Andrzej Jeziorski/MUNICH

ALLISON ENGINE, Rolls-Royce and BMW Rolls-Royce are set to co-operate in a three-way development of the US company's AE3012 turbofan. The engine is already a contender to power the Aero International (Regional) AIR 70 regional jet.

Detailed talks now under way are expected to result in Allison contributing the core of the 45-62kN (9,500-14,000lb)-thrust engine from its AE3000 range.

R-R, Allison's parent company, will supply fan-blade technology from its Tay engine and BMW R-R will supply the turbine section. The German company, is almost certain to be responsible for the low-pressure turbine and could produce the high-pressure section as well, using technology from its BR700 range of engines.

Pulling together elements of three existing engines will cut development costs and lead times, the partners hope.

BMW R-R confirms the talks, saying: "We are looking at the potential for co-operation with Allison on the [Allison] AE3012 turbofan". Al Novick, a senior vice-president at Allison, says that the talks centre on BMW R-R producing the turbine section of the engine. The German company has dropped an earlier proposal of its own BR710 turbofan, which was considered to be too big for the AIR 70 project.

The AE3012 will be in competition with General Electric's CF34-8C, and a Franco-Canadian teaming of Snecma and Pratt & Whitney Canada), proposing the new 62kN SPW14.

AI(R) says that it will narrow down the power plant competition to two candidates by the end of October. AI(R) hopes that the aircraft will fly in mid-2000.


Source: Flight International