Rolls-Royce announced on Monday that it has entered the final build phase for its UltraFan technology demonstrator engine. The scalable UltraFan can produce from 25,000 to 100,000 pounds of thrust and has a fan diameter of 140 inches, making it the world’s largest aeronautical engine to date. The engine, which is designed for new narrowbody and widebody aircraft “anticipated in the 2030s,” is expected to offer a 25 percent improvement in fuel efficiency compared to the first-generation Trent engine.
“Our UltraFan engine technology demonstrator is arriving just as the world is seeking transformative technology to deliver sustainability,” said Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace President Chris Cholerton. “We are now in the final build phase and we will perform the first test run on 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel later this year. The suite of technologies we are testing on the demonstrator will create opportunities to make improvements to our current fleet and provide new capability for future propulsion systems.”
The UltraFan demonstrator is being completed at Rolls-Royce’s site in Derby, U.K. As previously reported by AVweb, it will be tested at the Derby location’s new £90 million ($107 million) Testbed 80 facility, which opened last year. UltraFan features include 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.