HPC from A-Z (part 10) - J

J is for jet engine design.

It’s difficult today to imagine a world without air travel. Whether travelling for business or pleasure, the human species has well and truly taken to the skies – and we owe it all to the jet engine.

We’ve come a long way since 1939, when the Heinkel He 178 became the world's first jet-powered aircraft. Back then, jet engines were far less efficient than their piston equivalents and it was thought by many that they wouldn’t amount to much. Well, those early naysayers couldn’t have been more wrong. The 21st Century jet engine is a true masterpiece of design and physics!

However, with stringent safety procedures to follow and the unthinkable cost of producing a faulty model, engine design and testing is a hugely expensive business. A designer of engines since 1925, Pratt and Whitney is at the front of the curve when it comes to innovation. The company relies on computer aided simulations to reduce the enormous price-tag attached to physical engine testing, while ensuring that high standards of testing are maintained throughout.

In order to power such complex simulations, Pratt & Whitney depends on (yes, you guessed right) a high performance computing solution, allowing it to easily explore design alternatives without relying on costly physical testing. The results? Greatly reduced production expense, faster time to market and reduced flight-times, thanks to bigger, faster engines!

So, the next time you’re sunning yourself next to the pool, sipping cocktails, remember the part that HPC has played in getting you there!


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