Rolls-Royce announced it has completed the first tests of its UltraFan technology demonstrator at its facility in Derby, UK. The first tests were conducted using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).
Rolls-Royce says this is a historic moment for the company – it’s the first time in 54 years the aero-engine manufacturer has tested a brand-new engine architecture and says it “is proof of what can be achieved when industry and Governments work together.”
Confirming the capability of the suite of technologies incorporated in the demonstrator is a big step towards improving the efficiency of current and future aero-engines. UltraFan delivers a 10% efficiency improvement over the Trent XWB, which is already the world’s most efficient large aero engine in service, according to the company.
In the nearer term, there are options to transfer technologies from the UltraFan development program to current Trent engines, which it says will provide operators with even greater availability, reliability and efficiency.
In the longer term, UltraFan’s scalable technology from ~25,000-110,000lb thrust offers the potential to power new narrowbody and widebody aircraft anticipated in the 2030s.