German engine manufacturers MTU Aero Engines and Rolls-Royce Germany are working on low-emission aircraft engines.
By 2050, the CO2 emissions of all flights to and from the EU should be net zero, which means that all greenhouse gas emissions caused by European aviation must be removed from the atmosphere. New parks play an important role in achieving this ambitious goal.
Partner works at MTU Aero Engines and DLR
Munich engine manufacturer MTU Aero Engines, for example, is working with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) on a hydrogen-electric fuel cell drive in the power class of more than 500 kW. It is due to be flight tested on the DLR Do 228 from 2026. Rolls-Royce also conducts electrification of aircraft engines, from small propellers and air taxis to regional aircraft. Important work on this is taking place in Germany at Rolls-Royce Electrical, including Dahlewitz, Munich and Erlangen. Together with the Strausberg APUS company, Rolls-Royce is developing, for example, the i-5 “Multi Mission” aircraft demonstrator and a hybrid-electric vehicle based on the M250 helicopter engine.
UltraFan super engine from Rolls-Royce
Engine manufacturers are not only working on new car concepts, but also on the further development of the turbofan. Because regardless of whether it’s powered by a regular Jet-A1, kerosene built or hydrogen or increasingly electrified: the gas turbine will accompany aviation for decades to come. For long-haul flights in particular, there will soon be no alternative.
Since 2014, Rolls-Royce has been developing the UltraFan, a large engine with a gearbox between the low-pressure turbine and the fan. A large reduction gear, about one meter in diameter, comes from Dahlewitz. During testing in Brandenburg, it delivered 87,000 hp (64 MW), an aviation record. In the summer, the first UltraFan UF001 demonstrator will be tested on the test bench at the English Derby. The UltraFan is said to be 25 percent more economical than the first generation Trent engines.
The geared turbofan (GTF) from Pratt & Whitney, which MTU Aero Engines also owns, uses the same technology but in a different thrust section. It was used on the new Airbus A320 family in early 2016. In December 2021, Pratt & Whitney presented the new GTF Advantage variant, which is said to be more economical and more powerful. MTU optimizes a high-pressure compressor and a low-pressure turbine for this. New engines should be available from 2024.