Naming ceremony for HMS Queen Elizabeth

Naming ceremony of HMS Queen Elizabeth

Friday 4th July saw the naming ceremony for the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. Built at the Rosyth shipyard in Scotland, and weighing in at 65,000 tonnes she, and sister ship HMS Prince of Wales will be the largest naval ships in Europe. Rolls-Royce is working in an alliance with Thales, L-3 and GE delivering the power and propulsion for both ships.

Our equipment includes the MT30 – the world’s most power-dense marine gas turbine. A pair of MT30s each rated at 36 megawatts, will power these magnificent ships. We are also supplying the giant propellers that measure 7 metres in diameter and produce around 50,000 horsepower. And we’re supplying shaft lines that drive the propellers, the low voltage electrical systems, steering gear and rudders.

Our Neptune stabilising fins, which deploy under the water in rough seas, will steady the ships during aircraft operations.

This was a hugely proud day for the Rolls-Royce team. We congratulate everyone at the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, MoD and the Royal Navy, and we are privileged to have been a part of this historic day.

New Rolls-Royce UK Discs Facility official opening

Rolls-Royce has marked the official opening of its new £100m advanced aerospace disc manufacturing facility in Washington, Tyne and Wear, UK.

When fully operational in 2016, the 18,000m2 facility will have the capacity to manufacture 2,500 fan and turbine discs a year. These discs will feature in a wide-range of Trent aero engines including the world’s most efficient aero engine the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB. Fan Discs and Turbine Discs are at the heart of the engine, operating in extreme conditions providing the engine’s thrust.

Ground-breaking manufacturing techniques

These include the introduction of robotics and automation for our shot peen, painting and chemical processing operations as well as the latest advanced platforms for machining, grinding, broaching and inspection processes. This has reduced the time it takes to manufacture a disc by 50 per cent while producing a step-change in component performance. The state of the art facility makes use of manufacturing methods developed at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Rotherham. The AMRC is part of a network of research centres which aim to work with businesses to apply university research to accelerate the commercialisation of new and emerging manufacturing technologies.

Tony Wood, President – Aerospace, Rolls-Royce said: “Rolls-Royce is committed to investing for future growth in order to deliver for our customers. We invested £687m in facilities and equipment around the world last year. This facility will use ground breaking manufacturing techniques to produce discs for our Trent engines including the world’s most efficient aero engine, the Trent XWB.”

Fan and turbine discs

There are two types of disc manufactured at the Washington plant: fan discs and turbine discs. Located at the front of the engine, the fan disc holds the fan blades. There are typically 20 blades in each engine. They rotate about 2,700 times per minute and move 1.25 tonnes of air per second, the equivalent of the volume of air in a squash court. The fan discs remain in service for over 20 years.

The turbine discs hold blades in the hottest part of the engine where the operating conditions are at their most severe. The disc is made of some of the strongest materials available, created using refined powders which are specially processed and machined to the accuracy of a fraction of the thickness of a human hair.

The blades that these discs hold each generate the power of a Formula 1 racing car and there are 68 of them. The temperature within the high pressure turbine is 1,700 degrees centigrade, hotter than the melting point of the turbine blades themselves so they have to be coated with a special ceramic and cooled with air passed through the discs and out of a series of precise holes in the blade.