Qantas Airways has become the latest airline to opt for Rolls Royce's up-grade of RB.211-524G engines to the improved -524G-T.

Rolls-Royce managing director for airlines, John Cheffins, says engines powering 18 of Qantas's 747-400s, plus spares, will be retrofitted. Cheffins would not give the value of the deal, but says it covers "approximately 90" engines.

The engines will be modified by Qantas over a three to four year period, Cheffins says, starting in the spring of next year.

The new RB.211 variant earlier this year entered airline service with Cathay Pacific Airways, offering improved performance and increased payloads on long-haul flights. It incorporates the high-pressure core from the Rolls-Royce Trent 700, which powers the Airbus Industrie A330.


Qantas indicated in June that it was likely to go ahead with the upgrade when it announced that it had selected the -524G-T to power three new 747-400s for delivery starting in October next year.

The carrier now joins Cathay and South African Airways in retrofitting existing engines in its fleet. Cargolux has also opted for the engine on new-build 747-400s.

The order from Qantas leaves just Air New Zealand and British Airways for Rolls-Royce to pursue for retrofits.

Cheffins says of BA: "I believe that they will choose to do it. It's a good probability that they will elect a retrofit."

Source: Flight Daily News