Retired Boeing 747 to become testbed for revolutionary new engines

After 20 years soaring through the skies in Qantas livery, it's been recruited by Rolls-Royce's aerospace operations to start a new life as a testbed for futuristic engines, writes Francesca Street for CNN.

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Rolls-Royce

MOSES LAKE, Wash., - When airplanes retire, they get transformed into everything from hotels to underwater art installations. One Boeing 747 has a slightly less glamorous but nevertheless exciting future path. After 20 years soaring through the skies in Qantas livery, it's been recruited by Rolls-Royce's aerospace operations to start a new life as a testbed for futuristic engines, writes Francesca Street for CNN. Continue reading original article

The Intelligent Aerospace take:

October 17, 2019-Rolls-Royce's newest flying testbed will be equipped with the British manufacturer's UltraFan, which R-R says will reduce C02 emissions and boost efficiency. Rolls-Royce expects the UltraFan jet engine to be available after 2025. Rolls-Royce is investing $70 million in the acquisition and refurbishment of the aircraft.

Gareth Hedicker, Rolls-Royce, Director of Development and Experimental Engineering, said: “The Queen of the skies will become the jewel in the crown of our global test program. This is a significant investment that will expand our world-leading test capabilities even further and will allow us to obtain more flight test data than ever before. After transporting millions of passengers on this beloved aircraft for 20 years, we’re excited to power it into the future.”

Related: Boeing to roll out 777 ecoDemonstrator flying test bed

Related: Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and Siemens to advance hybrid-electric propulsion with flight demonstrator

Related: Pratt & Whitney begins flight tests of PurePower engine for Airbus A320neo

Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Intelligent Aerospace

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