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Water Injection Feasibility for Boeing 747 AircraftCan water injection be offered at a reasonable cost to large airplane operators to reduce takeoff NO( sub x) emissions? This study suggests it may be possible. This report is a contract deliverable to NASA Glenn Research Center from the prime contractor, The Boeing Commercial Airplane Company of Seattle, WA. This study was supported by a separate contract to the Pratt & Whitney Engine Company of Hartford, CT (contract number NNC04QB58P). Aviation continues to grow and with it, environmental pressures are increasing for airports that service commercial airplanes. The feasibility and performance of an emissions-reducing technology, water injection, was studied for a large commercial airplane (e.g., Boeing 747 with PW4062 engine). The primary use of the water-injection system would be to lower NOx emissions while an important secondary benefit might be to improve engine turbine life. A tradeoff exists between engine fuel efficiency and NOx emissions. As engines improve fuel efficiency, by increasing the overall pressure ratio of the engine s compressor, the resulting increased gas temperature usually results in higher NOx emissions. Low-NO(sub x) combustors have been developed for new airplanes to control the increases in NO(sub x) emissions associated with higher efficiency, higher pressure ratio engines. However, achieving a significant reduction of NO(sub x) emissions at airports has been challenging. Using water injection during takeoff has the potential to cut engine NO(sub x) emissions some 80 percent. This may eliminate operating limitations for airplanes flying into airports with emission constraints. This study suggests an important finding of being able to offer large commercial airplane owners an emission-reduction technology that may also save on operating costs.
Document ID
Document Type
Contractor Report (CR)
Daggett, David L. (Boeing Commercial Airplane Group Seattle, WA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
December 1, 2005
Subject Category
Aircraft Propulsion and Power
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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