It’ll be a while before you can hang one of these on your RV 10, but Rolls Royce has just announced it has officially begun construction on what it calls “the world’s largest aero-engine: UltraFan!”
The demonstrator model will boast a fan diameter of 140” and is expected to be finished by the end of 2021. Anticipated as power for both narrow- and wide-body aircraft, it’s aimed at delivering 25% fuel efficiency over the first-generation Trent engine. No 100/130 octane in this beast; the first test run is to be conducted with 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel.
Each fan blade will have a “digital twin” that stores test data to aid engineers in predicting in-service performance. Other engineering features will include a new lean-burn combustion system for max fuel efficiency and low emissions; carbon titanium fan blades and advanced ceramic matrix composite components for more effective high-pressure turbine temperatures.
Story credit: Experimental Aircraft Association, National Capital Chapter, Stick & Rudder Newsletter, April 2021, https://www.eaa.org/eaa