Rolls-Royce has received Transport Canada certification for the Pearl 15 engine that powers the in-development Bombardier Global 5500 and 6500 business jets.

Scheduled for approval and service entry in the fourth quarter, the Canadian-built long-range twins are the launch platforms for the 15,125lb (67.3kN)-thrust-rated Pearl 15.

Global 6500 image


Unveiled in May 2018, the Global 5500 and 6500 are updated, longer-range versions of the R-R BR710-powered Global 5000 and 6000, which remain in service. The new models also feature new wings designed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a revamped cabin and a combined-vision system in the cockpit.

R-R had been working secretly on the Pearl 15 since 2012, and was awarded European certification for the powerplant three months before the Globals were revealed – although the type certificate data sheets were not released publicly.

The Pearl 15 features the same nacelle envelope as the BR710, but is more powerful, says R-R, with a maximum certificated thrust of up to 15,250lb. “It has up to 7% better specific fuel consumption, is 2dB cumulatively quieter, and shows a 20% improvement in NOx [nitrogen oxide] emissions margin,” it says.

Since securing European approval, the Pearl 15, which is based on the engine manufacturer’s Advance 2 technology, has undergone “a comprehensive test programme”, says R-R. The Pearl-powered Global 5500 and 6500 “are undergoing final flight validation”, and are on track for entry into service in 2019.

R-R is seeking additional applications for the 10,000-20,000lb-thrust Pearl family. Earlier this year, FlightGlobal revealed that the Dahlewitz, Germany-headquartered business aircraft division had begun testing a new variant of the powerplant, although no details have been formally revealed.

Potential new applications for the Pearl could include a re-engining of Bombardier’s large-cabin Challenger 650, which is equipped with 9,220lb-thrust GE Aviation CF34-3B turbofans.

Gulfstream could also be a candidate as it looks to replace the out-of-production Tay 611-8C-powered G450. The Pearl could also be selected for the US airframer’s ultra-long-range challenger to the Global 7500. Gulfstream’s current G650ER flagship is powered by twin 16,900lb-rated BR725s.