Rolls-Royce, Bell Helicopter explore RR500 applications

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Houston, Texas -- Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, and Bell Helicopter have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore options for the retrofit of the Bell 206B JetRanger helicopters with the RR500TS (turboshaft) engine.  The RR500TS was launched in 2009 as part of the RR family of engines that includes the RR500 turboprop and turboshaft and the RR300 turboshaft engines.

The MOU will allow the joint evaluation of third party suppliers to develop RR500TS Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) retrofit kits replacing the M250 engines that currently power the JetRanger.  The JetRanger is a five-seat, light turbine helicopter used in corporate, utility, law enforcement and homeland security missions.  More than 5000 aircraft have been delivered, clocking 38 million flight hours to date.

Ken Roberts, President of the Rolls-Royce Helicopter Engine business, said: “We are pleased to be taking this step with our long-time customer and partner, Bell Helicopter.  A retrofit of Bell 206B JetRangers with the newest member of our RR family of engines will bring significant performance and reliability benefits to the owners of the JetRanger.  The RR500 turboshaft engine is ideally suited for customers who are seeking technologically advanced, powerful, cost-efficient and affordable engines.”

In addition to offering more power at take-off and in hot-and-high conditions than existing engines in this class, the RR500TS will deliver operational benefits to customers through extended engine overhaul intervals and lower total ownership costs.

The RR500 core is a growth version of the RR300, which was launched in 2006 to power the Robinson R66. The RR300 was certified in late 2007 and is now in production.  FAA type certification for the RR500 turboshaft is expected in late 2011, with production engines to follow.

Providing power from 300 shp to more than 7300 shp, Rolls-Royce has one of the broadest ranges of turboshaft engine families available in the world. Rolls-Royce helicopter engines power over 150 civil and military helicopter applications in more than 120 nations.

  1. Rolls-Royce, a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air, has established strong positions in its four global markets - civil aerospace, defense aerospace, marine and energy.
  2. The company has a broad customer base including more than 600 airlines, 4,000 corporate and utility aircraft and helicopter operators, 160 armed forces, more than 2,000 marine customers, including 70 navies, and energy customers in nearly 120 countries. With facilities in 50 countries, Rolls-Royce employs more than 38,000 people worldwide and has businesses headquartered in the UK, US, Canada, Germany, Scandinavia and China. This global presence allows the Group to access long-term international growth opportunities with its technology, presence, partnerships and people.
  3. In 2009, Rolls-Royce and its partners invested $1.4 billion in research and development, two thirds of which had the objective of further improving the environmental aspects of its products, in particular the reduction of emissions.
  4. Rolls-Royce is the world-leading producer of light turbine engines in the helicopter market. The M250 line has produced over 30,000 engines, more than half of which are still in service with approximately 4,500 operators in 150 nations. The M250 family has accumulated over 200 million flight hours, providing an unmatched level of expertise in every conceivable operational condition.

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