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Rolls-Royce receives US Air Force certification for C-130 engine enhancement package

Monday, 14 July 2014

The US Air Force has completed final engineering review and approved the Certification Basis for the Rolls-Royce C-130 Engine Enhancement Package. This action approves the T56 Series 3.5 package for use on USAF C-130 aircraft as the service prepares to introduce the fuel-saving technology into its transport fleet.

The C-130 Engine Enhancement Package includes specifications for 7.9 percent reduction in fuel use. However, fuel savings have been as high as 13 percent in ground and flight testing on C-130 and P-3 aircraft with the Series 3.5 package. The enhancement package also allows T56 engines to operate at significantly lower turbine temperatures, extending parts life and improving reliability by 22 percent.

Tom Bell, Rolls-Royce, President Defense, said, “This has been a year of major milestones for the T56 Series 3.5 program, with US Air Force qualification; the first funding through the US Congress; and completion of flight tests for our launch customer, the WP-3D ‘Hurricane Hunter' aircraft of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The twin benefits of reduced fuel use and improved reliability make this a compelling and affordable package, and we look forward to assisting our customers in achieving these significant advantages.”

The USAF has estimated that incorporating the engine enhancement into its C-130 fleet would save $2 Billion, while extending the life of the fleet for decades. The US Congress approved $15.7 million in funding for C-130 engine enhancement in the FY14 budget to begin introduction of the technology into the USAF fleet.

The T56 Series 3.5 engine enhancement can be installed as part of a conventional engine overhaul, and does not require any aircraft or engine control system modifications. The enhancements use proven technologies from other Rolls-Royce commercial and military engines, including new blade materials and advanced turbine airfoil aerodynamic designs. 

The first NOAA WP-3D aircraft fully equipped with the Series 3.5 enhancements is expected to re-enter service beginning in early 2015. In addition to the US Air Force and NOAA, international operators of C-130 and P-3 aircraft are also considering incorporating the T56 engine enhancement into their fleets.

Additionally, the Series 3.5 package has already received FAA certification for the commercial version of the T56 engine.

  1. Rolls-Royce's vision is to create better power for a changing world via two main business segments, Aerospace and Marine & Industrial Power Systems (MIPS). These business segments address markets with two strong technology platforms, gas turbines and reciprocating engines, for use on land, at sea and in the air.
  2. Aerospace comprises Civil Aerospace and Defence Aerospace. MIPS comprises Marine, Energy & Nuclear and Power Systems (RRPS). On 7 March 2014, Daimler announced their intention to exercise their option to sell their 50% share in RRPS to Rolls-Royce Holdings plc. On 16 April 2014, Rolls-Royce and Daimler announced that they have agreed the valuation of Daimler's 50% equity interest. The transaction is expected to complete within the coming months and is subject to the usual regulatory approvals.
  3. Rolls-Royce has customers in more than 120 countries, comprising more than 380 airlines and leasing customers, 160 armed forces, 4,000 marine customers, including 70 navies, and 1,600 energy and nuclear customers.
  4. Our business is focused on the 4Cs:
    • Customer - placing the customer at the heart of our business
    • Concentration - deciding where to grow and where not to
    • Cost - continually looking to increase efficiency
    • Cash - improving financial performance.
  5. Annual underlying revenue was £15.5 billion in 2013, around half of which came from the provision of aftermarket services. The firm and announced order book stood at £71.6 billion at 31 December 2013.
  6. In 2013, Rolls-Royce invested £1.1 billion on research and development. We also support a global network of 31 University Technology Centres, which position Rolls-Royce engineers with the forefront of scientific research.
  7. Rolls-Royce employs over 55,000 people in 45 countries. Over 17,000 of these are engineers.
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