Rolls-Royce is testing a low-emission combustion system on its Boeing 747

Rolls-Royce has undertaken test flights with its ALECSys (Advanced Low Emission Combustion System) on a Boeing 747.

Rolls-Royce tests its ALECSys system on a Boeing 747

Rolls-Royce sent its ALECSys (Advanced Low Emission Combustion System) attached to a test Boeing 747, with a team of engineers, aloft in Tucson, Arizona. The Boeing 747 took off in Arizona after a comprehensive ground testing program, including icing, water ingestion, ground operability and ALECSys emissions measurement, all on a Trent 1000 borrowed. Additionally, Rolls-Royce has tested its ALECSys on 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).

The ALECsys system is a lean burn combustion system, which improves the pre-mixing of fuel and air before ignition. This results in cleaner fuel combustion, which helps reduce NOX and particulate emissions. It is part of Rolls-Royce’s UltraFan engine program, which is expected to reduce fuel consumption by 25% compared to first-generation Trent engines.

Its flight tests will make it possible to verify the operability of the system at altitude and to acquire experience on its operation in order to propose a relatively mature solution in the event of entry into service.

The Rolls-Royce UltranFan engine

The Rolls-Royce UltraFan demonstration engine is the largest in the world, with a fan diameter of 140 inches or 3.55 m. It entered the final assembly phase in July 2022 and boasts a 14:1 dilution ratio. The UltraFan offers a radical change by offering, according to its manufacturer, a fuel economy of 25% compared to the first generation of Rolls-Royce Trent engines. An essential element of this performance is the PGB, which employs planetary gears and can handle very high power.

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