Upgraded engine flies on C-130H
A US Air Force C-130H aircraft has flown with a new upgraded Rolls-Royce engine with preliminary flight data showing positive results for fuel efficiency and performance, the company announced on 1 December.
According to the company, the upgraded Rolls-Royce T56 Series 3.5 engine showed an improvement in fuel efficiency of 12%, lower turbine temperatures (100 degrees Celsius lower) and improved high-altitude performance during the flight. Reduced turbine temperatures are key to increasing parts life and lowering operating costs.
The flight, flown by the Wyoming Air National Guard (ANG), took place at the 153rd Airlift Wing at Cheyenne, WY, Regional Airport. The demonstration aircraft will be used in an operational utility evaluation in order to inform the decision to push the Series 3.5 engines to the rest of the ANG’s C-130H fleet.
Col Kevin Campbell, ANG, director of plans and requirements, said: ‘We’re confident right now that we’ll see in excess of 12 percent fuel savings and upwards of 25 percent increased time on wing, which will reduce maintenance time. Those are substantial, and would provide a fairly rapid return on investment. This upgrade would pay for itself; the real question is ‘how fast?’ We’re pretty excited about it and think we’re going to hit it at about the five-year mark.’
The Series 3.5 technology can be added during regular overhauls and requires no changes to the aircraft or controls. The Series 3.5 kit is certified and operating in C-130 and P-3 aircraft.
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