Derwent, a design company consisting of former Rolls-Royce engineers, is developing new engine architecture that the company claims will cut NOx emissions in half and deliver fuel savings of 3 to 4 percent on a single-aisle airliner. Capitalizing on advances in gearbox design, the firm’s dual-drive booster allows significant amounts of power to be taken from or returned to the engine without affecting performance. It could be ready by the mid-2020s, said Derwent chief executive Charles Cuddington.
The firm already has patents in the U.S., UK, and China for the dual-drive booster, and has applied for patents in the rest of Europe. Feasibility studies for the program were paid for in part with support from the UK government.
“There’s a gap between where airplane engines are today and where [the industry] talks about them being in the future,” Cuddington said. Nobody talks about what the industry will do while it closes that gap, he added, but said the dual-drive booster helps fill that void.