U.S. government which considers jet engine manufacturers as strategic domestic companies.
Regardless of whether this deal succeeds or not, it is apparent that China is quickly becoming an elite player in the Jet Age.

Eugene K. Chow writes on foreign policy and military affairs. His work has been published in Foreign Policy, The Week and The Diplomat. This first appeared in January 2018.
How can China sell these military secrets ( turbine blade and laser drilling ) to German , or for China those are not military secret anymore ???
 

Xizor

Captain
Registered Member
How can China sell these military secrets ( turbine blade and laser drilling ) to German , or for China those are not military secret anymore ???
Maybe they are not-so-critical secrets ?
I have a faint memory of reading, when the news first appeared an year or two before, that the Chinese were seeking to gain German technology ( something related to compressors, EJ200 ?) in return for the Chinese Laser drilling tech. There is more to the story shrouded in the long winding tapes of Industrial Technology Transaction/market.
 

ougoah

Brigadier
Registered Member
Maybe they are not-so-critical secrets ?
I have a faint memory of reading, when the news first appeared an year or two before, that the Chinese were seeking to gain German technology ( something related to compressors, EJ200 ?) in return for the Chinese Laser drilling tech. There is more to the story shrouded in the long winding tapes of Industrial Technology Transaction/market.

I doubt it. Germany cannot unanimously trade EJ200 technology. It is really a British engine after all.
 

Xizor

Captain
Registered Member
I recall that the EJ200 is heavily based off the design and base technologies of the Rolls Royce XG40. Manufacturing responsibilities are a different issue. Even if MTU somehow was entirely responsible and own 33% of the EJ200, they still cannot trade those specific 33% without agreement from the other partners.
Still...MTU has lots of experience regarding Gas Turbines and Engines in general. There could be something with them that caught the attention of China.
 

ougoah

Brigadier
Registered Member
Still...MTU has lots of experience regarding Gas Turbines and Engines in general. There could be something with them that caught the attention of China.

No doubt China can still learn plenty from western turbofan manufacturers. I just don't think MTU can trade with China on anything EJ200 related. Maybe some peripheral technology related to a certain aspect of manufacturing for China's laser drilling technology.
 

Xizor

Captain
Registered Member
No doubt China can still learn plenty from western turbofan manufacturers. I just don't think MTU can trade with China on anything EJ200 related. Maybe some peripheral technology related to a certain aspect of manufacturing for China's laser drilling technology.
My memory seems to be ok. Maybe it's the Multivitamins doing the work.

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Article was 2 years ago.

Another researcher involved in the negotiations said the export of the blade processing machine would be part of wider jet engine collaboration between the two countries.

“We will buy something else from them in return,” he said. “It can be either hardware or technology. The Germans are very good at the design and engineering of compressors [which send fresh air into the combustion chamber].”
 

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