Looking forward to Rolls-Royce’s open rotor engine technology, Rolls-Royce President of Civil Aerospace Mark King sees it as a great leap forward. “Well, I don’t want to use the word ‘leap,’” King laughs, referencing competitor CFM’s LEAP-X engine, launched last year in London and slated for certification in 2016.
GE/Snecma joint venture CFM says the new turbofan reduces engine contribution to aircraft fuel burn by 16%, compared to current CFM56 Tech Insertion engines powering the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737NG. Rolls’ open rotor future technology is slated to offer 25%-30% better efficiency versus current turbofans.
King says Rolls takes a long-term view of engine technologies and continues to invest heavily in research and development. “One of the questions I get asked most is, ‘Are you continuing to invest?’” he says. The answer is definitely yes, King says. “We’re sticking to the strategy we’ve had for the last 20 years.”