Rolls-Royce tests new engine using 100% SAF


Rolls-Royce has completed the first tests of its UltraFan engine technology at its facility in Derby, UK, powered using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). The SAF, derived primarily from waste-based sustainable feedstocks such as used cooking oils, was supplied by Air bp.

It is the first time in more than five decades the aero-engine manufacturer has tested a brand-new engine architecture, in what it has called a “historic moment and proof of what can be achieved when industry and Governments work together”.

Tufan Erginbilgic, CEO, Rolls-Royce, said the developments from the programme have the capability to improve the engines of today, as well as the engines of tomorrow.

“That is why this announcement is so important – we are witnessing history in the making; a step-change in engine efficiency improvement. When combined with SAF, more efficient gas turbine engines will be key to hitting the industry’s target of Net Zero flight by 2050. Today we are closer to achieving this ambition,” said Erginbilgic.

Rolls-Royce claims UltraFan delivers a 10% efficiency improvement over the Trent XWB, one of the most fuel efficient engines in service.

There are options to transfer technologies from the UltraFan development programme to current Trent engines in the nearer term. In the longer term, UltraFan’s scalable technology from 25,000-110,000lb thrust offers the potential to power new narrowbody and widebody aircraft in the 2030s.

This cutting-edge technology will help the transition towards a greener future for aviation while attracting further investment into the UK’s aerospace industry, helping grow the economy,” said Kemi Badenoch, UK Business and Trade Secretary.

“I’m proud that the Government has backed this initiative through our Aerospace Technology Institute programme, and we will continue to work with manufacturers like Rolls-Royce as we seek to grow the UK’s share of the global aerospace market.”

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