May 20, 2014
Rolls-Royce to strengthen research and development for future aero engines in Dahlewitz
Rolls-Royce revealed plans to develop key aero-engine technologies at its Dahlewitz site in Germany. This follows the ground-breaking in March of a new test-bed for power gearboxes, which will support the development of the next generation of aero-engine designs. Research in Dahlewitz will create technologies delivering lower weight, lower cost, lower fuel consumption and higher performance engines. These technologies can be applied across future small and medium-size engines as well as larger engines in the wide-body market. As part of this, Dahlewitz will become the Rolls-Royce global Centre of Competence for power gearbox capability, performing research and technology development for power gearboxes and related components. To deliver this programme, Rolls-Royce will seek to fill around 200 specialist engineering positions in Germany over the next 18 months, who will work in close collaboration with the global engineering community of the company. The plans represent a substantial investment amounting to several hundred million euros. They are a part of Rolls-Royce’s consistent global technology strategy, will involve local industry partners and support provided by the relevant governments. One of the future engine designs announced by Rolls-Royce in February, called UltraFan, is a geared design with a variable pitch fan system. It is based on technology that could be ready for service from 2025 and will offer at least 25% improvement in fuel burn and emissions against the first generation of Trent engines. The power gearbox included in such a system will need to be able to handle the equivalent horsepower produced by roughly 500 family cars. The test-stand for gearbox development in Dahlewitz will be able to measure dozens of performance parameters per second. It recovers most of the power during test-runs for a more economic operation.