Already flying: The Rolls-Royce T56 Series 3.5 Engine Upgrade is proving itself in operation with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hurricane Hunters.
Innovative technology from Rolls-Royce will bring significant savings for C-130 and P-3 aircraft fleets across the globe. This technology is estimated to save at least $20 million over two decades for a typical four aircraft C-130 Hercules fleet - the backbone of military transport systems.
The T56 Series 3.5 Engine Upgrade, using proven technology and materials from other Rolls-Royce engines, will improve fuel efficiency, reduce maintenance costs, increase reliability and enhance performance.
Flight testing was completed by the United States Air Force in October 2012 (see photo above). The USAF finalized C-130H Series 3.5 Certification in July 2015 and approved the Series 3.5 Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) in August 2015.
"Many of the missions we fly take us far from home base and land, so fuel-efficiency and engine reliability are critical. NOAA is counting on these Series 3.5 engines to take us further, longer and higher to collect data previously not attainable by the NOAA WP-3Ds."
- NOAA Corps Cmdr. Devin Brakob, veteran NOAA Hurricane Hunter
"The Series 3.5 shows great promise for improvement in performance and fuel efficiency for the T56 engine. A US Air Force study has projected $240 Million in fuel savings through 2040, which will help the service meet its goal for energy savings."
- Senior USAF official, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (Ohio, USA)
"I believe this program offers significant improvements that are needed to ensure mission flexibility and guarantee C-130H fleet viability needed to meet current and future tactical airlift needs of our Nation."
- The Adjutant General (TAG), Air National Guard
"My personal opinion of the 3.5 upgrade -- I believe you hit the bulls-eye on this ... This is hands down exactly what the C-130 community needs. Please thank everyone on your team."
- US Air Force C-130 Flight Engineer