The team behind the Ultimate project for breakthrough engine concepts is here exhibiting three-dimensional mockups of the potential innovation its members have studied.

Four companies involved in engine manufacturing – Safran, Rolls-Royce, MTU Aero Engines and GKN Aerospace – are part of the group. For three years, they have worked on some technologies that were identified as “high added value.” Those are constant-volume combustion systems, intercooling, secondary combustion, bottoming cycles (electricity cogeneration) and novel propulsor and nacelle designs. They are calculated to contribute 18% of a targeted 75% reduction in energy consumption and CO2 emissions by 2050. The 75% goal is part of the European Commission’s (EC) Flightpath 2050 vision for aviation.

Ultimate’s technologies are being researched to address energy loss in aero engines. They are being matured to technology readiness level 2 – “technology concept formulated,” as the EC describes it. One of the engine concepts is an intercooled geared turbofan with pulsed detonation combustion for intercontinental missions.

Also part of the project team are five universities – Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece), Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden), Cranfield University (UK) and Institut SupeĢrieur de l’AeĢronautique et de l’Espace (France). The last two stakeholders are research institute Bauhaus Luftfahrt (Germany) and technology management company Arttic (France).

Ultimate started in September 2015 and is to come to an end on August 31. It received €3.1 million ($3.6 million) of funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.