Berlin - European Aircraft Manufacturer Airbus and the British engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce have signed an agreement to collaborate on the development of the Rolls-Royce's future engine UltraFan.

Rolls-Royce and Airbus have signed an agreement at the ILA in Berlin to cooperate for the flight testing of Rolls-Royce's next-generation engine UltraFan. The two companies will work together to integrate an UltraFan prototype into a test aircraft. The program will also receive funding from the European "Clean Sky" aeronautical research program.

The companies are already long-term partners on programs such as the A350 wide-body airliner powered by the Trent XWB engine.

It is great to have Airbus expertise to strengthen further our ability to deliver this important development program,
said Andy Geer, chief engineer of the UltraFan development program.

According to an earlier announcement from the British engine manufacturer, the flight tests with the UltraFan would begin in 2021.

The UltraFan is currently under development. The engine is like the geared turbofan of the Pratt & Whitney. It has a transmission between low-pressure turbine and fan to increase efficiency. Rolls-Royce expects fuel savings of 25 percent compared to the first generation of Trent engines.

This technology development program with Rolls-Royce is a key project for Airbus to pave the way for a next-generation integrated propulsion system,
said Axel Flaig, Head of Airbus R&D programs.

According to Rolls-Royce, the UltraFan is scalable for thrust classes between 155 and 480 kilonewtons, making it an option for both narrowbody and widebody jets.