Rolls-Royce hits key milestone with first development test of new RR500 engine

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, has completed the first development test runs of the new RR500 engine. The initial runs included engine start and accelerations to part power. The test team is proud that the engine successfully met all the relevant and applicable milestones.

In upcoming weeks, the RR500 engine will continue test runs at increased power levels. As part of the thorough testing program, performance data will be obtained and the engine inspected. 

Chris Fultz, Rolls-Royce Program Director - RR500, recognized the project team’s dedicated work. "First engine to test is a significant milestone for engine development programs and requires coordinated effort from individuals across the company. The entire team worked to ensure this milestone was achieved on time and that the engine would meet design and performance requirements. This test completion is a major success for the program."

The RR500 engine is being designed and developed in both turboprop and turboshaft configurations and is a higher power derivative of the RR300 engine now powering the Robinson R66. The RR500 will have a take-off power rating of 450 - 475 SHP, depending on the application. The engine will provide a significant increase in hot and high power over existing products in this power class, while also providing lower acquisition and direct operating costs.

Rolls-Royce is working closely with several aircraft manufacturers during engine development to deliver what the market requires. The turboshaft model will be certified with a hydro-mechanical control system, while the turboprop model will feature a new FADEC system based on that in development for the M250-C30R/3 engine powering the OH58D Kiowa Warrior aircraft.

  1. Rolls-Royce is a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air, and has established a strong position in global markets - civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy.
  2. As a result of this strategy, Rolls-Royce has a broad customer base comprising more than 500 airlines, 4,000 corporate and utility aircraft and helicopter operators, 160 armed forces, more than 2,500 marine customers, including 70 navies, and energy customers in nearly 120 countries, with an installed base of 54,000 gas turbines.
  3. In 2010, Rolls-Royce invested £923 million on research and development, two thirds of which had the objective of further improving the environmental performance of its products, in particular reducing 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 more than 200 million flight hours, providing an unmatched level of expertise in every conceivable operational condition.
  5. Rolls-Royce turboshaft and turboprop engines provide power in the 300 shp to more than 7,300 shp range, powering over 200 aircraft models to date including the Bell 206/407/430 and AgustaWestland Super Lynx/AW159/T129. This creates a broad base of market opportunities for both rotary and fixed-winged aircraft.
  6. In North America, Rolls-Royce employs more than 8,000 people in 66 locations in 26 states and seven sites in six Canadian provinces. Rolls-Royce Corporation in Indianapolis is the company’s largest research, engineering and manufacturing facility outside the UK and today more Rolls-Royce engines are built in the US than anywhere else in the world. 

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