Rolls-Royce pushes the UltraFan to maximum thrust

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Rolls-Royce announces that it has operated its UltraFan demonstrator at maximum power at its site in Derby, United Kingdom. The initial phase of the trial was carried out with 100% SAF. This trial represents a key milestone for the UltraFan demonstrator, which was successfully tested for the first time earlier this year.

UltraFan at full throttle

Rolls-Royce announced on November 13, 2023 that the company had successfully operated its UltraFan technology demonstrator at maximum thrust at its site in Derby, United Kingdom. Derby, United Kingdom. The initial phase of the trial was carried out using 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). “This is an important milestone for the UltraFan demonstrator, which was first successfully tested earlier this year. Since then, the UltraFan team has gradually increased the power as part of a diet rigorous testing and the demonstrator performed according to our expectations. The results of the test will provide us with valuable lessons and data, which our teams will now take back and continue to analyze,” comments Rolls-Royce.

To power next generation aircraft

“This achievement reinforces our confidence in all of the technologies that have been developed as part of the UltraFan program. Confirmation of this capability is a big step toward improving the efficiency of current and future aeronautical engines. UltraFan enables “Improve the efficiency of current and future aero engines by 10% compared to our Trent XWB. In total, this represents an efficiency gain of 25% since the launch of the first Trent engine. UltraFan’s scalable technology, which allows you to go from 25,000 to 110,000 pounds of thrust, also offers the possibility of equipping new single-aisle aircraft and new wide-body passenger aircraft planned for the 2030s. UltraFan development program, we have identified a number of technologies that are potentially transferable to the aerospace industry,” adds Rolls-Royce.

A test on the Testbed 80 in Derby

Full power testing of the UltraFan demonstrator took place on the Testbed 80 test stand in Derby, UK. 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 Clean Sky programmes, LuFo and the state of Brandenburg in Germany. UltraFan is the result of a decade of work, with the concept publicly unveiled in 2014. It is a fundamentally different architecture to that of Rolls-Royce’s approximately 4,200 large civilian engines currently in service, as it incorporates a geared design that no other player in the industry has ever produced on this scale before. “The demonstration at this scale gives us the flexibility to downsize the engine based on our customers’ needs. It also puts us in a unique position to offer a portfolio of two- and three-shaft propulsion solutions , direct drive or geared, to equip future aircraft,” adds Rolls-Royce.

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