Budding engineers across the world are being inspired to build one of Rolls-Royce’s engines of the future -- thanks to a scaled-down version made from Lego bricks.
The real-life UltraFan, a next-generation jet-engine designed to power commercial aircraft, won’t be available until the middle of the next decade.
But the Lego version of the engine could be in the shops much sooner because a campaign to have the UltraFan immortalised in the famous plastic bricks is close to reaching a key milestone.
It is one of a number of creations that are up for a public vote on the Lego ideas site. The UltraFan needs just a further 1,000 votes to reach the 10,000 mark which would trigger it being considered for production and sale to the wider public.
Simon Burr, who is the director of engineering and technology at Rolls-Royce, Hucknall’s biggest employer, said: “We hope our Lego UltraFan captures the imagination of the engineers of today and tomorrow.
“I am sure anyone who manages to make all the parts come together will get some sense of the satisfaction we feel when one of our engines runs for the first time.”
While the lego version of the engine cannot replicate the real thing and deliver up to 100,000lb of thrust and have a fan diameter about the height of an elephant, it is still an engineering challenge. It has no fewer than 2,953 individual pieces and incorporates its own gearbox and rotating set of fan blades.
The UltraFan is just the latest example of cuttingedge technology lined up by Rolls-Royce.
The firm, which employs almost 900 people at its site off Watnall Road, hopes to use the Lego engine as part of its educational outreach programmes in schools and colleges to encourage the young engineers of the future.
If you would like to cast your vote for the UltraFan in Lego, go to the ideas.lego.com.