Rolls-Royce has officially commenced work on the UltraFan aero engine at its DemoWorks facility in Derby, UK.

Work is currently being carried out on the engine’s first module with plans to complete the demonstrator engine by the end of the year.

When completed, UltraFan engines will have a fan diameter of 140in and can power both narrowbody and widebody aircraft.

The engine is designed to enhance fuel efficiency by 25% compared with the first-generation Trent engine.

The first test run of the engine will be conducted using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel.

Rolls-Royce civil aerospace president Chris Cholerton said: “This is an exciting moment for all of us at Rolls-Royce. Our first engine demonstrator, UF001, is now coming together and I’m really looking forward to seeing it built and ready for testing.

“It is arriving at a time when the world is seeking ever more sustainable ways to travel in a post-Covid 19 world, and it makes me and all our team very proud to know we are part of the solution.

“I am delighted that the UK and German governments have supported us in making these significant groundbreaking technology investments. The Aerospace Technology Institute and LuFo programmes, as well as the EU’s Clean Sky, have all helped bring us a step closer to realising the enormous environmental and economic benefits of UltraFan.”

UltraFan is part of Rolls-Royce’s IntelligentEngine vision.

The aero engine’s carbon titanium fan system is currently being built in Bristol, UK, and its 50MW power gearbox is being developed in Dahlewitz, Germany.

Earlier this month, Rolls-Royce collaborated with aeronautics manufacturer Tecnam and Scandinavian airline Widerøe to launch an all-electric passenger aircraft.