Rolls-Royce and Turboméca have launched development of a new low-maintenance version of the Adour 871 turbofan which powers the British Aerospace Hawk and McDonnell Douglas T-45 trainers.

The Adour 900 will offer 4,000h between overhauls to meet what R-R military-engines chief Terry Graham describes as a demand for airline-style "fit-and-forget" maintenance. "Time between overhaul is almost doubled with this engine, and we are also offering power-by-the-hour maintenance deal," Graham says.

Principal changes include a new high-pressure compressor, long-life combustor, "the latest in single-crystal turbine technology" and an optional full-authority digital engine-control. All modifications can be retrofitted to existing Adour 871s, but R-R declines to be specific about upgrade costs. "It depends on whether the work is done during a shop visit or not. But it is very competitive", says Turner.

Certification of the new engine is set for 2000. "We are following a very aggressive development programme," says Turboméca president Jean-Bernard Cocheteux.

Source: Flight International