Rolls-Royce tests UltraFan low-pressure system
Rolls-Royce has successfully tested the Advanced Low Pressure System for the UltraFan engine.
Rolls-Royce reports that it has successfully tested a key component of the UltraFan engine design. UltraFan aims to be 25% more efficient than a first-generation Trent engine.
For the first time, all composite elements of the Advanced Low Pressure System (ALPS), including fan blades, a fan case and annulus fillers, were tested together on a donor engine.
The engine parts are manufactured using state-of-the-art, fully automated construction methods at Rolls-Royce’s Composites Technology Facility. Each fan blade is made robotically, building up around 500 layers of carbon fibre materials, and finished with a titanium leading edge.
The company says the ALPS demonstrates its IntelligentEngine vision. Each blade has a digital twin – an identical virtual copy. During testing, data is collected and fed into the digital twins, allowing engineers to predict how each blade will perform in service.
The system will now undergo extreme weather testing in Canada and performance testing in Germany.
The ALPS programme is a partnership between Rolls-Royce, Clean Sky, Innovate UK, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Aerospace Technology Institute, ITP Aero and GKN.