NextGen Trents Advance With Composite Fan Tests

 - September 2, 2014, 4:44 PM
Rolls-Royce has completed the latest phase of testing of its new composite carbon/titanium fan at its John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. [Photo: Rolls-Royce]

Rolls-Royce is making progress in the development of its next generation of Trent engines with the completion of testing of the composite carbon/titanium (CTi) fan systems for its Advance and Ultrafan turbofan designs. The CTi was tested at the engine maker’s John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, where the fan was evaluated in crosswinds on a Trent 1000 Advanced Low Press System engine. The next step will flight testing on Rolls-Royce 747 flying test bed aircraft based in Tucson, Arizona.

The Advance concept encompasses a set of technologies intended to boost the thermodynamic efficiency. Rolls-Royce intends these to enter service in a new Trent turbofan in 2020, promising 20 percent lower fuel burn and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than the first generation of Trents. The Ultrafan, which is due to enter service from 2025, will feature a new geared design with a variable pitch fan system, is expected to deliver at least a 25 percent cut in fuel burn and CO2 emissions.

The CTi fan system include carbon/titanium fan blades and a composite casing that, according to Rolls-Royce, will reduce weight by up to 1,500 pounds per aircraft—equating to seven more passengers being carried at no additional cost.