Rolls-Royce confirmed plans to collaborate with Industria de Turbo Propulsores (ITP) to test intermediate pressure (IP) turbine technology, toward the development of its new UltraFan™ series engines. UltraFan is one of two new engine concepts Rolls unveiled last year, on track for commercial introduction in 2025.
“We are committed to developing engines that meet future customer requirements of even better fuel efficiency, environmental performance and reliability,” according to Rolls’ Mike Whitehead, Chief Engineer and program head for UltraFan Technologies. “This is another key milestone on that journey.”
ITP is an aircraft engine and gas turbine manufacturer, owned by Rolls with Spain’s Sener Aeronáutica, which has the majority stake and operates the venture as a subsidiary. In March, Rolls-Royce signed a strategic collaboration agreement with ITP, by which it will be Rolls’ source of low-pressure, high-speed, and conventional turbines for the new aircraft engines.
Rolls noted the testing program would have a budget of €43 million ($47 million) as ITP develops, manufactures, and validates IP turbine and rear structure capabilities for the UltraFan engine demonstrator.
UltraFan will be the Rolls’ first aircraft engine to adopt geared turbofan technology (its current aircraft engines are mainly high-bypass turbofan technology) a power system it says will provide at least 25% more fuel-efficiency and similarly reduced emissions levels compared to current standards.
The UltraFan platform calls for a new, core architecture incorporating various new technologies and a broader application of high-temperature materials will establish a high power rating but greater fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.
The IP turbine program will get more than half its funding €23.5 million ($25.8 million) of its total funding from the EU as part of the EU Clean Sky 2 initiative — a public/private Joint Technology Initiative that to develop and demonstrate civil aerospace technologies that reduce emissions and noise.
ITP will provide the remainder of the development cost.
“The participation in this program represents the single largest investment in technology ever committed by ITP,” according to Alfredo López, advanced engineering director. “This agreement continues to place our company at the forefront of technology research and we look forward to working with Rolls-Royce to make UltraFan™ the engine choice of the future.”