Rolls-Royce has officially started building the world’s largest engine, UltraFan, which will redefine sustainable travel for decades to come.
Work on the first module is underway at Rolls-Royce’ 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 the year.
The engine is the basis for a potential new family of UltraFan engines able to power both narrow body and widebody aircraft and deliver a 25 per cent fuel efficiency improvement compared with the first generation of Trent engine.
Chris Cholerton, Rolls-Royce, president civil aerospace, said: “This is an exciting moment for all of us at Rolls-Royce. Our first engine demonstrator, UF001, is now coming together and I’m really looking forward to seeing it built and ready for test. It is arriving at a time when the world is seeking ever more sustainable ways to travel in a post-COVID 19 world, and it makes me and everyone on our UltraFan team very proud to know we are part of the solution.”
UltraFan is part of the of Rolls-Royce’s IntelligentEngine vision – for example each fan blade has a digital twin which stores real-life test data, allowing engineers to predict in-service performance.
When on test at Rolls-Royce’s £90m new Testbed 80 facility, data can be taken from more than 10,000 parameters, detecting the tiniest of vibrations at a rate of up to 200,000 samples per second.