New B-52 engines undergo test phase
Rolls-Royce North America, headquartered in Indianapolis, has begun testing of the F130 engine that will eventually power the U.S. Air Force fleet of B-52s. The engines, as part of a $500 million contract, will be manufactured and assembled at facilities in Indy.
The Air Force selected the aerospace and defense company in September 2021 to develop and replace the existing jet engines with more than 600 new models.
The testing, which is now underway at a NASA facility in Mississippi, will examine the dual-pod (side by side) configuration that is used on the B-52. Each bomber has eight engines.
The engine testing will focus on crosswind aerodynamic flow and digital controls system.
“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,” said Candice Bineyard, director, programs of Rolls-Royce Defense. “This will result in higher fuel efficiency, reduced air refueling requirements, and significantly lower maintenance costs for the B-52 fleet.”
Tests will be run over the next several months in a variety of conditions. Rolls-Royce is collaborating with The Boeing Co. (NYE: BA) which is managing the overall engine integration and aircraft modernization program.
Rolls-Royce says the new engines will extend the life of the B-52 for 30 years.