Rolls-Royce is celebrating its 60th anniversary in business aviation this week at NBAA 2018. Its foray into this segment began with the first flight of the Dart-powered Gulfstream I on Aug. 14, 1958. Since then the company has delivered more than 7,000 business aviation engines, and today some 3,000 business jets are flying with Rolls-Royce engines.
That history continues with the recent introduction of its Pearl engines, which power Bombardier’s in-development Global 5500 and 6500. The Pearl 15, the first in the new engine family, received EASA certification in February. Rolls-Royce engines also power Gulfstream’s G650/650ER, as well as platforms from Cessna and Embraer.
The company’s “commitment to leading the way in which engines are serviced” has been central to its success, said Dirk Geisinger, business aviation director at Rolls-Royce (Booth 3800). Its “Power-by-the-Hour” service introduced in 1962 pioneered the fixed–cost-per-flying-hour concept and formed the basis of the UK company’s current CorporateCare service, launched in 2002. CorporateCare features engine health monitoring, which tracks on-wing performance using onboard sensors, lease engine access, and a global network of service centers.
“As innovators, we can’t stand still,” said Geisinger. “Whatever the future in business aviation might look like, be it supersonic flight, vertical takeoff and landing, electrically driven solutions or hybrid planes, we keep pioneering the power that matters, looking forward to the next 60 years as the leading force in business aviation.”