Wednesday, August 25, 2010

KAVERI UPDATE: Critical Flight Tests On IL-76 Testbed This October

The Indian government today provided a comprehensive update on the indigenous Kaveri turbofan programme. Here it is, in full:

(i) All major engine sub-assemblies have been tested for aerodynamic performance and structural integrity (life & safety) requirements from qualification point of view. (ii) Critical sub-systems have been developed. (iii) Full authority Kaveri Digital engine Control System (KADECS) has been designed and developed. (iv) Various critical technologies in the fields of instrumentation/measurement, health monitoring, data acquisition, etc. have been developed. (v) Twelve materials (Titanium, Steel and super alloys) have been developed and type certified. (vi) Directionally Solidified (DS) casting technology and high temperature tip brazing technology for the High Pressure and Low Pressure turbine blades & vanes have been developed. (vii) Adequate manufacturing technology base has been established.

The reasons for the delay in developing the said engine are as follows:

(i) Non-availability of critical materials, viz., nickel and titanium based alloys in the country. (ii) Low priority from foreign manufacturing agencies in view of the Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) vis-à-vis the production order quantity from other engine houses. (iii) Lack of manufacturing infrastructure for critical components. (iv) Flying Test Bed (FTB) trials were not originally envisaged but included subsequently, based on the recommendations of Certification Agency and IAF. (v) US sanctions imposed during 1998 affected the delivery of critical systems & components. (vi) Lack of infrastructure of engine testing and component / system level testing within the country leading to dependency on foreign agencies.

Kaveri engine testing under simulated altitude and forward speed conditions during February 2010 has been successfully completed. Another engine has been integrated with IL-76 aircraft at Gromov Flight Research Institute (GFRI), Moscow for ground and flight test which is expected to complete by October 2010 (sic). These two major milestones would make 'Kaveri' engine certified for flight operations. Productions of LCAs are, meanwhile, as decided by user, being fitted with imported engines.

Kaveri Photo by Shiv Aroor


sumit..m..a..rule..! said...

good news but shiv i have an query that: kaveri is power full enough to fit into LCA mk-ii i mean with increasing demand of IAF (payload) . they are calling GE404 unpowered , nd butin EJ200 or GE414 wat well thrust specification of kaveri..

Anonymous said...

The entire Kaveri program has been misconceptualized from the start. There is no room for turbojets today on fighters, they should have built a turbofan with approx. 0.9 BPR.

As it is the shaft can barely survive the loads of a turbofan, putting the load of a bigger turbofan up front will only lead to failures. We have not even matched the Russians and their crude engines, forget western engines by GE.

Le Sigh. Cancel the program, let LCA get GE engines, and start afresh by cloning the GE engine chosen to power LCA. It is the only way this program can be salvaged, going further on a wrong route (turbojet) is not progress.

Anonymous said...

all that is fine but which foreign engine will be selected till the kaveri becomes operational??? and also when will we see a drawing or a photo of the LCA mk2 ??? ANYONE ANY IDEA

Anonymous said...

Great news!

Anonymous said...

That means kaveri might be fitted into one of TD of LCA after october tests....?????

Anonymous said...

fingers crossed :)
have a feeling this is gonna work

AK said...

GTRE should stop pulling wool on the Indian public's eye. Kaveri is a flop show, the only reason it survives is because some PSU unions will go on a strike as soon as it is cancelled. Let's face it, Kaveri has run it's course, it's time to say good bye to it.

Anonymous said...

Last i heard, the Kabini core has been thrown out in favour of the Snecma M-88 core.

Three very important question is-Is the core the Kabini or the M-88? What are the specific thrust figures? Has the defect of the Kaveri around "throwing blades" been removed?

If the core is Kabini and we realize 53 KN Dry thrust/80KN Afterburner thrust, there is salvation on one ground-at least we have an indigenous engine although this thrust rating will make it underpowered for the LCA.

If the core is the Snecma core and the thrust is 53 (Dry)/80 (wet), god bless us. We have developed a turbojet (described as a leaky turbofan in today's world) with no use after 20 years of pouring money into it.

However, if the core is still the Kabini and the thrust rating has improved to 60 KN+(Dry)/ 90 KN+ (Afterburner), it can be used for the LCA and we can always develop a new version (turbofan) for the MCA.

Anyone with thrust rating information on the Kaveri? Please share.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 5:10
Kaveri is a after-burning TurboFan engine. Jet-age was long over. I agree with this report, material technology base in our country is lacking. Nickel and Titanium alloys are needed,hmmmm. The report does not specify any thing on Single Crystal Blades and directional growth of these crystals. Wounder f they have mastered or not yet.

