Technological excellence at Farnborough Airshow

Friday, 11 July 2008

Rolls-Royce is displaying some of the latest technology from its broad portfolio of products for both its civil and military engine sectors at the Farnborough International Airshow (Hall 4, Stand G17, July 14 – 20, 2008).

This includes a 116-inch diameter Trent 900 that has flown over half a million miles (856,000 km) - the equivalent of 21 times around the world, or further than to the moon and back – during Airbus A380 flight testing.

At the other end of the scale, there is a 25-inch diameter RR300 engine for the new Robinson R66 helicopter, alongside three exhibits from the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II programme - an F136 engine, Rolls-Royce LiftFan® and 3 Bearing Swivel Module.

The RR300 for the helicopter market is the newest engine in the helicopter powerplant range and the first to provide turbine power in the lower shaft horsepower range. The first production RR300 rolled off the assembly line in March 2008 and hundreds are on order for Robinson Helicopters, as well as being under discussion for installation in other airframes.

Weighing under 200lb, the engine offers technological innovations such the use of advanced computational tools to optimise the design in order to rapidly develop and certify the engine. The RR300 draws on the proven record of other Rolls-Royce turbine powerplants, in particular the industry-standard Model 250, which has accumulated 190 million flying hours.

Colin Smith, Director of Engineering and Technology, Rolls-Royce plc said: "The technological basis of all the engines on the Rolls-Royce stand is a combination of advanced scientific and engineering research, coupled with years of operational experience and knowledge. Our strategy is to exploit our Vision technology programme across all four sectors, drawing on successful technological advances to reduce costs, improve environmental performance and deliver benefits to customers."

Trent - market leader

The Trent 900 is the latest member of the market-leading Trent engine family to enter service with Singapore Airlines - and has been chosen by ten of the 13 operators who have made engine selections on their A380s. The A380 taking part in the flying display is powered by the Trent 900.

The Trent 900 incorporates innovative technology, such as new swept fan blades that make the engine lighter, quieter and more efficient, as well as drawing on the experience of the millions of hours of Trent operation since the first Trent engine entered service in 1995.

Rolls-Royce has a leading 50 per cent market share on modern widebody aircraft, with more than 1,400 Trent engines in service on over 550 aircraft and around 2,500 on backlog. Each of its six Trent engines have either been the first or launch engine on the airframe, or has gone on take the market leading share.

Rolls-Royce has introduced innovative technological advances on all Trent family engines, delivering environmental and operational benefits to customers. The Trent 700 for the Airbus A330 was the first engine with diffusion bonded/superplastically formed (DB/SPF) wide-chord fan and the latest version of the engine, the Trent 700EP, has further improved fuel efficiency.

Trent 500s for the A340 introduced 3-D aerodynamics and tiled combustors to improve durability and lower maintenance. The Trent 1000, soon to make its first flight on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, for which it is the launch engine, offers operators lowest operating costs and low overall emissions through the application of the latest technologies.

In defence

In the defence sector, Rolls-Royce has leveraged years of experience to provide the best technology available for the F136 engine for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. The F136 design includes hollow fan blade technology to reduce weight and maintain efficiency, as well as Lamilloy® materials to reduce engine temperatures while maintaining maximum power. The result is the most advanced high-technology combat engine available on the market for the military customer. The F136 is being developed in a joint venture between Rolls-Royce and General Electric.

Two modules of the Rolls-Royce LiftSystem® that provide vertical lift for the F-35B will also be on display. In designing and manufacturing these modules, Rolls-Royce has built on more than 40 years of experience in designing and manufacturing the Pegasus engine for the Harrier, the only operational Short Take Off Vertical Landing engine in the world.

Located in front of the F136 on the stand, the 50-inch diameter Rolls-Royce LiftFan® is designed to provide downward thrust at the front of the aircraft during vertical flight. The LiftFan builds on leading Trent fan blade technology, which has enabled engineers to achieve challenging performance parameters, while decreasing the weight of the unit by more than 500lb.

Positioned behind the F136 on the stand will be a working model of the unique 3 Bearing Swivel Module, that can rotate through 95 degrees in 2.5 seconds to complement the vertical lift provided by the LiftFan.

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