Rolls-Royce announced Monday that it has completed construction of its new UltraFan engine and is preparing to start testing. In a major milestone for the programme, the demo engine was transported from the build shop to Test Bench 80 in Derby, UK, where it was assembled in preparation for testing. The first test is expected to take place early next year and will run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel. “Seeing the UltraFan demonstrator ready for dyno testing is a fantastic way to end the year. We have all been waiting for this moment, which is such an important milestone for the program and for the team that has worked on it. The next stage will be to see UltraFan run for the first time on 100% sustainable aviation fuel in 2023, demonstrating that the technology is poised to support more sustainable flights in the future,” Chris Cholerton, President of Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace. Combining an all-new engine design with a suite of technologies to support sustainable air travel for decades to come, the UltraFan has a 140-inch diameter fan and offers a 25% fuel efficiency improvement compared to the first generation of the Trent engine. The new engine offers a number of sustainable solutions that will contribute to the path towards net-zero emissions aviation. In the near term, options exist to transfer technologies from the UltraFan development program to existing Trent engines to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. In the long term, UltraFan's scalable technology, with ~25,000-110,000 lb thrust, offers the potential to further improve the fuel efficiency of narrow and wide-body aircraft by up to 10%. The world's largest and most intelligent test bed 80 was specially designed and built to accommodate the size and technical complexity of the UltraFan. It was inaugurated in 2020 and has already completed many hours of experimental tests with engines. The UltraFan technology demonstrator program has been supported by the UK Institute of Aerospace Technology and Innovate UK, the EU's Clean Sky programmes, as well as LuFo and the State of Brandenburg in Germany.
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