Rolls-Royce announced on May 18, 2023, that it has successfully completed initial testing of its UltraFan technology demonstrator at its Derby, UK, site. The initial tests were conducted on 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
UltraFan tested on SAF...
Rolls-Royce announced on May 18, 2023, that it has successfully completed initial testing of its UltraFan technology demonstrator at its Derby, UK, site. The initial tests were conducted on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). This is a historic moment for Rolls-Royce - the first time in 54 years that the engine manufacturer has tested an entirely new engine architecture. The UltraFan provides a 10 percent improvement in efficiency for the Trent XWB, which is already the world's most efficient large in-service aircraft engine. In the near term, technologies from the UltraFan development program can be transferred to existing Trent engines, providing Rolls-Royce customers with even greater availability, reliability and efficiency. Longer term, the UltraFan's scalable technology, with thrust from ~25,000 to 110,000 pounds, offers the potential to power new generations of commercial transport aircraft planned for the 2030s.
At Test Bed 80 in Derby
The testing took place at Test Bed 80, the largest indoor aero engine testing facility in Britain and Europe. The 100% SAF, derived primarily from sustainable waste-based feedstocks such as used cooking oil, was supplied by Air BP. The demonstrator trial is the culmination of many years of work, which has been supported by the UK government through the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), Innovate UK, the EU's Clean Sky programs as well as LuFo and the state of Brandenburg in Germany.
10 years of work
The UltraFan program is the result of a decade of work, with the concept publicly unveiled in 2014. It is a fundamentally different architecture than the approximately 4,200 large Rolls-Royce civil engines currently in service, as it incorporates a geared design that no other industry player has ever produced at this scale. "Demonstrating at this scale gives us the flexibility to downsize the engine to meet our customers' needs. It will also put us in the unique position of being able to offer a portfolio of two- and three-shaft, direct-drive and geared propulsion solutions to power future aircraft," comments Rolls-Royce.
A 140 inches diameter fan
The UltraFan's primary features are its huge gearbox that allows for high bypass ratios and its outsized fan, which is 140 inches in diameter or 3.55 meters. The technology demonstrator incorporates a new, proven Advance3 core architecture, combined with the ALECSys lean burn system, to achieve maximum fuel efficiency and low emissions. Rolls-Royce also assembles the Trent XWB-97 engines at the Derby site in the United Kingdom, among others.
Découvrez cet article sur Air&Cosmos