Rolls Royce Clips its Wings to Stay in the Air

Roll Royce Holdings has announced it will reduce its staff by up to 2500. The announcement by the jet engine manufacturing division of the iconic marque has taken no-one by surprise. But it’s interesting to note that  one news website has claimed the cuts, which are all in the non-engineering sector, are to reduce costs – obviously – and duplication of roles. Another news website focused on the company’s strategic review of the future.

But at Inside Telecom, we’re more than a little interested in how the technology needed to keep Rolls Royce competitive in the aviation turbine engine market may be playing a part in this job reduction scenario.

In May this year, Rolls Royce ground tested the UltraFan, a gigantic turbine 10% more efficient than anything General Electric has in the air. The engine features fan blades which are carbon composite with a small percentage of titanium for each blade’s leading edge. These are the most dynamic part of a jet engine, as they rotate at up to 4000 RPM.

How Proud are the Brits?

The UltraFan is a 3D print. And the Brits are jolly proud of it. The engineers themselves may break the longstanding British tradition of understatement, and claim that they’re jolly, jolly proud of the UltraFan.

The savings in weight and engine efficiency will save airlines billions every year. And will also cut Nitrous Oxide emissions by a whopping 40%.  But it will only save the airlines billions and the world from suffocating on fumes in the 2030’s.  Not now. Airlines will have to put up the gnarly old CFM56, the world’s most popular jet engine from General Electric, a while longer.

Pardon the pun, but Rolls Royce are on a roll right now. The company’s stock has trebled since post-covid travel resumed. The future market-place is assured once the biofuels legislation is in play. RR is one of an extremely powerful triopoly including the aforementioned GE (General Electric) and P&W (Pratt & Whitney), controlling 89% of the market.

The company seems to be announcing these job reductions as some sort of celebration in the name of efficiency. But don’t we live in an age where we’re all too conscious of AI stripping us of our livelihoods? This announcement from a performing company with some fantastic and appropriate new products in the pipeline seems a touch inhuman.

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