Rolls-Royce’s UltraFan Engine Made a Stellar Debut

By: | July 19th, 2023

Photo by Dennis Eusebio on Unsplash

On the wings of inspiring greatness, legends only amplify their legacy. Rolls-Royce’s exemplary engineering continues to amaze and inspire us with its new marvel – UltraFan Engine.

Rolls-Royce successfully debuted its UltraFan Engine in a test at the Testbed 80 facility in Derby. UltraFan technology using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) promises to enhance fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions while delivering unparalleled performance.

The suite of technologies integrated into the engine has been confirmed through a successful demonstration, indicating a promising future for increased efficiency in both current and upcoming aero-engines. Notably, the new jet engine boasts a 10% improvement in fuel efficiency compared to the world’s most efficient large aero engine, the Trent XWB, resulting in reduced emissions.

Tufan Erginbilgic, the CEO of Rolls-Royce, highlights the significance of this accomplishment in advancing engine efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. This historic milestone showcases that the partnership between the company and government entities and the implementation of Sustainable Aviation Fuels is essential in attaining the aviation industry’s ambitious objective of achieving Net Zero flights by 2050.

SAF derived from sustainable feedstocks was used for the tests conducted at Testbed 80, the world’s largest and most advanced indoor aero-engine testing facility. The development of UltraFan receives support from the UK Government, the Aerospace Technology Institute, Innovate UK, Clean Sky programs, LuFo, and the State of Brandenburg.

With a fundamentally different design architecture incorporating a geared system, UltraFan provides Rolls-Royce with the unique ability to offer a range of propulsion solutions for future aircraft. The scalable technology also presents opportunities for upgrading existing Trent engines and powering narrowbody and widebody aircraft in the 2030s.

The UltraFan Engine is a result of years of dedicated work and a showcase of Rolls-Royce’s commitment to innovation and collaboration. 

Its key engineering features, such as the Advance3 core architecture, ALECSys lean burn combustion system, carbon titanium fan blades, composite casing, and an aerospace record-setting power gearbox, make it a groundbreaking advancement in engine technology. The UltraFan engine brings us closer to a sustainable aviation future, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in aero-engine development.

Ashton Henning

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