Rolls-Royce Studies More-Electric UltraFan
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November 7, 2019 - by Guy Norris for aviationweek.com
As the industry grapples with the reality that gas turbines remain the only viable powerplant in widebody airliners for decades to come, Rolls-Royce has sketched out a long-term road map to evolve its next-generation UltraFan into a more electric, lower-emissions engine.
Although battery-powered, turbine-based hybrid and turbo-electric concepts are already in preliminary development for small and regional transports, the path toward electric and hybrid-electric power for larger aircraft—particularly widebodies—remains uncertain.
At the same time, engine manufacturers are under pressure to meet international targets for reducing noise and greenhouse gas emissions, such as those set by the Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe's (ACARE) Flightpath 2050, which includes a 75% reduction in CO2 per passenger kilometer compared to technology from the beginning of the millennium.
The UltraFan, which couples an all-new core with a geared multistage intermediate-pressure turbine and lightweight fan, is currently...
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