The VIP kit takes the compressor aerodynamics and technology developed for the RR300 and incorporates an enhanced diffuser, new first-stage impeller and nozzle. The VIP kit was in limited service by early 2012 and is offered for the C47B, powering the Bell 407, and C47M, powering the MD600, both rated at 650 shp. With the kit, they provide a 5% surge-margin improvement in hot-and-high conditions
Rolls says it has secured a launch customer for the -C47E on “one new and two current aircraft applications” but declines to identify these before the start of Heli-Expo. The company adds that other military customers “have expressed strong interest, with a demonstrator engine already delivered for installation in a flight-test aircraft.”
The M250 powers the Schweizer 330-based Northrop Grumman RQ-8A/B Fire Scout vertical-takeoff unmanned air vehicle and, in its updated form, is slated for the follow-on Bell 407-based MQ-8C. Northrop will use the new engine in a risk-reduction demonstrator vehicle for the U.S. Navy's MQ-8C. Initial flights will take place later this year, says Fedele.
Rolls-Royce also plans to unveil an enhanced series of support plans for the RR300, the newest element of which will be introduced by the end of this month. The new plan builds on the current Total Care power-by-the-hour program under which R66 operators have two options: 1) spread the cost of scheduled maintenance over time, or 2) pay for a comprehensive maintenance package that includes unscheduled engine removals. The new plan will enable operators to pre-pay for a discounted package covering both scheduled maintenance and unscheduled removals. “They will be able to finance it now or pay it in cash and have that value built into the aircraft,” says Fedele. “[Rolls] is doing the analysis now on a similar plan for the M250.”