Rolls-Royce announced on Thursday that it has successfully completed the first tests of its UltraFan technology demonstrator engine. Considered the world’s largest aeronautical engine to date, the UltraFan has a fan diameter of 140 inches and offers features including Rolls-Royce’s Advance 3 core architecture and advanced low emissions combustion system (ALECSys), carbon titanium fan blades and a composite casing, advanced ceramic matrix composite (CMC) components and a geared design. Testing took place at the company’s Testbed 80 facility in Derby, U.K.
“The UltraFan demonstrator is a game changer—the technologies we are testing as part of this programme have the capability to improve the engines of today as well as the engines of tomorrow,” said Rolls-Royce CEO Tufan Erginbilgic. “That is why this announcement is so important—we are witnessing history in the making; a step-change in engine efficiency improvement.”
Rolls-Royce noted that the UltraFan tests mark the first time in 54 years that the company has tested a brand-new engine architecture. Aimed at potentially powering new narrowbody and widebody aircraft in the 2030s, the scalable UltraFan can produce from 25,000 to 100,000 pounds of thrust. Rolls-Royce also stated that it is looking at options to transfer technologies from the UltraFan development program to its current Trent engines.