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A Qantas Boeing 747 becomes testbed for futuristic engines

London, UK - When an aircraft retires, it usually goes to boneyard or it is used for different purposes such as a restaurant, hotel, or even a underwater installation for divers

But some of them start a new and exciting career after their retirements. After 20 years of active service with Australian flag carrier Qantas, a Boeing 747 was transformed to a testbed for the future engines of the British engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce.

The jumbojet is now parked at AeroTEC's facilities in Seattle after it made its final commercial flight from Sydney to Los Angeles.

The aircraft will be modified there to test futuristic engines at high speeds and high altitudes. The process will take around two years and will cost around $70 million.

It is the second Boeing 747 recruited by Rolls-Royce. Manufacturer's other 747 has already completed 285 test flights.

Rolls-Royce says it will redefine the world of engines with its UltraFan engine.

The engine looks pretty big compared to the standard 747 engines.

It's a really big fan, about 140-odd inches, compared to say, XWB that's got an 118 inch diameter,

Caroline Day, head of marketing, strategy and future programs at Rolls-Royce told CNN.

That program is significant, there's hundreds of people working on it, because we want to get it ready for the back end of the next decade,

she added.

According to the manufacturer, its new engine will also be more fuel efficient and safe.

Rolls-Royce's new 747 will be equipped with instrumentation and systems that will allow to measure the performance of the engine when it's in the air.

This airborne laboratory will enable the development and certification of new, highly advanced engine technologies designed to increase efficiency and minimize environmental impacts,

said AeroTEC president and founder Lee Human.

Our engineering, modification, and test teams in Seattle and Moses Lake are already hard at work preparing to bring Rolls-Royce's vision to reality,

Lee added.


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