Anonymous said...

great news .......

Anonymous said...

Who said that turbo fans are not used on modern military aircrafts Us A-10 and F-22 Raptor are using it, I would say Indian scientists have fore thought, wait and see once it succeeds it would be a win win situation.

Rahul said...

@ Anon 5.10PM
Dude who told you that GTRE-Kaveri is Turbojet ? Why don't you people just do the minimum research before typing like internet ninjas.
GTRE-Kaveri is a turbofan write from its inception.

Mr. Ra said...

That is an encouraging news.

If it is a technically sound and cost effective opinion, I still think that Kaveri can be used on a lighter version of Tejas, equipped only with missiles for point defense and other limited but crisp operations i.e. a truly lightweight fighter.

Anonymous said...

There goes now the Rahul-RATshaker bashing Anon-510.
RATshaker's are always looking to rant on DODO-phobes.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 7:49

I had the same question too. Everything on kaberi stopped at Single crystal blades.

GTRE was expecting Snecma or russians to help them in this technology.

Is this technology now acquired or GTRE is now looking to bypass this and taking risk of future engine-failures

Anonymous said...

My hope is that there is a LCA with a kaveri totally hooked up to it, and ready to go as soon the team says ok in Russia.

Note to Shiv Aroor. I think your comment section is being over-run by a bunch of stinky pumsys from across the border and other places. A lot of these nasty comments are ment to degrade our people and our scientists and to stop our progress.

sam said...

Shiv, plz plz specify weather it has single crystal tech.

Gautam said...

Congratulations for the GTRE on finally reaching the testing phase, but frankly it's too little, too late. GTRE's delays, for all the excuses they offer, are in large part their own responsibility and lest they exhaust all their remaining goodwill they should cease their attempts to further delay the LCA(by stopping the selection of engine for the Tejas mk.2).

As for the Kaveri's performance, it is a relatively basic engine by modern standards. It may have higher thrust rating than a few of its foreign analogues, but one must keep in mind that there are many, many technical factors in engine performance besides just thrust. The MiG-35 was (apparently) removed from the MMRCA contest because its uprated RD-33MK engines underperformed at higher altitudes. The Chinese WS10 indigenous engine was rejected in favour of the Russian AL31F for powering the J-10 because it had higher thrust but also took longer to accelerate. Such factors can only properly be evaluated once the Kaveri is finally integrated on to the Tejas airframe for testing.

Anonymous said...

Every one wants to do things their own ways, in own style, to their own convenience and to their advantage. that is true for individuals as also for organisations to certain extent.

Why can't we B***** Indians get together and find a way how to do and what to do?

DRDO thinks Forces should do things their way, PSU think Forces are their slave customers, MoD thinks every one should follow what they say, Forces think they have a job to do and things should meet their requirement.

Every one is right and wrong, Every one is doing their bit. But then who is the one not doing his bit..???

I think it is MoD Baubu !! I think that is because he has no idea whatsoever what to do> he only does Babugiri and nothing else..

Shiv Aroor said...

No single-crystal technology on the Kaveri yet.

Sardar Ram Singh porkychinki farker said...

heard? and remember? what happened to the Arjun Tank??? It was rejected and rejected and rejected and now its better than the T90s. In the same way the Tejas and the Kaveri Engine, it will be rejected and made fun of but finally thanks to the scientists and Shiv Aroor, and all your and our comments and encouragement and discouragement the things will improve. In fact i believe Indians are so Indian that they will not allow non Indians to spoil India. Bharat Mahan hai

Jith said...

I personally believe that there are some @crroked@ western lovers commenting here on this blog.

The moment something good in Indian defense come in, they start criticising, at the same time having a soft speak on western failures.

So i really do suggest u to filter the comments and publish the ones which is the "best" for Indian defense, i guess the sole purpose of this blog is that. I am not saying that only positive comments should be publish, but always u could avoid "pointless" harsh comments.

Please Shiv, do keep an eye

Spirit of Exuberance said...

Its a good news. We hope that the engine passes all tests and become a base engine for all the future Jet Engines to be developed in India. There are lots of questions regarding single crystal blade technology not mastered. But let me share with you all that it has been years that numerous foundaries in India doing this. We shall invite private Indian firms to participate and if needed only consultancy of Western Manufacturer. Just as we have got the news of involvement of our premier education institutes in the development of AURA, we shall also take their help in this programme. There is sufficient expertise in our country, need is to tap it.

