NH90 engine completes overtemperature test
A Rolls-Royce Turbomeca RTM322-01/9 production standard engine has successfully passed a key qualification milestone for the NH90 helicopter.
Rolls-Royce, January 15, 2001 - LONDON, UK - A Rolls-Royce Turbomeca RTM322-01/9 production standard engine has successfully passed a key qualification milestone for the NH90 helicopter.
The overtemperature test -- performed under the authority of Europe's airworthiness organisation, JAR (E) -- was run at the Rolls-Royce site in Bristol, England.
Run at much higher power than standard operation -- representing the engine's 30-second OEI (one engine inoperative) rating of 2106 kW (2824 shp) -- the successful completion of this run is an important step towards the RTM322's certification in the NH90. The rating is provided for emergency use by the pilot in the event of an engine failure.
The RTM322-01/9 was selected in June 2000 to power the NH90 helicopter fleets of France, Germany and The Netherlands; it will power up to 219 German, 160 French and 20 Dutch NH90 helicopters. These nations, together with Italy which has yet to announce its NH90 engine selection, make up the four-nation NATO Helicopter Management Agency (NAHEMA) group, which is developing and procuring tactical transport and maritime versions of the NH90 design.
Rolls-Royce Turbomeca Director Darrell Hinder said: ``The latest test is required by JAR (E) to clear the unrestricted use of the 30-second OEI power rating for civil helicopter applications. Technically demanding and not normally mandated as part of military engine qualification, it involved running the test engine continuously for four minutes at its maximum speed and at a turbine entry temperature more than 80 degrees C above the highest temperature experienced at 30-second OEI power.
``The engine performed faultlessly throughout the test.''
This standard of RTM322 had earlier demonstrated -- during a test at Turbomeca's Bordes facility in France -- that it complied not just with the specification 30-second OEI power rating but also with any equivalent future requirement up to 2330kW (3122shp).
After the most recent test, a strip examination showed the engine to be in excellent condition and suitable for unrestricted operation. This confirmed the confidence RRTM has in the engine fulfilling its commitment to supply six per cent more power than required by the NH90 specification with no engine reliability or life implications, while retaining all performance retention margins at all power ratings including 30-second OEI.
It also demonstrated the inherent, low-risk power growth potential, which has established RTM322 as the most flexible powerplant in its class for current, and future medium sized helicopters
Rolls-Royce Turbomeca is jointly owned by Rolls-Royce plc and Turbomeca. Since formation in 1966, it has developed and produced more than 2,600 Adour engines. In 1983, RRTM began developing the RTM322, which entered service with the Royal Navy in Merlin HM Mk1 in 1998 and is soon to enter service with the British Army in the GKN Westland AH Mk1 Apache and the Royal Air Force in the Merlin HC Mk3.
The RTM322-01/9 is a modern, versatile turboshaft engine, providing outstanding performance particularly in 'hot and high' climatic conditions. Equipped with FADEC, the RTM322 increases mission effectiveness, provides unmatched performance retention throughout its life and demonstrates excellent resistance to corrosion and erosion, which are key factors in NH90 missions. When added to low repair and spares costs, these features ensure life cycle costs remain well below those of other engines in this class.
NAHEMA is a four-nation organisation, representing the governments of Germany, Italy, France and the Netherlands, which was established in 1985 to oversee the design and development of a new naval and tactical transport helicopter, NH90. NH Industries, the four-nation industrial grouping, is responsible for designing, developing and producing NH90 and includes Eurocopter France, Eurocopter Deutschland, Agusta and Fokker.
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