One of Heli-Expo’09’s worst-kept secrets, the Rolls-Royce RR500 turboshaft engine, was unveiled Monday afternoon in a brief but hearing-impairment-inducing ceremony at the engine maker’s booth. The RR500 turboshaft, a 475-shp derivative of the RR300 that powers the in-development Robinson R66, is scheduled for certification in late 2011. A turboprop version of the RR500 was first announced last summer at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis.
Rolls-Royce unveiled a new turboprop engine for general aviation applications on Tuesday at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. The RR500 turboprop engine is larger than the turboshaft RR300 launched last year and will deliver 350 to 450 shp. Based on the RR300 core, the RR500 features a higher mass flow compressor and correspondingly matching turbine, as well as an exhaust-down configuration, a gearbox and propeller controls.
Serving perhaps as a testament to the current strength of the world helicopter market, engine maker Rolls-Royce (Booth No. 1917) is celebrating the delivery of its 30,000th Model 250. This particular engine, a Model 250-C30HU, was installed in an MD Helicopters Model 530F. Approximately 16,000 Model 250s remain in service, according to the company.
The pace of new technology infusion in helicopter turbine engines is not slowing.
General Electric, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney Canada and Rolls-Royce all have significant civil turboshaft development in progress. Turbomeca has no major program under way, apart from the (mostly military) Ardiden. But the French-based firm has precise views about future key technology advancements.
Rolls-Royce yesterday formally introduced the cat that Frank Robinson let out of the bag on Thursday, the Model 300 turboshaft engine that will power Robinson’s five-place R66 and likely other helicopters in its class.
“We are going to be competitive and we are going to get our share.”
That was the message from Scott Crislip, president of helicopters and small gas turbine engines for Rolls-Royce, as he announced significant new helicopter business here yesterday.
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