The technology demonstrator of the world’s largest turbofan engine, the UltraFan, has passed initial ground tests taking place in the UK’s Testbed 80 facility. The highly fuel-efficient engine is well on its way to revolutionizing the aviation industry. Thanks to it, airlines will save staggering amounts of money.
Half a year ago at OSLU, we wrote about the really massive UltraFan engine, which is currently being intensively developed by Rolls-Royce Holdings plc. It boasts a number of superlatives, not the least of which is the fact that it is the largest turbocharged engine in the world.
This elegant creation of advanced engineering is, according to the manufacturer, 10 percent more efficient than any other large aero engine, such as the already very fuel-efficient Trent XWB, again from Rolls-Royce.
Due to its impressive size, the UltraFan is very light. Rolls-Royce manufactures this engine with very precise 3D printing with the help of robots.
The engine blades with a diameter of 3.56 meters are therefore made of carbon composite, and titanium only reinforces their leading edges.
When the UltraFans enter airline service in the 1930s, they should be very fuel efficient.
Should save airlines billions of dollars in fuel. In addition to fuel, it also saves human hearing and emissions of both carbon and nitrogen oxides and solid particles.
Rolls-Royce has built a new test facility in Derby, UK, which is tailor-made for the UltraFan engine. The reason is easy. The UltraFan represents the company’s first fundamentally new engine design in some 54 years. In this facility, named Testbed 80, the first tests of the UltraFan engine technology demonstrator, which was assembled last December (2022), have already taken place.
Gary Elliott, executive director of the British Aerospace Technology Institute, in whose facility the tests took place, praises the UltraFan engine as a major advance in the efficiency and thus the economy of aircraft engines. According to him, UltraFan is of great importance for the future of the British aviation industry. Elliott also congratulated the Rolls-Royce team on the successfully completed tests. According to Rolls-Royce Holdings CEO Tufan Erginbilgic, UltraFan is revolutionary. So far, everything points to it.
Video: Rolls-Royce | UltraFan Test Programmes
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