Dahlewitz, Germany: A manufacturer of power systems for the aerospace industry, Rolls-Royce has set a new record for the most powerful aerospace gearbox that is capable of 70,000 horsepower.
The Power Gearbox, which began testing in May this year, is designed to run up to 100,000 horsepower and future demonstrators are expected to achieve these levels.
Paul Stein, chief technology officer of the aerospace systems company said that setting the record is a great achievement for the company and that the Power Gearbox technology will be central in the next generation of its jet engines.
The gearbox, which consists of a series of five planetary gears, will allow the shafts at the core of the engine to run at very high speeds. Each pair of teeth on the gearbox will transmit the same power as an entire Formula One race grid and the UltraFan engine—due to be available for service by around 2025—is designed to be more fuel efficient, and generate lower emissions. The use of carbon titanium in fan blades and a composite casing will also reduce the weight of the engine.
The UltraFan will incorporate the emerging “geared turbofan” engine technology, which is considered to be more energy efficient as it allows the compressor-turbine assembly and the fan to spin at different angular velocities. It will provide at least 25 percent better fuel-efficiency than the first-generation of Trent engines, with lower carbon emissions levels for commercial aircraft operators.
The Power Gearbox is also undergoing Attitude Rig testing, which simulates the effect of the gearbox being on the wing of an aircraft in flight, through phases such as take-off, climb, banking and descent.
The company is working with German firm Liebherr-Aerospace, through their joint venture Aerospace Transmission Technologies, to develop its manufacturing capability and capacity for the gearbox.