Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc said a new aircraft engine designed to slash carbon production over coming decades is ready to be fired up in ground-based tests.
The demonstrator turbine for the so-called UltraFan program has completed assembly and been transported to Rolls’s purpose-built Testbed 80 in Derby, England, where it has been mounted in preparation for activation early next year, the London-based company said in a statement Monday.
Rolls-Royce says the turbine will deliver a 10% improvement in fuel efficiency compared with current-generation engines. The next stage of development will see it spooled up using 100% sustainable aviation fuel, a kerosene replacement that’s set to play a key role in cutting net emissions in coming few years, though currently expensive and in short supply.
While the UltraFan demonstrator has a fan measuring almost 12 feet across and developing 80,000 pounds of thrust, Rolls has designed the engine to be scalable from 110,000 pounds down to 25,000 pounds…