LONDON, UK — British aircraft engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce has reached another key milestone in its UltraFan technology demonstrator program as the power gearbox (PGB) is dispatched from the company’s site in Dahlewitz, Germany.

The power gearbox, which has set a world aerospace power record on the test, has been shipped to the UK where the first UltraFan engine demonstrator (UF001) is being assembled.

UltraFan offers a step-change in gas turbine sustainability, saving 25% fuel compared with the first generation of Rolls-Royce Trent engines. Critical to that performance is the PGB, which has a planetary design and can transmit more power than an entire grid of Formula 1 cars when running at maximum power. On test, it has delivered 87,000 horsepower or 64 megawatts – enough to power a medium-sized city.
The engine demonstrator – the largest engine in the world with a fan diameter of 140 inches – will go on test in Derby, UK, this year and its first run will be on 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel.

“This is a tremendous moment for everyone on the UltraFan program as we take another step forward with the dispatch of the power gearbox. I’m proud that we are creating better, more efficient gas turbines which will be an essential part of air travel for decades to come,”

Chris Cholerton, President of Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace, said.

UltraFan, which is scalable for narrowbody or widebody aircraft, is a key element of Rolls-Royce’s commitment to making aviation more sustainable. Gas turbines will continue to be the bedrock of long-haul aviation for many years, and UltraFan’s efficiency will help improve the economics of an industry transition to more sustainable aviation fuels, which are likely to be more expensive than traditional jet fuel in the short term.