Rolls-Royce’s ALECSys (Advanced Low Emissions Combustion System) demonstrator engine has entered the final phase of testing, with the demonstrator taking flight attached to the Rolls-Royce Boeing 747 Flying Test Bed in Tucson, Arizona, USA.
The engine has been through a successful testing program, including flights up to 40,000 feet as well as a number of engine relights at different conditions.
Simon Burr, Director of Product Development and Technology, Civil Aerospace, Rolls-Royce, said: “We are very pleased to see the ALECSys engine now flying. This flight testing is a key part of our drive to not only improve engine efficiency but all aspects of environmental performance. It is part of the wider Rolls Royce sustainability strategy, which also includes support for the increased use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) and intensive research into alternative propulsion architectures and technologies.”
Rolls-Royce has developed a lean-burn combustion system which improves the pre-mixing of fuel and air prior to ignition, enabling cleaner combustion of the fuel, which results in lower NOX and particulate emissions.
The ALECSys engine demonstrator previously completed a comprehensive set of ground tests, including icing, water ingestion, ground operability, emissions and running on 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).
Testing the ALECSys low-emissions technology in flight allows the verification of altitude operability performance and provides experience of operating a lean-burn system to maximize maturity ahead of a future entry into service.