Rolls-Royce UltraFan Reaches Next Milestone

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Rolls-Royce’s UltraFan technology demonstrator program has reached a new milestone with the shipment of the power gearbox (PGB) from the company’s site in Dahlewitz, Germany. The gearbox, which set a world aerospace power record during testing, is headed for the U.K. where Rolls-Royce is assembling the first UltraFan engine demonstrator. According to the company, the PGB has delivered 87,000 horsepower (64 megawatts) on test.

“This is a tremendous moment for everyone on the UltraFan programme as we take another step forward with the dispatch of the power gearbox,” said Chris Cholerton, Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace president. “I’m proud that we are creating better, more efficient gas turbines which will be an essential part of air travel for decades to come.”

Currently the largest engine in the world, the UltraFan has a fan diameter of 140 inches. It is designed to be scalable for narrowbody or widebody aircraft and is expected to offer a 25 percent fuel savings compared to first-generation Rolls-Royce Trent engines. The company plans to begin testing the UltraFan demonstrator later this year.

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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