As the world's second-largest manufacturer of civil aircraft engines, Rolls-Royce is well placed to capitalise on expected market growth. Group marketing director Richard Turner has seen Rolls-Royce's market share of civil engines grow by a third over the past three years (to a total of 30%) and he's bullish about the future. In an interview with Geoff Thomas, he began by pointing out that Rolls-Royce engines are now specified for the entire Boeing range with the exception of 737s and all Airbus products except A300/A310s.

Q: The jewel in the crown is undoubtedly the Trent family of engines, one of which is on your display stand at Farnborough. What's the current position?

In April this year we took one of Icelandair's RB211-535 engines off the wing after seven years and more than 40,000h service a world record. The only reason we removed it was because after running for the equivalent of more than four and a half years, we thought maybe we ought to take a look inside with more than a boroscope. We were delighted to find no serious problems at all.

Strong growth in the regional airlines sector is also reflected in the success of the AE 3007A engine as the sole powerplant for the Embraer ERJ-135, -140 and -145 aircraft. Already, 24 airlines in 16 countries have placed orders for R-R AE3007A-powered aircraft and the engine is also available for the Cessna Citation X business jet.

We also have the BR700 family of engines and the turboprop version the BR700-TP is proposed as the engine for the Airbus A400M heavy-lift military transport aircraft recently selected by the UK, German and French governments. And of course the specially maritime version, the BR710 Mk100 is due to be certificated shortly for the RAF's next generation maritime reconnaissance aircraft, the Nimrod MRA4.DS&S is a software engineering company set up jointly between ourselves and SAIC. Its database and analysis capability gives us the wherewithal to develop our predictive maintenance skills. An increasing number of operators are now looking at this as representing the future. However, I think it's unlikely that we'll see a European aero engine industry as such, simply because GE and P&W already play in Europe in a way that Boeing and Lockheed Martin do not.

Source: Flight Daily News