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.