Rolls Royce’s Exciting UltraFan Update

Daniel Fowkes
20 Nov 2023
· Aircraft 
Rolls Royce UltraFan Demonstrator undergoing crucial inspections during testing

In the past week, Rolls Royce has provided an exciting update involving its upcoming UltraFan.

Breaking Down The Milestone

Rolls Royce announced that it had successfully run its UltraFan technology demonstrator to maximum power.

The initial testing stage was also conducted using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel at its Derby facility in the United Kingdom.

Such a successful test is a landmark milestone for the company, which has gradually built itself up to maximum power.

A gradual progression comes following initial successful tests with the demonstrator earlier in the 2023 calendar year.

All the tests labelled as rigorous ensure that the demonstrator performs in line with high company expectations.

Rolls Royce says that thanks to these tests they’ll be able to gather massively valuable data to analyse and move forward.

Looking Ahead For The UltraFan

With UltraFan being first revealed in 2014 to the public, it is closing in on ten years of age and represents a significant new era for Rolls Royce and engine production.

Rolls-Royce says the engine fundamentally differs from what is currently seen across other large civil engines in service.

Comments From Executive

HHitting full power with our UltraFan demonstrator sends a strong message that Rolls-Royce is at the cutting-edge of innovation and technology, leading the way in the transition to more efficient and sustainable aviation. This fantastic milestone puts us in a strong position to support the plans of our customers as they develop the next generation of super-efficient aircraft.

Tufan Erginbilgic, CEO, Rolls-Royce plc

We estimate that to reach Net Zero flying by 2050, a combination of highly-efficient, latest-generation gas turbines such as UltraFan operating on 100% SAF are likely to contribute around 80% of the total solution, which is why today’s announcement is such an important milestone for Rolls-Royce and the wider industry.

Simon Burr, Group Director of Engineering, Technology and Safety, Rolls-Royce plc

What Is Rolls Royce’s UltraFan

UltraFan is currently a demonstrator engine, the largest globally, harbouring new technologies.

Those technologies are scalable, capable of being developed to create an engine with a thrust range of ~25,000lb to 110,000lb, for narrowbody or widebody aircraft that may be developed from the 2030s. In parallel, some of the technologies could be applied to our current in-service engines to deliver even greater efficiency and sustainability in the nearer term.

Rolls Royce

All these new technological advancements are to deliver greater fuel efficiency than ever. Additionally, there is a focus on providing lower emissions and greater sustainability as aircraft enter their next generation.

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