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Force Magazine

Powerful Push
Aero engines continue to push the boundaries of technology in the quest to cater for increased performance and substantially improved fuel efficiency

By Atul Chandra

Aero engines continue to push the boundaries of technology in the quest to cater for increased performance and substantially improved fuel efficiency In February this year Rolls-Royce (RR) provided details of two advanced aero engines which could be ready in just a decade. According to Colin Smith, Rolls-Royce director - engineering and technology “These new designs are the result of implementing our ongoing technology programmes. They are designed to deliver what our airframe and airline customers tell us they need: even better fuel efficiency, reliability and environmental performance.”

The RR Advance and UltraFan, which are the engine development names, aim to offer an improved fuel burn that is at least 20 per cent and 25 per cent better respectively than first generation Trent engines that entered service in 1995. RR says that the Advance could enter service by the end of this decade and UltraFan which is a geared design with a variable pitch fan system could be ready for entry into service from 2025. Both design are already in advanced stage of development and will display architecture and technology improvements. The new engines aim to build on RR’s success with the Trent engine family, with more than 2,500 in service and orders for a similar number. RR spends approximately GBP 1 billion annually in R&D investment across its aerospace and non-aerospace businesses.

The new engines will feature a new core engine architecture designed to deliver maximum fuel burn efficiency and low emissions. It will have a CTi Fan System, with carbon/titanium fan blades and a composite casing (weight reduction by up to 1,500lb per aircraft), this is the equivalent of carrying seven additional passengers at no extra cost, according to RR. Advanced ceramic matrix composites, will enable the engine to operate more effectively with high turbine temperatures.

The new engines will push the boundaries that are already being expanded by the sixth generation Trent XWB designed specifically for Airbus A350 XWB family of aircraft. Development work on the engine began in 2005 and the Trent XWB, is 16 per cent more efficient than first generation Trent engines. It powered the A350 XWB’s first test flight in June 2013 from Toulouse, France and the first engines have already been delivered to Airbus to complete the ship set for launch customer Qatar Airways, for whom service entry is scheduled for this year.

Trent 700 for India’s Airbus A330 MRTT — Rolls Royce could ring in another sales success in India if it’s Trent 72 000 lbf Trent 772B is selected to power the IAF’s Airbus A330 MRTT. Responding to a question on the Trent 772B being selected to power IAF A330 MRTT’s, RR replied that “The engine selection for A330 MRTT is not confirmed yet, as Rolls-Royce is awaiting a decision from its customers.”
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