Rolls-Royce starts build of
world’s largest aero engine
Rolls-Royce has officially started building the world’s largest aero-engine, UltraFan, which, what is says, will help redefine sustainable air travel for decades to come.
Work on the first module is underway at its dedicated DemoWorks facility in Derby, UK, and the demonstrator engine, which has a fan diameter of 140 inches, will be completed by the end of 2021.
The engine is the basis for a potential new family of UltraFan engines able to power both narrowbody and widebody aircraft and deliver a 25 per cent fuel efficiency improvement compared with the first generation of Trent engine.
Rolls-Royce says that performance improvement is “crucial” to achieving aviation sustainability. Gas turbines will continue to be the bedrock of long-haul aviation for many years, and UltraFan’s efficiency is expected to help improve the economics of an industry transition to more sustainable fuels, which are likely to be more expensive in the short-term than traditional jet fuel. The first test run of the engine will be conducted on 100 per cent Sustainable Aviation Fuel.