Lego Jet Engine Uses 152,000 Bricks
Rolls-Royce built a half-size replica of its Trent 1000 jet engine, which powers Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
To demonstrate the jet engine it engineered for the Boeing 787, Rolls-Royce has built a scale replica of the engine entirely out of Lego blocks. The Lego engine will go on display July 14 and 15 at the Fanborough International Airshow outside of London.
The real version of the engine, called the Trent 1000, has 66 turbine blades that provide 800 horse power each. When flying, the tips of the blades whirl at twice the speed of sound, according to Rolls-Royce. Trent 1000s are in service in 10 Boeing 787 Dreamliners owned by the Japanese airline ANA.
The plastic, snap-in building block version of the engine has more than 160 of the same components as its real-life inspiration. It took 152,455 Legos and 1,280 hours to build, employing four people for eight weeks. It's half the size of the real thing, so it's about seven feet long and five feet wide. "It made me realize how amazing the actual Trent 1000 is," Ed Diment of Bright Bricks, a Lego-sculpture company that worked with Rolls-Royce to build the engine, said in a statement.
The Lego engine is meant to interest kids in engineering, according to Rolls-Royce. "It is important that we encourage young people to pursue their interests in science, technology, engineering and maths," said Graham Schuhmacher, Head of Development Services at Rolls-Royce.
Rolls-Royce may be best known for its luxury cars, but it also provides power systems for aircraft and navy ships. The company also announced yesterday (July 10) that it has developed a newer version of its Trent engine, called Trent 1000-TEN, that will be able to power the 8 and 9 versions of Boeing's 787 plane in 2016. The Trent 1000-TEN will burn fuel at a rate that's 3 percent more efficient than the current Trent engine, Rolls-Royce says.