The Indianapolis operations of Rolls-Royce Corp. are expected to benefit from a new certification. The Federal Aviation Type Certificate for an engine enhancement program could help the U.S. Air Force extend the life of its C-130H transport fleet. The original engine and potential new replacement parts are manufactured in Indianapolis. September 17, 2013
National Harbor, Maryland — Rolls-Royce has received an FAA Type Certificate for the T56 engine enhancement program, a technology improvement that will significantly reduce fuel consumption, and could save the US Air Force billions of dollars and extend the life of its C-130H transport fleet.
The new type certificate for the T56/501D engine confirms the enhancement program has met or exceeded all FAA requirements for the L-100/382, which is the commercial variant of the C-130 military transport. Rolls-Royce also has completed all requirements to achieve USAF engine qualification for the military C-130, and formal approval remains on schedule for later in the year.
Tom Hartmann, Rolls-Royce, Senior Vice President, said, “The C-130 engine enhancement program continues to demonstrate success, staying on track to save the US Air Force billions of dollars and extend the life of this key transport fleet. The new FAA type certificate confirms the engine enhancement program is ready to enter service, and we look forward to receiving US Air Force qualification soon.”
The C-130 engine enhancement program demonstrated an increase of nearly 10 percent fuel efficiency during flight tests, along with significantly lower turbine temperatures, which will translate into 22 percent reliability improvement. A US Air Force study concluded that C-130 engine enhancement would lead to $2 billion in cost savings and extend the life of its C-130H fleet for decades.
The engine improvement program, known as the T56 Series 3.5, can be installed as part of a conventional engine overhaul, and does not require any aircraft or engine control system modifications. Each C-130 aircraft has four Rolls-Royce T56 engines, with approximately 220 USAFC-130H models eligible for updating, as well as a large fleet of international operators. Other aircraft, including the Lockheed Martin P-3, are also eligible for the engine enhancement.