Rolls-Royce is at NBAA in confident mood, despite the setback of losing out on long-time customer Gulfstream’s two new platforms to rival Pratt & Whitney Canada.
The UK manufacturer claims to have been the market leader in business aviation propulsion over the past 15 years, based on the value of engines delivered, largely due to the success of its AE3007 and BR710 powerplants.
It is the latter engine particularly – which powers a number of large cabin types including the Bombardier Global 5000/6000 – that has been the driver for success most recently, says Stephen Friedrich, vice-president of R-R North America.
The segment has weathered the downturn in aircraft sales better than the smaller jet classes and has benefitted from the emergence of new markets where large-cabin, long-range types have come to dominate, says Frieidrich.
And, with deliveries of the BR725-powered Gulfstream G650 now in full flow – and the longer-range ER variant still to come - Friedrich believes R-R is “well positioned for growth”.
However, operating in the large-cabin segment brings with it its own particular challenges, he says, with customers demanding “extremely high levels of reliability and service”.
Its Corporate Care support programme continues to evolve as a result of that pressure, says Freidrich. Aside from the necessary round-the-clock support enrolment in the scheme provides it also “increases asset values, the stability of the asset values and most importantly in this market, it improves the liquidity of the asset”.
He cites the fact that “more than 70%” of R-R business jet engines are now on the programme as a sign of its continued popularity.
R-R has also recently changed the structure of its support offering, bringing all engines under a single 24/7 service desk headed by 35-year R-R veteran Andy Robinson. This move, which replaces a programme-by-programme set up, has delivered “increased efficiency and better response times” says Freidrich.
Source: Flight Daily News