Rolls-Royce is promoting its AE1107 turboshaft as a candidate to re-engine the Boeing CH-47 Chinook and as the powerplant for Bell's proposed Quad Tiltrotor (QTR).

The AE1107 is entering US Marine Corps service - as the T406 - on the Bell Boeing MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor. The engine manufacturer also views it as an ideal replacement for the General Electric T64-416/419 that powers Sikorsky's CH/MH-53E (Flight International, 8-14 August).


The USMC plans CH-53E structural and avionics upgrades but is yet to commit to a more expensive re-engining programme. The USMC's decision, and R-R's more ambitious proposal to re-engine the Honeywell T55-powered CH-47s, appears to hinge on the army and USMC's ability to fund development of a CH-47/ H-53 replacement.

The USMC is interested in Bell's proposed QTR which R-R estimates would require 10-20% more power than the 4,580kW (6,150shp) that the AE1107C provides. "There is quite a bit of growth in the engine and we could achieve a 5% thrust increase with very little change to get through a demonstration phase," says Richard Lewis, R-R president defence, North America.

Meanwhile, the company continues to push a growth version of the smaller R-R Turbomeca RTM322 as an alternative to the US Army's planned Common Engine Programme (CEP) for the Sikorsky UH-60X and Boeing AH-64X.

"The RTM 322 meets 50-70% of the requirements at 40-50% of the cost of CEP. We're encouraging them to look at an alternative engine, but if they choose to go down a new centreline route, we're ready to compete," says Stuart Mullan, R-R president, helicopter marketing.

R-R hints it could partner with Honeywell to compete for CEP against GE's announced tie-up with Pratt & Whitney. The companies collaborate on the T800 programme and "there is an opportunity to extend," adds Mullan.

Source: Flight International