BMW Rolls-Royce is to lead technology acquisition for future two-shaft aero engines developments in the R-R group as it awaits a German Government decision on funding for the next stage of the "Engine 3E" research programme.

The revised BMW R-R strategy, agreed by parent companies BMW and R-R, covers development work for two-shaft engines above 13,000lb thrust (58kN). The company, however, says there are no plans for it to develop an engine larger than its BR700 series.

German company BMW is restricted to building engines in the 14-23,000lb-thrust range. The only larger two-shaft powerplant available in the R-R product range is the International Aero Engines V2500, developed jointly with Pratt & Whitney.

BMW R-R head of concepts and technologies, Dr Helmut Richter, says technology being worked on in the partly state-funded Engine 3Eprogramme could be incorporated in an all-new two-shaft powerplant as early as 2006/7. The key elements include a staged combustor, improved high-pressure turbine (HPT) disk air cooling system and blisk (integrated blade and disk) technology.

"We hope to run the first complete core with all the new features in 2004," says Richter. "Any future two-shaft engine we are involved in as a member of the R-R family will feature this technology."

BMW R-R hopes that the HPT in future engines will be able to operate at higher temperatures, improving efficiency and reducing emissions and noise.

Phase I of the Engine 3E (environment, efficiency, economy)is due to be concluded this month. BMW R-R is waiting for the German federal and regional governments to release their 40% share of the expected DM90 million ($48 million) cost of Phase II. The second phase is expected to last 42 months and focus on integrating the technologies tested in Phase I into an all-new core design.

Meanwhile, BMW R-R has completed the expansion of its factory at Dahlewitz near Berlin to enable a production rate of up to 300 engines a year.

Source: Flight International