Rolls-Royce Testing New Engine for US Air Force B-52 Bomber Fleet

Rolls-Royce has begun testing its F130 engine that will replace the existing engines in the US Air Force’s B-52 Stratofortress bomber fleet.

The testing at the company’s outdoor facility at the NASA Stennis Space Center in Mississippi marks the first time the new engines are trialed in the dual-pod configuration, as each B-52 requires eight engines in four pods.

Under the latest effort, Rolls-Royce is focusing on the F130’s crosswind aerodynamic flow and the operability of its digital control system with the strategic bomber.

Data from the ongoing trials will be assessed over the coming months.

Extends B-52 Life for 30 Years

“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,” Rolls-Royce Defense Program Director Candice Bineyard stated.

Rolls-Royce is closely collaborating with Boeing “to ensure the engine testing and integration process run smoothly.” Boeing is managing the B-52 aircraft modernization program and overall engine integration.

The new engine “will result in higher fuel efficiency, reduced air refueling requirements, and significantly lower maintenance costs for the B-52 fleet,” Bineyard explained.

Overall, the F130 is expected to extend the fleet’s life by three decades.

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