Rolls-Royce unveils plans for more efficient aircraft engines

DERBY, England Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:00am EST

DERBY, England Feb 26 (Reuters) - British engineering company Rolls-Royce on Wednesday unveiled plans for a new aircraft engine which it said would be up to 6 percent more efficient than its latest model and could be ready by the end of the decade.

Rolls, the world's second-largest maker of aircraft engines behind U.S. group General Electric, said the new engine, which it called "Advance," could be a successor to its Trent XWB which is due to enter service later this year.

By 2025, Rolls said an even newer model, the "UltraFan", could be ready to be attached to an aircraft. This would be around 10 percent more efficient than the Trent XWB, it said.

Demand for aircraft engines, and in particular more fuel efficient models, is expected to continue to grow strongly.

The world will need to double its fleet of aircraft over the next twenty years as cities expand and Asia's increasingly affluent middle class takes to the skies, planemaker Airbus forecasted in September.

It said airlines, lessors and cargo operators would need a total of 29,226 new passenger and freighter jets worth $4.4 trillion over the next 20 years.