Multi-million pound investment for the latest aerospace manufacturing and engine technology

Government support announced for research to develop new engine cooling systems and new technology to stop the formation of ice crystals on engines when cruising at high altitudes.

  • 2 aerospace projects aimed to maximise engine performance and efficiency set to receive more than £10 million of government funding
  • Aerospace Minister Richard Harrington confirmed the investment on a visit to Rolls-Royce’s Derby facility today
  • the money is part of a £3.9 billion investment from industry and the government as part of the modern Industrial Strategy

Funding support for the latest technologies in aerospace engine manufacturing and performance, was announced today by Aerospace Minister Richard Harrington.

The 2 projects, jointly funded by Rolls-Royce and the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), will bring together the best talent in the industry from academia and businesses to work on world-renowned research for aero-engine maintenance and manufacturing. The funding will support research to develop new engine cooling systems and cutting-edge technology to stop the formation of ice crystals on engines when cruising at high altitudes.

Aerospace Minister Richard Harrington confirmed the £10.7 million government funding towards the Rolls-Royce-led R&D projects on a visit to Rolls-Royce’s engineering and manufacturing facilities in Derby. In June 2017, Rolls-Royce committed to invest £150 million in its UK facilities to support plans of doubling engine production.

Aerospace Minister Richard Harrington said:

“As the home of the first jet engine, the UK has an aerospace heritage that’s revered around the world. Through our modern Industrial Strategy, we will continue this legacy and have already committed to work with industry to invest £3.9 billion to further transform the sector.

These 2 projects will see the best talent from the industry come together to help the UK reach even greater heights in aerospace excellence.”

The latest projects, worth over £21 million in total, are supported by ATI and Rolls-Royce with academic industry partners. This will be delivered through Innovate UK – the UK’s innovation agency.

Chief Technology Officer for Rolls-Royce Paul Stein said:

“We welcome the support announced by the UK government today. Rolls-Royce is focused on pioneering new technologies and developing the next generation of highly skilled engineers by working with academia and industry. These research projects will play an important role in developing the innovative technologies needed to enhance performance, improve efficiency and reduce emissions of future aircraft.”

Projects

The projects set to receive funding are:

COAST (Critical Oil and Air System Technologies)

£3.7 million, focuses on the development of engine systems to support cabin cooling, and advanced sealing solutions for oil systems and bearing chambers. The technologies developed in COAST will support reductions in fuel burn and improve the reliability of oil systems and the integration of engine systems with the airframe. This project is led by Rolls-Royce plc. in collaboration with Bladon Jet Ltd an SME based in Coventry and the Universities of Nottingham, Oxford and Sheffield.

Researchers from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Sheffield are involved in the oil-focused elements of this research project.

DE-ICER (Design Excellence – Ice Crystal Engine Research)

£7 million, focuses on tackling the formation of ice crystals that can damage an aircraft. The project aims to target current gaps in ice crystal formation research and develop anti-icing systems and technology to protect the engine. This project is led by Rolls-Royce plc. in collaboration with Satavia Ltd, an SME in Cambridge, GKN Aerospace and the University of Oxford.

In 2015, the government and industry committed to spend £3.9 billion to further transform aerospace research until 2026 to help this sector build on our unique strengths in the UK through the Industrial Strategy.

The Industrial Strategy sets out a long-term plan to boost the productivity and earning power of people throughout the UK. It sets out how we are building a Britain fit for the future – how we will help businesses create better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the UK with investment in skills, industries and infrastructure.