Rolls-Royce has begun the testing of two F130 engines for the B-52 aircraft at the company’s outdoor test facility at the NASA Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
Rolls-Royce F130 engines have been selected by the United States Air Force to replace the existing powerplants in the B-52 fleet, with over 600 new engine deliveries expected. This milestone test program is the first time F130 engines have been tested in the dual-pod engine configuration of the B-52 aircraft.
This test program marks the first time that F130 engines have been tested in the Stratofortress’s dual-pod engine configuration of the B-52 aircraft. Each B-52 aircraft has eight engines in four pods.
The engine testing will focus on crosswind aerodynamic flow as well as confirming the successful operation of the engine’s digital controls system. Early results from the testing have been very positive, with additional test data to be analyzed over the next several months.
Rolls-Royce is working very closely with the Air Force and Boeing, which has been managing the overall engine integration and B-52 aircraft for 30 years. F130 engines are so durable that they are expected to remain on the wing for the remainder of the aircraft’s life.
“We are excited to begin this milestone testing program, the first step for what will be decades of successful engine operation for the United States Air Force B-52 fleet,” said Candice Bineyard, Director of Programs – Defence. “Rolls-Royce continues to work very closely with the Air Force and Boeing to ensure the engine testing and integration process run smoothly. This will result in higher fuel efficiency, reduced air refueling requirements, and significantly lower maintenance costs for the B-52 fleet. We look forward to sharing test results with the Air Force and Boeing as the test plan progresses at the NASA Stennis Space Center.”
In September 2021, F130 engines were selected for the B-52 by the Air Force, following a competitive selection process. It 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.