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Electric oil system as accessory to aircraft engine successfully tested by CIAM

25 October 2019
The Central Institute of Aviation Motors (CIAM, a part of the Zhukovsky Institute National Research Center) successfully tested a gas turbine engine with an electric oil system. The system’s functionality had previously been checked on autonomous test benches. The recent tests proved its effectiveness as an engine part. The study was conducted within the project of "electrification" of the engine for a more electric aircraft.

Electrical technologies constructively simplify the gearbox of the engine aggregates, reduce its weight and its midsection - the cross-sectional area - and, accordingly, the resistance.

Another advantage of "electrification" is to get rid of the "diseases" of the lubrication system, the mechanical drive of which is rigidly attached to the engine rotor and depends on reducing or increasing its speed. For example, when the engine rises to a height, oil pumps reduce the amount of oil supplied or pumped out. The use of electric pumps eliminates the issue of excess or lack of oil due to separate performance control of the pressuring and scavenging units.

Engine control is carried out by a digital automatic control system with an on-board mathematical model. The CIAM specialists have developed a control system that controls not only the “behavior” of the engine, but also the quality of its lubrication and its fuel efficiency.

The tests confirmed the normal operation of the oil system with electric pumps in the entire range of operating modes.