The ULTIMATE project strives to develop powerplant concepts to Technological Readiness Level (TRL) 2 providing 12% higher thermal efficiency and 2% higher propulsive efficiencies beyond the ultra-efficient powerplants expected to enter service in the year 2050. By systematically targeting technology synergies from the start of development, the project will achieve innovative, ultra-efficient, flexible, low cost, and reliable powerplants.

The ULTIMATE project has challenged itself to maximise the benefits provided to European industry through improved competitiveness and society. ULTIMATE has translated the following five ambitious key targets of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for the year 2050 (SRIA 2050) into its main objective clusters:

ULTIMATE will adapt and validate propulsion concepts for short range intra-European and long range intercontinental flights, flexible flight missions with cruise altitudes from 30000 to 45000 ft, and for gate to gate times equal to or better than state-of-the-art.

ULTIMATE will provide

  • Propulsion system, technology and top-level module requirements developed to TRL 2 for 2050 radical propulsion configurations
  • Advanced whole engine and innovative technology analysis methods, PhDs and senior researchers with deep knowledge of multi-disciplinary propulsion analysis available for recruitment
  • Exploitation of a working process based on continuous cooperation between industry and academia
  • Three internal workshops and a public workshop on future engine technologies

ULTIMATE will breakdown the overall emission reduction objectives into individual goals for the propulsion system and the airframe by balancing of requirements. The ULTIMATE propulsion concepts will reduce

  1. Energy consumption and carbon dioxide:
    1. By 15% stemming from ULTIMATE propulsion technologies alone
    2. Globally by 68% relative to year 2000 state-of-the-art, distributed as (multiplicative): 43% engine system level, 7% engine integration level and 40% airframe level
  2. Total mission and cruise nitrogen oxide:
    1. By 20% stemming from ULTIMATE propulsion technologies alone
    2. Globally by 87% relative to year 2000 state-of-the-art
  3. Noise per operation:
    1. by 3 dB stemming from ULTIMATE propulsion technologies alone
    2. Globally by 15 dB relative to year 2000 state-of-the-art
  4. 75% of the Landing-Take-Off cycle nitrogen oxide relative to CAEP/6

ULTIMATE will demonstrate the compatibility of radical technologies with severe operating conditions and redundancy requirements for flight safety.


  • Further develop the European academic network of Centres of Excellence in conceptual engine design
  • Provide multi-objective, multidisciplinary analysis methods for complete radical propulsion systems and supporting innovative technologies