Rolls-Royce tests UltraFan turbojet gearbox

Potentially the most powerful engine for aerospace objects in the world needs a unique gearbox and one of these days has passed experimental tests for the first time. The company's plant near the German Dalewitz tested the operation of the fuel supply system at low pressure. The subsequent chain of scenarios assumes an increase in load until reaching full capacity in early 2017.

Without an innovative gearbox, the UltraFan engine loses its lion's share of its competitive edge - the gearbox helps it operate efficiently across a wide range of thrust in flight. During testing, the Rolls-Royce Attitude Rig was used, which made it possible to check the operation in climb, dive, etc.

The traditional aviation scheme involves increasing the size of the fan and turbines to increase engine power, but any increase in size has a physical limit. The UltraFan developers have chosen a different path - they very sensitively adjust the rotation speeds of both the turbine and the air intake fan, achieving the perfect balance to obtain the desired power.

Therefore, a promising, "smart" gearbox is vital for the engine. The project manager, Mike Whitehead, describes this as creating a new "infrastructure" for the power plant. Development should be completed by 2025 - UltraFan will be at least 25% more efficient than current generation engines.