ABACE Convention News

Rolls-Royce Bullish On Prospects For Bizjet Sector

 - April 11, 2017, 5:40 PM
A virtual reality chamber helps Rolls-Royce not only in designing engines, but also planning maintenance procedures.

UK-based Rolls-Royce is confident that it can maintain its position as the engine-maker of choice for large-cabin, long-range business jets, despite recent competition for its BR700 powerplant family.

The 15,000-lb class BR710 engine, produced by Rolls-Royce Germany in Dahlewitz, powers the Bombardier Global 5000 and 6000/Express/XRS, as well as the Gulfstream G500/G550. Its larger BR725 turbofan powers the Gulfstream G650/G650ER. These large-cabin aircraft still dominate the business aviation market in China and are also proliferating in other parts of Asia.

Key to the company’s future is globalized customer service and support—Rolls-Royce CorporateCare has been adopted by the majority of its customers—and new technology. Regarding the latter, Rolls-Royce has a significant development effort, dubbed Advance 2, taking place to develop the next generation of engines, as well as for inserting new, advanced technology into existing engine lines.

Last month, the company told AIN that it was confident the market for large-cabin business aircraft would continue to flourish, partly because the number of billionaires and other high-net-worth individuals continues to grow, especially in China. “In 2007 China had zero billionaires, but by the early 2020s it will overtake the U.S,” it said.

Meanwhile, the main developments that will take the BR710 and BR715 into the next generation include an Advance 3 core, improved engine health management, newer materials and cooling, a titanium “blisked” fan and an overall pressure ratio of 50:1.

Joe Hoelzl, chief engineer of future programs, said Advance 3 was intended for new engines entering service in the 2020s, broadly offering a 10 percent specific fuel consumption reduction, 50 percent NOx margin improvement, 99.995 percent reliability and a 20 percent thrust-to-weight ratio increase. The scaleable architecture being developed in the 10,0000 to 20,000-pound-thrust range can then be fine-tuned when airframers define their needs.

In the near term, the technology will be able to improve the current BR700 family and also provide a larger member with a 52-inch fan.