Rolls-Royce announced today that it will expand its aerospace research and technology capabilities in Dahlewitz, building a new test-bed for power gearboxes which will support the development of next generation aero-engine designs.
Close to 20% of the total investment of €65m in the new test-bed will be funded by the German and the Brandenburg government. The investment in the facility by Rolls-Royce is part of the company's existing mid to long-term technology investment plans.
Rolls-Royce recently shared details of its next generation engine designs, one of which, called UltraFan™, includes a geared engine design, which will use components of the type that will be tested at the new Dahlewitz facility.
Rolls-Royce has a long heritage of gear design capability from turbo-shaft, turbo-prop and LiftFan® gearbox designs and will use that knowledge and capability to develop technology for the very high bypass ratio designs of future engines.
The UltraFan™ design, with a variable pitch fan system, is based on such technology and could be ready for service from 2025. It will offer at least 25 per cent improvement in fuel burn and emissions compared with the first generation of Trent engines.
Rolls-Royce Germany has acquired exceptional engineering capability over the past 20 years and has already implemented development packages for the Trent engine family. A new test-bed for the most powerful version of the Trent XWB, the world's most efficient engine flying today, and the newest Trent engine, will be inaugurated in Dahlewitz in the second half of this year.
Secretary of State, Ministry for Economics and Energy, Brigitte Zypries said during the official ground-breaking for the new site: "We are delighted by the decision of Rolls-Royce to build this test-stand in Germany. The proposed activities are fully in line with our funding strategy to develop the aerospace industry and will contribute further to our increasingly strong footprint in this sector."
Dietmar Woidke, Prime Minister of Brandenburg said: "Rolls-Royce has been in the region for more than 20 years now and contributed greatly to the high-tech landscape of our State. The company powers employment, growth and innovation in the region. It is the backbone of a thriving aerospace industry, which in Brandenburg alone employs more than 7,000 people. Leading airframers rely on Rolls-Royce technology 'made in Brandenburg'."
Dr. Karsten Mühlenfeld, Director Corporate & Engineering, Rolls-Royce Germany, added: "Today's groundbreaking for the new site reflects the trust our company has in our teams as well as our commitment to always offer better, more efficient engines for our customers. Thanks to the smooth collaboration with our partners in the Aerospace research programs the necessary funding of these important development projects was achieved in record time."
Source: Rolls-Royce Plc (LSE: RR.L)
Date: Mar 10, 2014