Rolls-Royce officially started the production of the UltraFan, the world's largest aircraft engine, which will change the definition of sustainable aviation over the next decades.
It was stated that the work on the first module to be carried out in this direction continues at the private DemoWorks center in Derby, UK, and the test engine with a 140-inch fan diameter is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
In addition to the ability to power both narrow-body and wide-body aircraft, the engine will form the basis of a new UltraFan engine family that can provide a 25 percent improvement in fuel efficiency compared to the first generation Trent engine. Drawing attention to the importance of performance improvement when it comes to the sustainability of aviation, Rolls-Royce officials stated that gas turbines developed in this direction continue to form the backbone of long-distance aviation. It is stated that the fuel efficiency of UltraFan will accelerate the transition from traditional jet fuel to more costly but more sustainable fuels in the short term and will help improve the economy of the industry. It has been announced that the first test of the engine is planned to be made with 100 percent Sustainable Aviation Fuel in order to lead this transition.
For the development of the UltraFan test engine and related technologies, by Rolls-Royce, as well as by various financial institutions, including Aerospace Technology Institute (United Kingdom), Innovate UK (United Kingdom), LuFo (Germany) and Clean Sky Joint Undertaking (European Union). It was stated that important investments were made.
British Trade Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The UltraFan project is an excellent example of our collaborations with the aviation industry to ensure green, sustainable flight over the next decades. This project, which is carried out with the support of the government, demonstrates the value that England gives to the aviation industry.
“Companies like Rolls-Royce are helping us come out of the pandemic in a greener way. We are determined to give them the support they need to innovate and reach new heights in the aviation industry. "
Chris Cholerton, Head of Civil Aviation at Rolls-Royce, said of the upcoming test: “This is an exciting moment for all of us. It is now being assembled, our first engine test model, UF001. I really can't wait to see it complete and ready for testing. This development is happening at a time when everyone is looking for more sustainable ways than ever before for travel after COVID-19. Knowing that we are part of the solution makes both me and our UltraFan team proud. ”
“I am delighted that the UK and German governments have supported us in making these groundbreaking technology investments. The Aerospace Technology Institute and LuFo programs, as well as the EU's Clean Sky program, helped us get one step closer to realizing the enormous environmental and economic benefits of UltraFan. "
It was stated that while starting the construction of the engine, other important components were brought together to be sent to Rolls-Royce's special DemoWorks unit in Derby. In addition, it was stated that UltraFan's carbon titanium fan system studies are continuing in Bristol, United Kingdom, and the work on the 500MW Power Gearbox with the power to run 50 cars is ongoing in Dahlewitz, Germany.
Rolls-Royce stated that UltraFan, part of the company's IntelligentEngine vision, also has a digital twin that allows engineers to predict the usage performance of each fan blade and stores real test data. Behind all of this, Rolls-Royce's £ 90 million investment, the new Testbed 80 center has been announced. It was emphasized that thanks to these tests, Rolls-Royce can detect even the smallest vibrations up to 200 thousand per second and receive data from more than 10 thousand parameters. It was stated that the data obtained helped to better understand the engines and to make necessary improvements.
Basic engineering features of the engine:
- New and proven Advance 3 core architecture combined with the combustion system with ALECSys lean burning technology to achieve maximum fuel burning efficiency and low emissions.
- Carbon titanium fan blades and composite case design that reduce the weight of the aircraft by up to 680 kilograms
- Advanced ceramic matrix composite (CMC) components that provide more efficient operation at high pressure turbine temperatures
- Gear design providing efficient power for future motors with high thrust and high bypass ratio.