Rolls-Royce reveals world's only Lego jet engine

Monday, 9 July 2012

Rolls-Royce today unveiled the world's first jet engine to be made entirely of Lego at the opening of Farnborough International Airshow. The engine, which is one of the most complex Lego structures ever built, is a half size replica of the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 which powers the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

The one of a kind Lego structure shows the complex inner workings of a jet engine and took four people eight weeks to complete. Including 152,455 Lego bricks, the engine weighs 307 kg and is over 2 meters long and 1.5 meters wide. Over 160 separate engine components were built and joined together in order to replicate a real jet engine. Everything from the large fan blades which suck air into the engine down to the combustion chambers where fuel is burned, had to be analysed and replicated using the world famous building blocks.     

The engine is part of a display in the Innovation Zone at Farnborough International Airshow, an area designed to engage young people in science, technology, engineering and maths.

Paul Stein, Rolls-Royce, Chief Scientific Officer, said: "Engineers have critical roles to play in solving the challenges of tomorrow, not least designing aircraft engines that will power people to the furthest corners of the world more efficiently.

We are delighted to showcase this Lego engine, the first of its kind in the world, and we are very pleased some of our own graduates and apprentices have contributed to building it, ensuring it is as realistic as possible. What we do is exciting and we hope that this representation of our technology will help to enthuse and inspire the potential scientists and engineers of the future about the career opportunities they could pursue."

A team of graduates and apprentices from Rolls-Royce used their knowledge of the Trent 1000 engine to work with the company Bright Bricks, experts in Lego, to produce the immensely complex structure.

Ben Russell, Rolls-Royce, Higher Technical Apprentice said: "This is been such an exciting project to be a part of and something I never imagined I'd get to do. Working as an apprentice in a high tech company like Rolls-Royce gives you the opportunity to learn about some of the most fascinating and advanced products in the world and I hope our Lego engine will show others how exciting a career in engineering can be."

Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 facts

  • The Trent 1000 front fan is over 9 ft feet across and sucks in up to 1.25 tonnes of air every second at take-off.
  • High pressure turbine blades inside the engine rotate at 13,500 rpm, with their tips reaching 1,200 mph – twice the speed of sound.
  • At take off each of the Trent 1000's 66 high pressure turbine blades generates the same power as produced by a Formula One racing car.  That is 800 horse power per blade.
  • Temperatures inside the hottest parts of the engine are around half as hot as the surface of the sun.
  • At full power air leaves the nozzle at the back of the engine travelling at almost 900 mph.
  1. Rolls-Royce is a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air, and has established a strong position in global markets - civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy.
  2. As a result of this strategy, Rolls-Royce has a broad customer base comprising more than 500 airlines, 4,000 corporate and utility aircraft and helicopter operators, 160 armed forces, more than 4,000 marine customers, including 70 navies, and energy customers in more than 80 countries.
  3. Annual underlying revenues were £11.3 billion in 2011, of which more than half came from the provision of services. The firm and announced order book stood at £62.2 billion at 31 December 2011, providing visibility of future levels of activity.
  4. Rolls-Royce employs over 40,000 people in offices, manufacturing and service facilities in over 50 countries. Over 11,000 of these employees are engineers.
  5. In 2011, Rolls-Royce invested £908 million on research and development, two thirds of which had the objective of further improving the environmental performance of its products, in particular reducing emissions.
  6. Rolls-Royce supports a global network of 28 University Technology Centres, which connect the company's engineers with the forefront of scientific research.
  7. The Group has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment and to further developing employee skills.

 

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