Karthik Soundarajan said...

Thank You very much for this excellent wirte up shiv.

I am hoping the success of this would push us in the league of Boeing,Airbus and Pratt&Whitney, but as you can see in the comment section, It still leaves many questions unanswered. The over weight issue and the dry thrust, it was meant to be flat rated engine but with only 52kN can they afford to make it flat rated compared to 60kN of the Ej-200.

We would still like to see an "Future Weapons" type documentary on it! Your documentary on Arjun MBT is the best so far and i hope a similar one is done for LCA and Kaveri.


Anonymous said...

Great news.

A PATRIOT said...

Jith, everyone who criticizes DODO and other PSUs arent pakis or america lovers. You RATshakers seem to think if you dont love the PSU boys you become "unpatriotic". What we want is progress in technology which comes through privatisation - not the babustan that runs our country.

So keep your RATshaker thoughts to yourself

A PATRIOT said...

Jith, everyone who criticizes DODO and other PSUs arent pakis or america lovers. You RATshakers seem to think if you dont love the PSU boys you become "unpatriotic". What we want is progress in technology which comes through privatisation - not the babustan that runs our country.

So keep your RATshaker thoughts to yourself

Patriot said...

Jith, everyone who criticizes DODO and other PSUs arent pakis or america lovers. You RATshakers seem to think if you dont love the PSU boys you become "unpatriotic". What we want is progress in technology which comes through privatisation - not the babustan that runs our country.

So keep your RATshaker thoughts to yourself

amit said...

shiv ji
hardly any news about the army or navy.
IS THIS SOME AVIATION WEBSITE OR DEFENCE WEBSITE ?????? i have my doubts.plz ab toh raham karo MMRCA deal se sab bore ho chuke something new.
To all MMRCA buffs - GET A LIFE .
MMRCA se zyada important hamare army fauji hai.

Gautam said...

Only those who have nothing to contribute but blind jingoism scream 'Ah! xyz-lover!' whenever they read something they don't like.

P.K.Chaudhuri said...

It is a very good news. GTRE must become more aggressive. All successes achieved so far must be converted into commercial success. High pressure blades and vanes must be manufactured for electricity generating Gas Turbines and sold to companies like ABB, Siemens, BHEL etc.

GTRE/DRDO/HAL should contribute to purchase a IL-76 aircraft and use the same for testing aero-engines.

Incentives like tax break etc. must be provided to all those companies who develop manufacturing infrastructure for such critical componnts.

As soon as the subject trial is completed, at least two existing tejas must be fitted with these engines and regular trials for further development of the engine must be carried out.

It is equally important to manufacture more number of Kaveri marine engines and put them on actual field trials. This will expedite the Kaveri development program.


Anonymous said...


53 KN Dry thrust/80KN - 60 KN+(Dry)/ 90 KN+ (Afterburner)

Man/dude how you came to 50% increase in thrust ratio from dry to wet?

For example Pratt & Whitney J58: Maximum thrust: 34,000 pounds-force (150 kN) (wet), 25,000 pounds-force (110 kN) (dry)

Jith said...

@ Patriot 5:33PM

Hello friend,

I have clearly stated my point and i am never against any negative comments that has points to prove and has got direction.

Anonymous said...

@1.38 AM

Nearly all turbofan engines have a 50% increase in wet thrust compared to dry thrust

RD 33: 50 KN (Dry)/81 KN (Wet)
M 88: 50 KN (Dry)/75 KN (Wet)
EJ 200: 60 KN (Dry)/ 90 KN (Wet)
F404: 48.9 KN (Dry)/ 78.7 (Wet)

If you note, these engines span US, French, Russian & European manufacturers.

The example you gave (J-58) is for a hybrid turbo-jet/ramjet, NOT a turbofan.

And yes, please know your stuff before speaking.

Anonymous said...

@ 8:00 PM

Check out F100-PW-220....

23,770 pounds of thrust with the afterburner (“wet”) and 14,590 pounds of thrust with the afterburner turned off (“dry”)

So its 65 kN dry and 106 kN wet.....

Its 60 percent.....well in this yr 50% theory upward difference goes out through the window....

moorthy said...

this not program to manufacture the bolt , this is the misson to bulit a engine first time, without a experience in this field by the country in developing nation, so it may take time , but last every indian will proud for that, my best wishes to persons in the program , vanthey matharam