Artist’s rendering of finished UltraFan engine prototype, to be completed by the end of 2021

Rolls-Royce UltraFan aero-engine prototype

ROLLS-Royce has started building its first UltraFan prototype engine at its DemoWorks facility in Derby, UK, and is expected to complete the prototype by the end of the year.

UltraFan, which the company says will be the world’s largest aero-engine and will contribute to sustainable air travel, features what will be the world’s largest fan rotor blades made from carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP).  The engine is the basis for a potential new family of UltraFan engines able to power both narrow-body and wide-body aircraft, and to deliver a 25% fuel efficiency improvement compared with the first generation of Trent engine.

Additonal key engineering features of the engine are include carbon titanium fan blades and a composite casing that reduce weight by up to 680kg per aircraft; and advanced ceramic matrix composite (CMC) components that operate more effectively in high pressure turbine temperatures.