Rolls-Royce to Test the Giant 87,000 HP UltraFan Engine Using Sustainable Fuel

Last year, Rolls-Royce was making waves with another world record in the aerospace industry – the new UltraFan power gearbox (PGB) reached mind-blowing power levels of 87,000 HP/67 MW. This year, it will be integrated into the first UltraFan engine demonstrator (UF001), with tests soon to follow.
A rendering shows the immense size of the power gearbox for the UltraFan engine 7 photos
Photo: Rolls-Royce
The UltraFan gearbox for the engine demonstratorThe UltraFan gearbox for the engine demonstratorThe UltraFan gearbox for the engine demonstratorThe UltraFan gearbox for the engine demonstratorThe UltraFan gearbox for the engine demonstratorThe UltraFan gearbox for the engine demonstrator
Although it’s researching the potential of electric propulsion systems and of hydrogen fuel cells for future green aviation, the aerospace giant believes that gas turbines will still continue to be the main pillar in aviation propulsion, but ones that are compatible with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The UltraFan engine will be able to save 25% more fuel, a big step from the first-generation Trent engines.

The UF001 demonstrator, boasting a fan diameter of 140 inches/355.6 cm (Rolls-Royce says it’s the world;s biggest), is currently being assembled in Derby, UK, and will conduct its first test later this year. The company also announced that for its first test, the UF001 will run on 100% SAF.

But before that, the record-setting PGB has just been sent to the UK from Dahlewitz, Germany, so that the engine demonstrator can be fully assembled.

The PGB can deliver even more power than a grid of Formula 1 cars. During the test carried out in 2021, it reached 87,000 HP, which would be enough to power a town the size of the Bath British city (29 km²).

That’s mainly because of the gearbox’s innovative planetary design, with each planet capable of holding the force of a Trent XWB engine. Also, Rolls-Royce explained that the UltraFan PGB would allow the engine to be more efficient at different thrust levels due to the fact that the rear turbine can run at high speed, while the front fan runs at a lower speed.

The groundbreaking UltraFan engine can be adapted for both narrowbody and widebody aircraft, bringing a new level of sustainability to air travel.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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