Rolls-Royce begins testing F130 engines for US Air Force B-52s
ROLLS-ROYCE has begun testing two of its F130 engines, which are specifically designed for the United States Air Force’s B-52 bomber.
The F130 was selected in 2021 to replace the aircraft fleet’s TF33-PW-103 engines used in the Stratofortress (B-52) fleet since the 1960s.
The TF-33 engine will become unsupportable beyond 2030, which was the trigger to start the B-52 Commercial Engine Replacement Program aeronautical officer reports.
When the engine replacement program started in 2018, Rolls-Royce beat out Pratt and Whitney and GE Aviation for the military contract.
Rolls-Royce’s F130 engines will be manufactured at the company’s Indianapolis facilities, according to the manufacturer press release yesterday.
The engine tests take place at the Nasa Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
Any future B-52 with the F130 will have eight engines installed in twin-engine pods.
Rolls-Royce’s tests mark the first time two F130 engines have been tested side-by-side via a twin nacelle.
Critical performance evaluators during trials include the engine’s performance in crosswind situations and the operation of the electronic engine control system.
The Rolls-Royce F130 is derived from the economical BR family of commercial engines.
BR family engines have proven their reliability with over 30 million hours of logged service time.
Once F130 engines are installed in a B-52, the units are intended to last for the remainder of the aircraft’s lifespan.
This durability will help the Air Force reduce B-52 maintenance costs and keep their aircraft flying for decades.
The Air Force plans to deliver the first batch of B-52-modified aircraft in 2026-2027, with initial operational capability extended to 2030, reports The Aviationist.
Rolls-Royce said in its press release: “We are pleased to begin this milestone test program, the first step in decades of successful engine operations for the United States Air Force’s B-52 fleet.
“Rolls-Royce continues to work very closely with the Air Force and Boeing to ensure the engine testing and integration process goes smoothly.”
https://www.the-sun.com/motors/7531693/rolls-royce-testing-engines-air-force/ Rolls-Royce begins testing F130 engines for US Air Force B-52s