Rolls-Royce's UltraFan power gearbox has set a new aerospace world record, reaching 87,000 horsepower or 64 megawatts on test at Dahlewitz, near Berlin. The milestone was achieved as build continues on the power gearbox that will be delivered for the actual UltraFan demonstrator engine, the UF001, later this year.
UltraFan is an element of Rolls-Royce commitment to making travel more sustainable and its efficiency should improve the transition to more sustainability. The first test run of the engine will be conducted on 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel.
Rolls-Royce says the power gearbox is playing a central role for the UltraFan engine, helping to deliver excellent efficiency levels over a wide range of thrusts. It has a planetary design, with each 'planet' capable of holding the force of a Trent XWB engine at full throttle. This should make the UltraFan engine 25% more fuel efficient than the first generation of Rolls-Royce Trent engines.
Development testing of the first prototype gearbox began in 2017 at the dedicated power gearbox test facility in Dahlewitz. During the testing regime the power gearbox has accumulated more than 650 testing hours including on the facility's Attitude Rig, which simulates the effect of the gearbox being on the wing of an aircraft in flight, through phases such as take-off, climb, banking and descent.
Dr Holger Klinger, Sub-System Executive Power Gearbox, Rolls-Royce, says: "Reaching this record is another great achievement that showcases the performance and durability of this key component for our UltraFan programme. The power gearbox technology is central to the success of the next generation of Rolls-Royce jet engines and I'm proud to see us pushing the engineering boundaries again."
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