Rolls powers up Advance3 engine for testing


Rolls-Royce has run its Advance3 demonstrator engine at full power for the first time during testing.

The full power milestone was achieved during July in Derby, UK, as part of a demonstrator test programme that is gathering engine performance data across more than 2,800 parameters.

The Advance3 is a test bed for a number of technologies that the company is to incorporate into its next generation of civil aerospace engines next decade, including its UltraFan engine design.

This include a new engine core and ALECSys (Advanced Low Emissions Combustion System). Rolls-Royce says ALECsys optimizes fuel efficiency and reduces emissions by pre-mixing the fuel and air before ignition to deliver a more complete combustion of the fuel and lower NOx and particulate emissions.

The Advance3 core features a new work split with a two-stage high pressure turbine and a single-stage intermediate pressure turbine. Engineers have attached the core to a Trent XWB fan system and a Trent 1000 low pressure turbine to create the completed demonstrator engine. The compressor system helps to deliver an overall pressure ratio of up to 70:1 for UltraFan.

Other key technologies for UltraFan are also making progress. The engine features a high-power gearbox, designed to deliver efficiency at high bypass ratios. Testing of the gearbox is being conducted at Rolls-Royce’s Dahlewitz facility in Germany, where it has been successfully run at 70,000hp.

Rolls-Royce is aiming for the UltraFan engine to achieve a 25% engine fuel efficiency improvement compared with the first generation of Trent engine. The engine is expected to be available for service from the middle of the next decade.

Meanwhile, the UK Government has also said it is to provide more funding for several of Rolls-Royce’s engine technology R&D projects.

These include: a project to develop Silicon Carbide-based Ceramic Matrix Composite technologies for future engine architectures; a project to develop new technologies to support the development of a power gearbox; the development of an intermediate pressure compressor that is to be integrated with the UltraFan power gearbox and a project to develop the detailed design of an ultra-high bypass ratio gas turbine engine demonstrator.

Chris Cholerton, president of civil aerospace at Rolls-Royce, said, “We are continuing to deliver on our plans to bring our future technology strategy to life. Running the Advance3 demonstrator at full power for the first time is a critical milestone towards introducing an UltraFan engine.”


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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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