Initial F130 engine tests for USAF B-52J bomber due to complete by end 2023
In a statement the company said continued rapid twin pod tests at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi have accomplished all of Rolls-Royce’s initial goals and ‘allowed for the gathering of unprecedented amounts of data early in the program, further de-risking the integration of the F130 engine onto the B-52J'.
Critical design review is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2024 and Rolls-Royce’s supply chain and assembly are also on schedule to deliver ground and flight test engines on time in 2024 through 2026.
In September 2021, Rolls-Royce F130 engines, derived from the BR family of commercial turbofans, were selected by the USAF to replace the existing powerplants in the B-52 fleet, with over 600 new engine deliveries expected.
The new engines will extend the life of the B-52 aircraft for 30 years and are so durable they are expected to remain on wing for the remainder of the aircraft life.
In April 2022 Boeing selected Spirit AeroSystems to supply engine pylons and nacelles for the initial phase of the B-52 engine upgrade. Spirit already makes the nacelle for the commercial variant of the engine.
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