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Multi-million pound Industrial Strategy boost for next generation of faster, cleaner aircraft engines

Friday March 23rd, 2018

Government invests £24 million to support four Rolls-Royce led R&D projects that will develop the next generation of aircraft engines.gregclark

Funding support for pioneering aerospace projects, including X-Ray imaging technology that will help develop faster and cleaner aircraft engines, as part of the government’s Industrial Strategy was announced yesterday (Thursday March 22 2018).

Each of the four projects, jointly funded by Rolls-Royce and the government, bring together academia and businesses from across the UK to work together on world-leading research to develop the next generation of world leading aero-engine technologies.

Business Secretary Greg Clark confirmed the £24 million government funding towards the four Rolls-Royce-led collaborative R&D projects at the ground-breaking event for Rolls-Royce’s new engine test bed facility in Derby. The new facility follows a commitment from Rolls-Royce to invest £150 million in their UK facilities to support plans of doubling engine production.

The four projects, worth £58.3 million in total are supported by the Aerospace Technology Institute and Rolls-Royce with academic industry partners. This will be delivered through Innovate UK – the UK’s innovation agency.

The projects also include the development of new materials for engines to operate at higher speeds and temperatures. All projects will support the design of an engine which will offer 25% fuel efficiency – saving money and reducing emissions.

The projects set to receive funding are:

  • PACE (Proving Advanced Concept Engine), £22.7 million project
  • CAJoRR (Cutting edge Approaches for Joining of RR1073), £8 million project
  • ENCASE (Enabling Novel Controls & Advanced Sensors for Engines), £18.4 million project
  • EXCITE (EXternal Component Integration of Technologies for Engines), £9.2 million project

In 2015, the government and industry committed to spend £3.9 billion to further transform aerospace research until 2026 to help this sector build on our unique strengths in the UK through the Industrial Strategy.

About the projects:

PACE (Proving Advanced Concept Engine), £22.7 million project

  • PACE is an Ultra-Fan® enabling rig project provides necessary advanced X-Ray capability and tooling to validate the next generation of geared architecture engines. A key number of Rolls-Royce subcontractors including the Hyde Group (Pylon) will deliver a number of key capabilities including X-Ray and image analysis and tooling for engine assembly in excess of £17m supporting this important validation project.

CAJoRR (Cutting edge Approaches for Joining of RR1073), £8 million project

  • The CAJoRR project aims to develop a new joining capability for high temperature nickel alloys utilised in the next generation of novel engines with specific exploitation in the narrow and wide body markets. This material will allow operation at higher speeds and temperature delivering increased performance efficiency and service life. The consortium is led by Rolls-Royce plc with academic and industry partners, the University of Birmingham and the University of Swansea.

ENCASE (Enabling Novel Controls & Advanced Sensors for Engines), £18.4 million project

  • ENCASE develops a number of key enabling technologies required for the control system in the novel UltraFan® engine demonstrator. These include electronic core concentrator control systems architecture, sealing & sensor technology, a “super” permanent magnet alternator and architectural safety critical software. The consortium is led by Rolls-Royce with large industrial partners Curtiss Wright, TT Electronics, SMEs Porvair Filtration Group Limited, Ionix Advanced Technologies Limited, Active Sensors Limited and academics at the University of Newcastle and the University of York. A key benefit of ENCASE will be in delivering scalable solutions for both business jet and civil engines.

EXCITE (EXternal Component Integration of Technologies for Engines), £9.2 million project

  • The EXCITE project develops five key technologies of the externals sub-system for novel UltraFan® engine demonstrator – a new pipework modelling system and component pipes, NanoCrystalline components, High Temperature Solenoid Block Electrical Connectors, external Externals Gearbox Heat Shield assembly and core zone engine thermal management. The consortium is led by Rolls-Royce partnered with the University of Oxford, University of Birmingham and the National Composite Centre.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

“Our modern Industrial Strategy is backed by the biggest increase in R&D investment this country has ever seen, committing government, along with industry, to spend £3.9 billion to build on our reputation for aerospace excellence. The joint government-industry funding brings together the best minds from Rolls-Royce, SMEs and academia to unlock breakthroughs in technology that are fundamental to the aerospace sector.

As the home of the first turbojet engine, the UK has a long proud heritage in aerospace and these pioneering Rolls-Royce projects will ensure it is the UK that leads the world in developing the next generation of cleaner jet engine technologies.”

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