The Advance3 demonstrator engine
Rolls-Royce’s future technology strategy has taken another significant step forward as its Advance3 demonstrator engine nears completion.
The demonstrator will be used to test a new engine core that will deliver maximum fuel burn efficiency and low emissions.
The engine’s core and fancase were joined together at the Rolls-Royce site in Bristol, UK, and the engine will be transported to Derby prior to testing.
The core is a key part of the Rolls-Royce Advance engine design that is expected to offer at least 20% better fuel burn and CO2 emissions than the first generation of Trent engine.
This core technology will also form a key part of of the Rolls-Royce UltraFan engine design that is designed to offer a 25% improvement and will be available for service from 2025.
Simon Burr, Rolls-Royce, Director, Engineering and Technology – Civil Aerospace, said: “Our demonstrator is a key stepping stone in turning our future technology strategy into a reality. The technology being tested is central to our engines of the future and we look forward to the arrival of Advance3 in Derby.”
To complete the demonstrator engine, the core is attached to a Trent XWB fan system and a Trent 1000 low pressure turbine.
Investing in civil aerospace in the UK
Rolls-Royce recently announced a £150 million ($193.3 million) investment in new and existing civil aerospace facilities in the UK to support the planned doubling of engine production and deliver on its record civil aerospace order book. The investment, which will be made during the next few years, is part of Rolls-Royce’s ongoing industrial transformation and will provide additional capacity as the firm develops and tests its next generation of aero engines.
Most of the investment, which is in-line with the group’s ongoing planned expenditure, will provide a new facility for the testing of large civil aero engines in Derby, the home of Rolls-Royce’s civil aerospace division. The new testbed will be able to test a range of engines including the Trent XWB, which powers the Airbus A350 XWB, and has more than 1,600 on order from 45 customers in 31 countries.
There will also be investment in the large engine Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) facility in Derby, as well as in manufacturing facilities in Derby and Hucknall, Nottinghamshire. Rolls-Royce also committed to retaining the Precision Machining Facility (PMF) in Derby, which had been previously announced would be closed.
A constructive dialogue with senior union representatives in the UK underpinned the company’s decision to invest in Derby, helping to sustain more than 7,000 Rolls-Royce jobs across the East Midlands and facilitating the ramp-up in engine production.
Eric Schulz, Rolls-Royce president – Civil Aerospace, said: “This investment comes at a time of unprecedented growth in Rolls-Royce. We are doubling the production of new engines at the same time as introducing three new engines to the market. With this investment, we are creating the capacity and flexibility to deliver on our goals, while committing to sustain employment in the UK and I would like to thank the unions for their support in delivering this important package of investment.”
Rolls-Royce currently employs around 22,300 people in the UK, across a range of skilled jobs, including more than 600 apprentices.
In addition to the Trent XWB engine, Rolls-Royce assembles the Trent 700 and Trent 900 engines in Derby, powering the Airbus A330 and the Airbus A380 respectively.
Derby has also been home to the design and development of three new engines which are set to enter service shortly: the Trent XWB-97, which will power the Airbus A350-1000; the Trent 1000 TEN, which will power all variants of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner family; and the Trent 7000 which will power the Airbus A330neo.