Rolls-Royce UltraFan Reaches Final Build Phase

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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.

Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. The story starts out claiming a 25% improvement in fuel economy but from what basis? Their first Trent engines or the latest iteration?
    Then the go and spoil it all by virtue signaling about 100% sustainable fuel. Stupid! If these engines are an important innovation then they should run on petroleum-based Jet A or any other approved jet fuel.

  2. ….AND YET AGAIN, our “editor-in-chief” regurgitates another blathering press release – with all the mind-numbing politically-approved buzzwords – sustainability, transformative technology, advanced low-emissions, bla bla bla.