Rolls-Royce: "green" projects and new engine
"The challenge is dissociate emissions from traffic growth"
The Research and Development (R&D) sector of the Rolls-Royce company is unstoppable and much of its energy is now used in projects that pay attention to the environmental impact. The English group based in London and operating in the civil aviation, aviation-military, naval and energy sectors is using robots to lay thousands of strips of carbon fiber tape that will form a cylinder of approximately 3.7 m in diameter which constitutes the outer shell of the new "Ultrafan" engine. Lorna Carter of the R&D section said: "The component we are trying to make is huge. We are really widening the limits of what we can do". It is an embryonic project but Rolls-Royce says that "Ultrafan" will be quieter and will consume much less fuel than any other product previously: using carbon fiber for the construction of the fan and the blades will result in savings of weight of 20%.
Alan Newby, future director of Rolls-Royce programs, declared: "We have come a long way, but the challenge is to dissociate the growth of emissions from the growth of traffic". Pericles Pilidis, a collaborator on the research projects of the giant engine manufacturer added: "I expect the improvements to continue. Better materials and more efficient shapes can all contribute to making the engines lighter and stronger. The structure of the aircraft can be lighter because it has to carry less weight. This kind of gradual changes may not seem like much, but in the airline sector they can make a big difference also and above all for the environment".
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