Uni of Oxford & Blaydon Jets benefit from Govt aero & engine tech funding

RR Aerospace

Government funding support for the latest technologies in aerospace engine manufacturing and performance has been revealed.

Two projects, jointly funded by Rolls-Royce and the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), will bring together academia and businesses to work on 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.

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.

The projects set to receive funding are:

COAST (Critical Oil and Air System Technologies), £3.7 million.

The project is led by Rolls-Royce Plc in collaboration with Bladon Jet Ltd an SME based in Coventry and the Universities of Oxford, Nottingham and Sheffield. Bladon Jets is a pioneer in the design, development and manufacture of micro gas turbine gensets – using small, light and clean-burning jet engines providing a new approach in distributed power generation.

The project 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.

DE-ICER (Design Excellence – Ice Crystal Engine Research), £7 million,

This focuses on tackling the formation of ice crystals that can damage an aircraft and develop anti-icing systems and technology to protect the engine. Again led by Rolls-Royce plc the project will be run in collaboration with Filton-based GKN Aerospace, the University of Oxford and Satavia Ltd, an SME in Cambridge.

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 the UK’s strengths 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.