Image caption: ALECSys ice testing is taking place in Manitoba, Canada.

Originally published by Rolls-Royce on March 23rd 2018

Rolls-Royce’s demonstrator engine, featuring a new lean-burn and low-emissions combustion system for future jet engine programmes, has started icing tests.

The ALECSys (Advanced Low Emissions Combustion System) demonstrator successfully started the tests in Manitoba, Canada, at temperatures of -20C, one month after its first ever test run in Derby.

Technology from the system features in both the Advance3 and the UltraFan® demonstrator engines and also plays an important part in delivering the IntelligentEngine, Rolls-Royce’s vision for the future, which combines pioneering technology and digital capabilities to deliver important benefits for customers.

By constantly monitoring environmental conditions and the pilot’s thrust requirement, ALECSys alters the mixture of fuel and air delivered to various injection points to minimise NOx and other emissions. Tests have so far shown a halving of NOx at cruise, compared to today’s levels.

Andy Geer, Rolls-Royce, Chief Engineer and Head of Technology Programmes, said: “This is another significant step for the ALECSys programme. Our computer models have given us an in-depth understanding of how the system works in extremes of cold and this series of tests will physically validate that. We are confident that this will offer significant benefits for our customers.”

ALECSys, which has received funding from the European Union’s Clean Sky SAGE (Sustainable And Green Engine) programme, is carrying out the tests housed in a Trent 1000 “donor” engine. Other recent Rolls-Royce key technology milestones include:

  • The Advance3 test engine, incorporating the same core architecture that will be used in UltraFan, ran for the first time in November
  • The Power Gearbox that will enable UltraFan to work efficiently at high bypass ratios reached 70,000hp, an aerospace record, in September.

UltraFan is a geared, scalable design suitable for both widebody and narrowbody aircraft. It is designed to offer 25% fuel efficiency improvement over the first generation of Rolls-Royce Trent engines.

For additional photos and information, visit Rolls-Royce.