The massive space business Rolls-Royce declared on May 18 that the test results for its UltraFan technology demonstration were successful, calling it a “historic moment” for the corporation.
The demonstrator’s technology, which the manufacturer hopes will increase the efficiency of present and future aero-engines, passed the first testing, demonstrating their viability. Trent XWB, the currently in use largest aero engine in the world, is outperformed by UltraFan by 10% in terms of efficiency.
According to the firm, there are alternatives to integrate UltraFan development program technologies into current Trent engines in the near future. Longer future, new narrowbody and widebody aircraft predicted in the 2030s may be powered by UltraFan’s scalable technology from 25,000-110,000lb thrust.
We are witnessing history in the making; a step-change in engine efficiency improvement.Tufan Erginbilgic, Rolls-Royce’s CEO
“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. That is why this announcement is so important – we are witnessing history in the making; a step-change in engine efficiency improvement,” said Rolls-Royce’s CEO Tufan Erginbilgic.
In order to further the industry’s goal of Net Zero flight by 2050, Erginbilgic said the tests were conducted using sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). This combination makes the experiment much more efficient for gas turbine engines. The tests were conducted in Derby, UK, and the 100% SAF utilized was supplied by Air bp and sourced mostly from waste-based sustainable feedstocks including discarded cooking oils.
Through the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), Innovate UK, the EU’s Clean Sky programs, and the State of Brandenburg in Germany, the UK government helped test the demonstration.
The last time Rolls-Royce tested a brand-new engine architecture was 54 years ago, and the business is hailing the outcomes as a collaboration between the government and the industry. The UltraFan program is a perfect example of what can be accomplished when government and industry work together with a same goal, according to Erginbilgic. “Collaboration is key in driving the decarbonisation of air travel,” he said.
According to Kemi Badenoch, UK Business and Trade Secretary, “This cutting-edge technology will help the transition towards a greener future for aviation while attracting further investment into the UK’s aerospace industry, helping grow the economy.”