T56 Engine Enhancement Package

Economical - Versatile - Reliable - Proven

First flight of the 3.5

Innovative technology from Rolls-Royce will bring significant savings for C-130 and P-3 fleets across the globe. 

This technology is estimated to save at least $20 million over two decades for a typical four aircraft C-130 Hercules fleet - the backbone of military transport systems.

A new engine enhancement for the T56 engine, using proven technology and materials from other Rolls-Royce engines, will improve fuel efficiency, reduce maintenance costs, increase reliability and enhance performance.

The enhancement package is known as the T56 Series 3.5.

Flight testing was completed by the United States Air Force in October 2012 (see photo above).


"Many hurricane missions are into storms far from home base, so fuel-efficiency and engine reliability are critical. The anticipated fuel savings and reliability provided by the Series 3.5 engine enhancement package could mean getting an extra pass through the strom instead of heading back to base."
- NOAA Corps Cmdr. Devin Brakob, veteran NOAA Hurricane Hunter

"The Series 3.5 shows great promise for improvement in performance and fuel efficiency for the T56 engine. A US Air Force study has projected $240 Million in fuel savings through 2040, which will help the service meet its goal for energy savings."
- Senior USAF official, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (Ohio, USA)

"I believe this program offers significant improvements that are needed to ensure mission flexibility and guarantee C-130H fleet viability needed to meet current and future tactical airlift needs of our Nation."
- The Adjutant General (TAG), Air National Guard

"My personal opinion of the 3.5 upgrade -- I believe you hit the bulls-eye on this ... This is hands down exactly what the C-130 community needs. Please thank everyone on your team."
- US Air Force C-130 Flight Engineer

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The venerable C-130 Hercules is stationed around the globe and flown by 60+ Air Forces to move troops and equipment. Operators are continually looking for ways to increase capability, while reducing fuel use and saving money during an era of budget uncertainty and demand on limited resources.

Using improved blades, vanes, and seals in the engine, the C-130 Enhancement Package demonstrates significant improvements:

  • 9.7 percent fuel savings 
  • 22 percent reliability improvement 
  • Enhanced performance
  • Improved capability, versatility and availability for C-130 fleet
  • 9.4 percent aircraft range improvement - or can carry heavier payload
  • Easy installation during routine overhaul - no changes to aircraft or controls
  • Upgrade costs offset by typical overhaul savings, if done as the same time
  • 6 year average payback - excellent investment return
Demonstrated Payback
Increased fuel efficiencyUp to 9.7% SFC improvement
TIT lowered ~90°CIncreased turbine life by ~22%
Increased operational flexibilityRange, payload, fuel load

External links

US Air Force Clears Rolls-Royce for C-130H Engine Upgrade
July 9, 2014 | Defense News
The US Air Force has certified engine maker Rolls-Royce and its Series 3.5 engine upgrade for use on the service's C-130H fleet.

Rolls-Royce Demonstrates 13% Fuel Savings on T56 Engine Enhancement
February 19, 2014 | Aviation Pros
NOAA's "Hurricane Hunters" will be the first aircraft to fly the Rolls-Royce T56 engine enhancement, known as the Series 3.5.

Rolls-Royce: T56 Engine Enhancement Exceeds Specification
February 21, 2014 | AIN Online
Rolls-Royce said the first T56 engine enhancement package it assembled and ground tested for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's WP-3D Orion weather reconnaissance aircraft demonstrated a 13-percent reduction in fuel consumption, beating the required 7.9 percent.

Press Contact
George McLaren, External Communications Manager Defense
Tel: (317) 230-8260

Chris Culp 
Vice-President Sales
Tel: (317) 507-8930

Bob Settle
U.S. Air Force Customer Executive
Tel: (317) 230-6268