LONDON, 8 March, 2012. Rolls-Royce and the United States Air Force will soon begin flight tests of an engine upgrade for the T56 turboprop engine, which powers the C-130H transport aircraft. The Series 3.5 upgrade is designed to deliver fuel savings and reliability improvements.
Rolls-Royce has delivered upgrade kits to be installed on an Air Force C-130H test aircraft, with flight tests scheduled to begin by mid-year. The enhancements use technologies from other Rolls-Royce commercial and military engines, including new blade materials and turbine airfoil aerodynamic designs.
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The engine upgrade program is expected to enable the Air Force’s C-130H fleet, enabling the aircraft to continue operation until 2040 while delivering fuel savings of 8 per cent. The Series 3.5 enhancement will also improve “hot and high”, high ambient temperature and elevation, performance. Approximately 220 C-130H aircraft are eligible for upgrades.
The engine upgrade can be accomplished as part of a conventional engine overhaul, and does not require any aircraft or engine control system modifications.