Rolls-Royce has today 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.
Sigmar Gabriel, Vice Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, stated during his visit to the Rolls-Royce booth at the International Berlin Air Show, ILA: “We are pleased to see Rolls-Royce invest in future technologies in Germany. This will further strengthen the competitiveness of our aerospace industry. And it will create excellent job opportunities, especially for young engineers.”
Tony Wood, Rolls-Royce, President Aerospace, said: “The decision to invest in Dahlewitz represents an important milestone in our creation of global capability in the development of the next generation of aero engines. We have a long track record of excellent engineering in Germany and look forward to these new technologies delivering better power for our customers.”
Karsten Mühlenfeld, Rolls-Royce Deutschland, Director Engineering & Operations, added: “We are excited about the opportunities these investments open up for our site, our region and our people. This area is already a hotspot for our industry and will continue to grow in importance, due to the continued support offered by state and federal governments as well as Rolls-Royce. To establish the Centre of Competence for power gearboxes in Germany is a rewarding task, reaching well into the next decade.”
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 per cent 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.
Qualified candidates who are keen to contribute to this high-tech development can learn more at: www.rolls-royce.com/transmissions