Rolls-Royce and Airbus have signed a collaboration agreement for the integration of Rolls-Royce’s UltraFan demonstrator for flight testing. The integration solutions demonstration will be co-funded by Clean Sky 2, the European Union research programme focused on developing technology to reduce emissions.
UltraFan is a scalable jet engine design suitable for widebody or narrowbody aircraft. It offers a 25% fuel efficiency improvement over the first generation of Rolls-Royce Trent engine.
UltraFan features a new engine core architecture and lean-burn combustion system which will contribute to improved fuel burn efficiency and lower emissions, along with a carbon titanium fan blade system and composite casing which reduce weight. The engine also introduces a geared design to deliver efficient power at high-bypass ratios.
One element of the UltraFan programme is planning for ground and flight tests, and to support this Rolls-Royce has signed an agreement with Airbus to provide both nacelle and engine/aircraft integration architecture and technology enablers. Flights will be carried out on a Rolls-Royce flying testbed.
A step forward
Andy Geer, Rolls-Royce, Chief Engineer and Head of Programme – UltraFan, said: “This is another step forward in our UltraFan engine journey and it is great to have Airbus expertise to further strengthen our ability to deliver this important development programme. We remain very grateful to Clean Sky 2 for its continued recognition of the environmental benefits that UltraFan will bring.”
Axel Flaig, Airbus Head of Research and Technology Programme, added: “This technology development programme with Rolls-Royce is a key project for Airbus to pave the way towards the next generation integrated propulsion systems that will be needed by airline customers towards the end of the next decade. We thank the Clean Sky 2 European funding programme for its strong support to this project which is a key contributor towards the ACARE environmental targets.”