Designs of the next generation of Rolls-Royce jet engines, which could be ready within ten years, were revealed today.
The two new designs, known as Advance and UltraFan, will feature a host of features to boost power and efficiency including carbon/titanium fan blades and a composite casing that reduce weight by up to 1,500lb per aircraft, the equivalent of carrying seven more passengers at no cost.
Advance will offer at least 20 per cent better fuel burn and CO2 emissions than the first generation of the firm’s well known Trent engine family and could be ready from the end of this decade.
The second, UltraFan, is a geared design with a variable pitch fan system and is based on technology that could be ready for service from 2025 and will offer at least 25 per cent improvement in fuel burn and emissions against the same baseline.
Colin Smith, Rolls-Royce director of Engineering and Technology, said: "These new designs are the result of implementing our on-going technology programmes. They are designed to deliver what our airframe and airline customers tell us they need: even better fuel efficiency, reliability and environmental performance."
Both engine designs are the result of the on-going research and development investment of approximately £1bn a year, which Rolls-Royce makes across its aerospace and non-aerospace businesses.
On top of the new fan blade technology the designs will feature a new engine core architecture designed to deliver maximum fuel burn efficiency and low emissions as well as advanced ceramic matrix composites – heat resistant components that operate more effectively in high turbine temperatures.
The geared UltraFan™ design will deliver efficient power for high-thrust, high-bypass ratio engines of the future, and the firm has also developed and tested technologies to support the Open Rotor engine concept and is positioned to mature them should there be clear market demand for such a product.
Eric Schulz, Rolls-Royce, President - Civil Large Engines, said: "As innovators, we can never stand still, even when we have the leadership position. Our horizons extend into the coming decades and we have amassed a range of new technologies to meet the needs of our customers. I am confident that our engine design strategy will ensure we power the future of global aviation."