Rolls-Royce Starts Assembly Of UltraFan Demonstrator

Rolls-Royce UltraFan1
Credit: Rolls-Royce

Build-up of the first module for the initial UltraFan engine demonstrator, UF001, has begun at Rolls-Royce’s Derby, England facility in preparation for tests starting in early 2022.

Rolls plans to build four geared engine demonstrators, one of which will eventually be flown on the company’s Boeing 747-400 flying testbed. The demonstrators are rated at around 87,000 lb. thrust to cover power levels suitable for potential future re-engining of big twins, but also to validate the gearbox and other new features for a scalable family of new engines covering the 25,000–100,000 lb.-plus power range.

As components for module build-up arrive in Derby, Rolls is concurrently completing test and assembly of other key components in other sites in the UK and Germany. These include the initial composite fan blade set, the composite fan case and the power gearbox—the latter of which is tested and assembled in Dahlewitz, Germany. Designated DP211, the gearbox for engine UF001, is expected to be shipped to Derby for integration into the demonstrator around mid-2021.

Guy Norris

Guy is a Senior Editor for Aviation Week, covering technology and propulsion. He is based in Colorado Springs.