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Rolls-Royce unveils future plane engine designs

Rolls-Royce unveiled on Wednesday its next generation of fuel-efficient plane engines to power civilian aircraft of the future.

DERBY, United Kingdom: Rolls-Royce unveiled on Wednesday its next generation of fuel-efficient plane engines to power civilian aircraft of the future.

Two weeks after announcing a shock profit warning with government cutbacks on defence spending impacting its military engines business, Rolls revealed plans to build on its successful Trent XWB engine used to power Airbus A350 passenger planes.

"These new designs are the result of implementing our ongoing technology programmes," said Colin Smith, Rolls-Royce Director, Engineering and Technology.

"They are designed to deliver... even better fuel efficiency, reliability and environmental performance," he said in a statement delivered alongside a media presentation event in Derby, central England, where the Trent XWB is assembled.

Rolls said that Advance, the development name for one of its future engines, will burn at least 20 percent less fuel and CO2 emissions compared with the first generation of Trent engines that entered service in 1995. The Advance could be ready by the end of the decade, it added.

An even more fuel-efficient model, UltraFan, could be ready for service from 2025.

"Both engine designs are the result of the ongoing research and development investment, of approximately 1.0 billion pounds (US$1.7 billion, 1.2 billion euros) a year, which Rolls-Royce makes across its aerospace and non-aerospace businesses," the company added.

Rolls is the sole engine provider for the Airbus A350 XWB, a long-range, wide-body plane which is slated to come into service at the end of the year.

European plane maker Airbus Group announced on Wednesday a 22 percent year-on-year rise in net profit for 2013, despite one-off charges related to its new A350 wide-body aircraft.

Earlier this month, Rolls said that its profit and revenue would flatten in 2014, as government cutbacks on defence spending ends the company's decade of rampant growth.

News also of a 41-percent slump in annual profits had sent Rolls-Royce shares diving earlier in February.

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