Rolls-Royce Pearl engine

Rolls-Royce

What It Is: Based in London, Rolls-Royce is a publicly owned propulsion system manufacturer whose engines are widely used in business, commercial, and military fixed- and rotor-wing aircraft. (The company also produces power equipment for yachts, the oil and gas industry, and marine applications as well as products and services for the nuclear field.)

How It Grew: Rolls-Royce has its roots in 1884, when Sir Henry Royce established an engineering business. He subsequently also developed a line of motor cars and, in 1904, he partnered with Charles Rolls to sell the automobiles under the Rolls-Royce brand.

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Sir Henry designed his first aero engine to help the Allied war effort in World War I and continued developing aircraft engines until his death in 1933. The company later created the Merlin engine that powered World War II’s Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane and following the war pioneered gas turbine engines for the civilian market.

A merger with Bristol Siddeley in 1966 marked consolidation of the British aero engine industry.

Reversals in its RB211 turbine engine program led in 1971 to bankruptcy, liquidation, and subsequent state ownership, until Rolls-Royce was relisted and became publicly owned in 1987.

Tay turbofan (Tay 611) engines, designed for large business jets and airliners, entered service on Gulfstream’s GIV in 1988 and later powered the G350 and G450. (Rolls-Royce engines are named for rivers.)

In partnership with U.S.-based Allison Engine Company, Rolls-Royce developed the AE3007 turbofan for business jets, with the launch platform, Cessna’s Citation X, earning FAA certification in 1995. Rolls-Royce bought Allison that same year, and the AE3007 powered the new Embraer Legacy 600, and later the 650 as well.

Rolls-Royce’s joint venture with German automaker BMW—established in 1990 to develop the BR700 family of business jet engines—paid dividends with the BR710, which entered service in 1997 on Gulfstream’s GV and in 1998 on Bombardier’s Global Express. In unrelated deals, Rolls-Royce sold the rights to Rolls-Royce Motor Cars to BMW in 1998 and acquired full ownership of the engine joint venture (now Rolls-Royce Deutschland) in 2000. The BR725 subsequently powered Gulfstream’s G650.

The company unveiled its Advance engine-enhancement technologies for the Trent family of engines in 2014, and incorporated the technologies into its Pearl engines, derivatives of the BR700. The Pearl 15, certificated in late 2017, powers the Bombardier Global 6500 and 5500.

Pushing into new power technologies, this year Rolls-Royce bought Siemens’s electric- propulsion division; and this November the company launched a development program with German partners for a hybrid electric flight demonstrator.

Recent News: Gulfstream selected the Pearl 700 engine to power its forthcoming flagship G700, both of which were unveiled in October at the National Business Aviation Association’s annual convention.

What It Offers: Rolls-Royce manufactures a range of civil and military fixed- and rotor-wing powerplants. Its aftermarket services include CorporateCare engine management. The company  has more than 70 authorized service centers worldwide. 


FAST FACTS

Established: 1904

HQ: London

Revenue (2018): $20.27 billion

Employees: 50,000

Chairman: Ian Davis

CEO: Warren East

Website: rolls-royce.com

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