Rolls-Royce runs Power GearBox for first time


Rolls-Royce has tested its Rolls-Royce Power GearBox (PGB) for the first time, which is a significant step in the development of its new UltraFan engine design.

The first run of the PGB was conducted at the company's facility located in Dahlewitz, Germany.

The company will run a series of tests in which the gearbox is expected to reach up to 100,000HP, equivalent to more than 100 F1 racing cars.

"We are putting our new infrastructure to work to turn it into reality.”

Rolls-Royce chief engineer and head of programme of UltraFan Technologies for civil aerospace Mike Whitehead said: “This is another significant step in bringing our future technology to life. We launched the UltraFan design in 2014 and now we are putting our new infrastructure to work to turn it into reality.”

PGB is a crucial component in the UltraFan design that enables the engine to offer optimal power for a wide range of take-off thrusts.

In this first run on the Rolls-Royce’s Attitude Rig, the engineers simulated the various effects of the gearbox on the wing of an aircraft after take-off, during landing or in flight.

This first run confirmed PGB’s rig dynamics and oil system functionality at low pressures and speeds.

More advance testing is scheduled during the rest of the year. These tests will provide more information on low-power, high-speed combinations at various pitches and roll angles in different simulated altitudes.

High-power testing where the gearbox will attain its full power will take place next year on the PGB Power Rig.

Available from 2025, UltraFan will offer a 25% fuel efficiency improvement over the first generation of the Rolls-Royce Trent engine.

Rolls-Royce is working with Liebherr-Aerospace through their Aerospace Transmission Technologies joint venture to develop the new power gearbox.

Rolls-Royce is responsible for design definition and integration of the power gearbox, along with its testing activities.