BMW Rolls-Royce (BMW R-R) is studying the possibility of launching a re-engineing programme for the Boeing 727-200, with BR700-series powerplants.

According to BMW R-R, it has begun a study, together with US maintenance and modification centre Dee Howard, which has already re-engined 727-100 freighters with R-R Tay 650s for freight carrier UPS. A decision on whether to proceed could be taken as early as May.

While BMW R-R plans to replace the outboard-mounted Pratt & Whitney JT8D engines with the BR715, this engine is too large to be installed in the central (no 2) position, which is buried in the aft fuselage. Various central-engine options are being examined, including a BR710, Tay 650 or hushkitted JT8D. R-R developed a new enlarged-air-intake/ "S" duct for the Tay 727-100 re-engineing, which would be adopted for the Tay or BR710 options. BMW R-R predicts a market for 200-300 upgraded aircraft.

Meanwhile, BMW R-R has begun a study into a new BR700 variant, the BR710-56, which was originally intended for the Boeing new small aircraft. BMW R-R says that it has discussed this with airframe manufacturers.

The engine would be a low-cost, low-weight, 85-89kN (19,000-20,000lb)-thrust derivative of the BR715. The larger engine's two-stage booster would be removed, and the new variant would have a 1.42m fan and a rematched three-stage low-pressure turbine.

The company is promoting the 1.42m-fan variant of its BR715, the BR715-56, for the proposed Aviation Industries of China (AVIC)/ Airbus Industrie Asia 100-seat jet-airliner, the AE100. The BR710-56 could be adopted, however, should the Chinese partners yield to Airbus pressure to develop smaller variants of the AE100, rather than stretching it to 135 or more seats as AVIC would prefer (Flight International, 23-29 April).

"I think [the BR710-56] is an ideal engine for a new 100-seater that is not intended to grow to 125-130 seats," says BR715 chief engineer Norbert Arndt. In this case, BMW R-R believes that it would gain an edge over rival CFM, which cannot offer an engine in this thrust and weight class.

The studies have come to light as BMW R-R prepared for the official first run of the 98kN BR715-58, with a 1.47m-fan which is planned to power the McDonnell Douglas MD-95. The first official test is to take place at Dahlewitz on 28 April. BMW R-R is aiming to achieve certification in September 1998.

Source: Flight International