Initial tests of new Rolls-Royce B-52 engine nears completion

Rolls-Royce’s F130 engines on a specialised test stand at the NASA Stennis Space Center in Mississippi
Rolls-Royce’s F130 engines on a specialised test stand at the NASA Stennis Space Center in Mississippi

Rolls-Royce says it is on track to complete initial F130 engine testing for the US Air Force B-52 Stratofortress by the end of the year.

Continued Rapid Twin Pod Tests at the NASA Stennis Space Center in Mississippi have accomplished all of Rolls-Royce’s initial goals and allowed for the gathering of unprecedented amounts of data early in the programme, further de-risking the integration of the F130 engine onto the B-52J.

As testing continues throughout the year, Rolls-Royce is on track for Critical Design Review to begin in the first quarter of 2024. Rolls-Royce’s supply chain and assembly are also on schedule to deliver ground and flight test engines on time in 2024 through 2026.

Candice Bineyard, director, programmes – defence, said: “We are thrilled with the progress we have made with this milestone testing program. The engines are operating perfectly so far – matching all of our predictions on inlet performance. We look forward to continuing our close collaboration with the Air Force and Boeing as we complete testing at NASA Stennis Space Center and prepare for Critical Design Review.”

In September 2021, Rolls-Royce F130 engines were selected by USAF to replace the existing powerplants in the B-52 fleet, with over 600 new engine deliveries expected.

The new engines will extend the life of the B-52 aircraft for 30 years and are so durable they are expected to remain on wing for the remainder of the aircraft life.

F130 engines will be manufactured, assembled and tested at Rolls-Royce facilities in Indianapolis, the company’s largest production facility in the US.

The F130 is derived from the Rolls-Royce BR family of commercial engines, with over 30 million hours of operation and a high reliability rate. It’s a proven, dependable engine with a fuel-efficient design.



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