Rolls-Royce is preparing the future. While the engine manufacturer must produce its Trent 1000 at high rate to accompany the rise in power of the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350, he is already preparing the next generation. Rolls-Royce has two parallel research projects: Advance and UltraFan. Fuel economy expected with engines derived from this research could reach 20% and 25%. Expected for 2020/2025, these engines will propel the A330neo or maybe a future A380neo, if there is one day.
New alloys, new manufacturing techniques
It is in the United States, at the John C. Stennis Space Center, Rolls-Royce comes to conduct tests of a new blower, it is the first stage of the compressor low pressure recognizable by its blue sky color rather unusual. The blades are painted for good reason, they are not titanium, as usually, but in in composite CTi (carbon/titanium). Brought by these new blades weight gain is very significant: Rolls-Royce hopes to alleviate its 1.500 pounds (approximately 700 kg) by aircraft engines. The engine manufacturer hope 20% fuel savings thanks to this new material.
If Rolls-Royce unveiled its manufacturing methods to produce these blades ultra-light, composite ITCS themselves are of a titanium matrix printed by Fusion selective laser (SLM technology) then “wrapped” carbon fibre.
In parallel to this “Advance” program, the engine manufacturer explores another track: it will equip its future engines of a reducer. A species of gearbox which allows the fan to rotate at a different speed than the rest engine. This technology Geared Turbofan (GTF) was originally developed by the American Pratt & Witney for the PW1000G, one of the engines of the Airbus 3200neo. Renamed UltraFan by Rolls-Royce, this technology will enable the engine manufacturer to increase significantly the rate of dilution of its next Jet (amount of cold air from the hot gases) and thus to reduce the consumption of the engine. Therefore, Rolls-Royce will reach 25% of expected savings.
Translation : Bing Translator
“Rolls-Royce tests composite fan systems for Advance and UltraFan™ at John C. Stennis Space Center”, Rolls-Royce press release, September 1st, 2014
“Rolls-Royce Details Advance And UltraFan Test Plan”, Aviation Week, 25 août 2014