Smiths Industries has unexpectedly dropped out of an agreement to be a major partner in the development of the full-authority digital engine-control (FADEC) for the BMW Rolls-Royce BR715 turbofan, because it does not believe that it will be able to recoup its development costs over the life of the programme. The BR715 has been selected to power the McDonnell Douglas MD-95.

The BR715 FADEC was to have been developed by Rolls Smiths Engine Controls (RoSEC), the joint venture between R-R and Smiths, which already produces the FADEC for the BR710 . The BR710 powers the Gulfstream V and Bombardier Canadair Global Express business jets, and has been selected for the British Aerospace Nimrod 2000 replacement maritime-patrol aircraft.

Smiths says that its move to pull out of the BR715 FADEC is "a straightforwardly commercial decision", based on "-the amount of investment required compared with the opportunities there may or may not be for the engine in terms of aircraft [applications]".

Roger Arthey, marketing manager at RoSEC, confirms that BMW R-R has instead subcontracted the BR715 FADEC to R-R. Lockheed Martin has subsequently been selected to supply the unit's electronic engine-control, at the heart of the FADEC.

"Smiths has elected not to pursue the BR715 programme, but the BR710 [FADEC] still goes on the way it was before," says Arthey. The BR715 is also being offered as a possible powerplant for the Aviation Industries of China AE100 AirExpress and IPTNN2130 regional jets.

Source: Flight International