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Production ramps up for Pearl 15 programme
Rolls-Royce has reached a milestone within the Pearl 15 test programme and is preparing for service at the end of 2019. The engine received EASA certification in February and will power the Global 5500 and 6500s.
Rolls Royce director business aviation Dr Dirk Geisinger. ©Rolls-Royce/Steffen Weigelt

Rolls-Royce has achieved 10,000 test cycles in over 2,600 testing hours within the Pearl 15 test programme, where six individual Pearl 15 development engines with 14 builds have been used in 27 test campaigns.

The campaigns include tests under extreme icing conditions, massive water ingestions, lightning strikes and long-lasting maturity runs, all putting the engine under enormous stress. For the cold starts the entire engine gets cooled down to below -40°C, a temperature where the viscosity of the fuel is comparable to honey. Even under those challenging conditions the engine has to start and run up to take-off thrust without any disruptions. Water ingestion and lightning strike testing makes sure the engine won't fail even when flying directly through the worst thunderstorms. More than 6,000 gallons of water per hour are sprayed at the fan for a period of three minutes, which amounts to 23,000 litres of water per hour, much more than an engine would experience in service.

The company's site in Dahlewitz, Germany has already started to build the first production standard engines and is preparing for the production ramp-up while maturity testing is on track to support a smooth entry into service at the end of 2019.

The engine received EASA certification on 28 February, 2018 and was unveiled to the market in parallel with the new Bombardier Global 5500 and Global 6500 jets, both of which are exclusively powered by the purpose-built Pearl 15 engine.

Director business aviation Dr Dirk Geisinger says: “This is an important milestone that underpins an on-track delivery. We're proud of the pioneering technology and outstanding performance we have designed into this engine and our comprehensive testing guarantees sophisticated maturity and reliability levels from the outset. It will support Bombardier's successful Global family of aircraft in setting new standards in the ultra-long-range corporate jet market.”

The Pearl engine combines new technologies derived from Rolls-Royce's Advance technology demonstrator programmes with proven features from the BR700 engine family. The Pearl 15 also exemplifies Rolls-Royce's IntelligentEngine vision of a future where product and service become indistinguishable thanks to advancements in digital capability. As well as a new-generation engine health monitoring system that introduces advanced vibration detection, the engine incorporates remote engine diagnostics and bi-directional communications that allow for remote reconfiguration of engine-monitoring features from the ground.

Compared with the BR710, the Pearl 15 features the same nacelle envelope but is more powerful, with a maximum certified thrust of 15,250 lb. It has, the OEM says, up to seven per cent better specific fuel consumption, is two dB cumulative quieter and shows a 20 per cent improvement in NOx emissions margin.

The Pearl family will be supported by the Rolls-Royce CorporateCare aftermarket programme.

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