Motor and aero-engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce has started production of the world’s largest fan blades.

The 140in-diameter composite blades are manufactured at the company’s technology hub in Bristol, UK.

The blades feature hundreds of layers of carbon-fibre materials, toughness-enhanced, resin material and thin titanium leading-edge.

The blades will be used for the company’s UltraFan demonstrator engine.

UltraFan is designed to reduce fuel usage by 25% compared with Rolls-Royce’s Trent first-generation engine. The demonstrator engine will also offer a 25% emission reduction.

Both the new composite fan blades and fan case will decrease weight on a twin-engine aircraft by 700kg.

Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace president Chris Cholerton said: “This is the decade of UltraFan and it’s exciting to enter the 2020s with the start of production of the demonstrator engine.

“We have got all the building blocks in place, the design, the technologies, a brand-new testbed, and now we are actually seeing the engine come together.”

Along with burn efficiency and low emissions, UltraFan’s advanced ceramic matrix composites will function efficiently under high turbine temperatures.

The geared design also maximises high-thrust and high-bypass ratio engine efficiency.

Ground testing for the system is expected to begin next year, which will be available for installation by the end of this decade.

Last year, Rolls-Royce started testing the Advanced Low-Pressure system (ALPS) for the UltraFan engine design.

All composite elements of the ALPS, including fan blades, fan case and annulus fillers, were tested on a donor engine.

ALPS is the result of a collaboration between Rolls-Royce, Clean Sky, Innovate UK, BEIS, ATI, ITP Aero and GKN. Companies such as ATI, Innovate UK, LuFo and Clean Sky 2 are also involved in the development of UltraFan’s portfolio of technologies.