Small Engines

FTT develops low cost and highly capable engines for UAVs and cruise missiles for the Department of Defense (DoD). These systems need to be deployed at lower cost in order to bring a disruptive “mass” to the battlefield. The purpose of these attritable or limited life platforms, is to engage future adversaries in an asymmetric manner, with multiple low cost, mission capable platforms that are flexible and can accommodate various payloads and diverse missions.

The attritable UAV platforms and cruise missiles require low cost and high efficiency turbine engines to extend range and or provide long loiter times without reliability concerns or the additional cost of depot maintenance. The engines are designed to be flexible with regards to performance and scalable to accommodate the changing size requirements of the future battlespace platforms. FTT’s turbine engines are designed with low cost agile manufacturing concepts in order to reduce development and production costs.

Sonic Infrared Inspection System

FTT is now offering its revolutionary Sonic Infrared (IR) Inspection System to commercial aerospace customers. Sonic IR uses vibro-acoustic thermography to detect dangerous defects such as surface cracks, cracks under coatings, kissing bonds and de-laminations. Decades of research and application development have shown this automated NDT method to be highly reliable and less expensive than conventional manual penetrant inspection.

Sonic IR works on a wide range of part sizes and geometries that can be momentarily excited with low levels of high frequency vibration. Crack-like defects respond by heating due to friction along the crack tip and faces. This very small heat release is detected with an extremely sensitive infrared camera, positioned to monitor a broad area. A video clip of the thermal event is recorded and post-processed to immediately display either suspect defect locations to the operator or the results of an automated accept/reject call. Saving the electronic data assures that each inspection was properly conducted and evaluated.

Sonic IR offers several practical advantages over conventional NDT. There is minimal need for pre-test cleaning and coating removal is unnecessary. The complete inspection cycle typically takes under a minute to load/unload, inspect, post-process and display. The process is also environmentally friendly, requiring no penetrant fluids, no developer powders, and no special surface penetrations.

FTT Turbopumps

FTT designs, builds, and tests liquid rocket engine turbopumps and electric pumps. We have extensive experience with liquid Hydrogen, Methane, Oxygen, RP-1 & RP-2, as-well as hypergolic and super critical CO2 systems. Our turbine experience ranges from hydraulic turbines to extreme pressure and temperature gas turbines. We’ve developed electrically driven pumps with submerged cryogenic motors. An example of such is the in-line liquid Hydrogen boost pump which was designed to be submerged in the liquid hydrogen tank and deliver sub-cooled hydrogen to the main engine.

FTT performs all analysis in-house using our well-calibrated codes. We have the ability to model every aspect of the turbopump including: pump and turbine flowpath, rotordynamics, bearings (rolling element and hydrostatic), thrust balance and secondary flows, structural and heat transfer, steady state and transient modeling, as-well as mechanical design and product definition. From prototypes to production units, FTT is capable of manufacturing all turbopump components, performing assembly, instrumentation, and support testing.

In 2010, FTT, in conjunction with Aerojet Rocketdyne, delivered a liquid hydrogen turbopump to the AFRL test facility at Edwards Air Force Base in California. This was part of the Upper Stage Engine Turbopump (USET) Program which provides testing and data collection for rocket engines. To read more about FTT’s involvement in this innovative program, click here: