Rolls-Royce and Liebherr-Aerospace announce name of power gearbox joint venture and start of operations

Rolls-Royce and Liebherr-Aerospace have named their 50:50 joint venture to develop manufacturing capability and capacity for the power gearbox for Rolls-Royce’s new UltraFanTM engine design. The new company, to be known as Aerospace Transmission Technologies GmbH, officially started operations at the site of Liebherr-Aerospace in Friedrichshafen last month.

The initial team consists of nearly 30 employees, mainly from the two parent companies and is co-led by two Managing Directors, Heike Liebe from Liebherr-Aerospace and Dr. Rob Harvey from Rolls-Royce.

Rolls-Royce already has significant experience in the use of power gearboxes with thousands of engines already in service and will continue to lead the design definition and design integration of the power gearbox, as well as the testing activities.

Liebherr has unmatched production engineering know-how and will manufacture the components of the power gear drive train in existing Liebherr facilities for the joint venture during the development phase of the power gearbox.

The new UltraFan, a geared design, will offer at least 25 per cent improvement in fuel burn compared with the first generation of Rolls-Royce Trent engines. The new power gearbox will enable the UltraFan to deliver efficient power over a range of take-off thrusts for high-bypass ratio engines of the future. For the highest thrust engines, each single gearbox will be capable of handling the equivalent horsepower produced by more than 500 family cars.

Dr. Rainer Hönig, Managing Director, Rolls-Royce Deutschland said: “The new power gearbox test centre we’re building at our Dahlewitz site south of Berlin is progressing well and celebrating its roof-topping today. I’m pleased to see our joint venture moving at the same pace.”

“I would like to congratulate everybody at Rolls-Royce and Liebherr-Aerospace who contributed to the creation of this new joint venture,” commented Josef Gropper, Managing Director & COO Production, Purchasing and Asset Investments, Liebherr-Aerospace. “We are happy to provide a home for Aerospace Transmission Technologies GmbH in Friedrichshafen. The joint venture is swiftly capitalising on the vast expertise of both founding partners. The first pieces of metal for the gearbox have already been cut.”

Source: Rolls Royce
Date: Nov 4, 2015