USAF C-130 completes first flight with enhanced Rolls-Royce Engine
Monday, 17 September 2012
National Harbor, US – Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, and the US Air Force are conducting flight tests for an enhancement for the T56 turboprop engine, which powers the C-130H transport aircraft. The Series 3.5 Engine Enhancement is designed to deliver fuel savings and reliability improvements, resulting in improved life cycle costs.
The first C-130H test aircraft began flying recently at Edwards Air Force Base, CA. The Series 3.5 Engine Enhancement has already demonstrated greater than 8 percent fuel burn improvement in ground tests, using proven technologies from other Rolls-Royce commercial and military engines, including new blade and vane materials and advanced turbine airfoil aerodynamic designs. The Series 3.5 will also improve performance in 'hot and high' conditions.
Tom Bell, Rolls-Royce, President, Customer Business – Defense, said, "We look forward to carrying out flight tests to confirm what we have already demonstrated in the test cell – significant savings in fuel costs, improved reliability and performance. Rolls-Royce has invested to help the US Air Force and other operators around the world meet their goal of reducing fuel costs, while also extending the life of the C-130 fleet and potentially saving billions of dollars."
The Series 3.5 Engine Enhancement program is expected to enable the USAF to continue to operate its C-130H fleet until 2040, and a USAF analysis estimated its long-term savings from the Series 3.5 enhancements could reach $2 Billion.
The engine improvements can be accomplished as part of a conventional engine overhaul, and do not require any aircraft or engine control system modifications. Each C-130 aircraft has four Rolls-Royce T56 engines, with approximately 220 C-130H models eligible for upgrades.
The Series 3.5 program will help the Air Force to achieve its goal of reducing consumption of aviation fuel by 10 percent by 2015.
- 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, defense aerospace, marine and energy.
- 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 4,000 marine customers, including 70 navies, and energy customers in more than 80 countries.
- Annual underlying revenue was $18.1 billion* in 2011, of which more than half came from the sale of aftermarket services. The firm and announced order book stood at $96.2 billion* at June 30, 2012, providing visibility of future growth.
- Rolls-Royce employs over 40,000 people in offices, manufacturing and service facilities in over 50 countries. Over 11,000 of these employees are engineers.
- In 2011, Rolls-Royce invested $1.4 billion* in research and development, two thirds of which had the objective of further improving the environmental performance of its products, in particular reducing emissions.
- Rolls-Royce supports a global network of 28 University Technology Centers, which connect the company’s engineers with the forefront of scientific research.
- The Group has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment and to further developing employee skills.
- In North America, Rolls-Royce employs more than 9,300 people in 66 locations in 26 states and 7 sites in 6 Canadian provinces. In the United States, Rolls-Royce employs more than 7,700 people in 26 states.
- In the U.S., Rolls-Royce operates 15 manufacturing, assembly or test facilities in 10 states including California, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
* Assumed exchange rate: £1.00= $1.60