Work on the first UltraFan module is underway at the firm’s DemoWorks facility in Derby. The demonstrator engine, which has a fan diameter of 3.56m, will be completed by the end of the year.
The engine could be the basis for a new family of engines able to power both narrow body and wide body aircraft. Rolls-Royce said it will deliver a 25% fuel efficiency improvement compared with the first generation of Trent engine, which first ran 31 years ago.
That efficiency boost will help improve the economics of an industry transition to more sustainable fuels, which are likely to be more expensive than traditional jet fuel in the short term, Rolls-Royce said.
The first test run of the engine will be conducted on 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), which is often made with waste cooking oils and animal fat.