A Taihang engine with a 2D thrust guide nozzle is on display at Airshow China 2022 held in Zhuhai, south China’s Guangdong Province, Nov. 8-13, 2022. Photo: Cao Siqi/GT
China first showcased a turbofan engine with a 2D thrust vector control nozzle at the ongoing China 2022 airshow in Zhuhai, south China’s Guangdong province, experts said on Thursday. that such an engine could provide aircraft, especially fighter jets, with improved maneuverability and stealth capability, and this reflects the rapid development of China’s aircraft engine industry as a whole.
Five variants of the Taihang series turbofan engines are on display at the air show, and the Global Times has learned from the state-owned Aero Engine Corp of China (AECC) that the Taihang engine has continued to receive improvements and upgrades, and its performance, reliability, safety, stealth capability, power extraction, environmental adaptability, endurance, and thrust vectoring – among other factors – have all received technical improvements . This is expected to comprehensively improve the aircraft’s survivability and combat capabilities, and it has achieved the comprehensive independent support of domestically developed engines.
The five Taihang engines are used on different aircraft, according to the AECC.
One of the five Taihang engines on display features a 2D thrust vector control nozzle, which caught visitors’ attention.
Thrust vector control can greatly improve the maneuverability of an aircraft, typically a fighter aircraft, by providing thrust directly in a desired direction in addition to using aerodynamics, and this will give the aircraft many tactical advantages in combat, Wei Dongxu, a Chinese military expert, told the Global Times on the Airshow China website.
An aircraft engine with a thrust vector control nozzle is mechanically and structurally more complex than an engine without one, and this means that thrust vector control usually causes some level of thrust loss. A 2D nozzle could lose even more thrust than a 3D nozzle. China’s development of a turbofan with a 2D thrust vector control nozzle means the engine has enough power to handle the loss of some thrust, Wei said.
A 2D nozzle generally has better radar and infrared stealth capability than a 3D nozzle, which makes the 2D nozzle a generally better option, if the engine itself can provide enough power, said Fu Qianshao, an expert. Chinese military aviation, to the Global Times.
Li Gang, the pilot of the first flight of the J-20 stealth fighter jet, said in a 2021 media interview that he would like to see the J-20 upgraded with engines with vector nozzles. 2D thrust.
At Airshow China 2018, a J-10B thrust vector control demonstrator equipped with an engine with 3D thrust vector control nozzle delivered flight performance. An engine with a 3D thrust vector control nozzle was also on display this year as one of five Taihang variants.
The AECC also introduced for the first time the AEF1300, a high thrust, high bypass ratio and low fuel consumption turbofan. It should meet the requirements of large Chinese aircraft.
While drones play a major role in modern warfare, the AECC also showcased a low-cost type of turbojet engine. As the future war may require high-speed swarm drones and target drones, the production cost of this engine is less than 100,000 yuan ($13,800).