GAS TURBINE INLET CASE WITH REMOVABLE GAS PATH
Publication Date: 2005-Oct-12
The IP.com Prior Art Database
Andrew R. Marshall, Pratt & Whitney Canada: INVENTOR [+2]
An inlet case for a gas turbine engine with removable gas path airfoil surface modules that are mounted to a structural support frame, thus providing a lighter weight alternative to conventional one-piece castings with increased aerodynamic design flexibility.
INVENTORS: Andrew R. Marshall, Robert E. McGillivray
An inlet case for a gas turbine engine with removable gas path and airfoil surface modules that are mounted to a structural support frame, thus providing a lighter weight alternative to conventional one-piece castings with increased aerodynamic design flexibility.
BACKGROUND OF THE ART
The gas path of a gas turbine engine includes several stationary rings of airfoil blades, which serve to define the gas path and provide structural integrity for the engine core, bearing supports, engine supports and air inlet casing. For a given diameter of engine, the definition of gas path may vary significantly between engine designs and location. Conventional manufacturing of the inlet casing and other stationary gas path components involves individual castings which provide a rigid structural ring but at a significant weight penalty.
In the research and development leading up to a new engine design, modification of the gas path and airfoil surfaces in heavy castings is a time consuming and difficult process. In general if development requires alternative gas path or air foil geometry, a separate casting must be made for each geometry adding to the cost of development and increasing delays.
DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION
The invention provides an inlet case for a gas turbine engine with removable gas path and/or airfoil surface modules separately mounted to a structural support frame. Each airfoil surface may be readily modified to incorporate changing gas path and/or airfoil geometry developments. The ability to modify and replace airfoil modules apart from the underlying structural frame provides a faster and more economical response to design changes and permits testing of an increased number of alternative gas path configurations without requiring separate structural castings for each version.
 The same underlying support frame may be used repeatedly with different external gas path and airfoil surface modules to construct and test numerous inlet cases with varying gas path geometry. Thus the invention provides a lighter weight alternative to conventional one-piece castings with increased aerodynamic design flexibility and improved opportunity for performance optimization.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
Figure 1 is an exploded sectional view through a typical inlet casing.
Figure 2 is a frontal view of the assembled inlet casing.
Figure 3 is a side view of the structural support frame upon which removable gas path and airfoil surface modules are mounted; and
Figure 4 is a perspective exploded view of one stationary vane with an open web structural support frame member extending radially and two lateral air foil surface modules removably attached thereto as i...