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Rolls-Royce pulls out of Boeing NMA engine contest

Rolls-Royce has pulled out of the competition to develop an engine for Boeing’s proposed New Mid-market Airplane.

The UK engine manufacturer says it is “unable to commit” to the required timetable and ensure that it has a “sufficiently mature” powerplant for the aircraft.

Rolls-Royce points out that it believes the NMA “complements” the Boeing product range.

But the manufacturer says it would want to have a mature product at entry into service, one which satisfies its own technical maturity criteria.

“This is the right decision for Rolls-Royce and the best approach for Boeing,” insists civil aerospace president Chris Cholerton.

“Delivering on our promises to customers is vital to us and we do not want to promise to support Boeing’s new platform if we do not have every confidence that we can deliver to their schedule.”

Rolls-Royce adds that it has made a “clear commitment” to its customers to deliver on the company’s current engine programmes, among them the Trent XWB, Trent 7000 and Trent 1000-TEN.

“We remain committed to the development of new technologies and will continue to mature and de-risk our next generation UltraFan engine architecture in preparation for future applications,” says Cholerton.

“UltraFan is the foundation of our future large civil aero engine programmes and we must ensure that it has as smooth an entry into service as possible.

“We had begun its development before the Boeing opportunity emerged and it must undergo a rigorous testing regime before we offer it to customers, which we do not believe can be achieved within the NMA timeframe.”

He adds that withdrawing from the NMA competition will enable Boeing to structure the final phase of the contest in a way which “best suits” the US airframer’s needs.

“We hope and expect to work with Boeing on other new opportunities in the future,” says Cholerton.

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