Rolls-Royce ‘locked on’ to early 2013 RR500 certification

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Development continues apace for the new Rolls-Royce RR500 turboshaft, which is to power the re-engined Bell 206.

Defence business vice president marketing Matt Haugk told Flight that while the certification timetable had been slackened from 2012 owing to reduced market demand during the financial crisis, Rolls-Royce is now "locked on" to achieving engine certification during the first quarter of 2013. Work is being carried out in the US, in association with maintenance partner Uniflight.

Launched in February 2009, the 450shp RR500 is scaled up from the smaller RR300, which powers Robinson Helicopters' first-ever turbine, the R66. The RR500 was designed to beat existing engines in its class for hot and high take-off performance. Other key design features include ease of retrofit, enhanced gearbox durability and 2,000 or 4,000-hour service intervals.