NATIONAL HARBOR, Md., Sept. 19 (UPI) -- A fuel-saving and reliability enhancement to Rolls-Royce's T-56 turboprop engine is being tested in conjunction with the U.S. Air Force.
Rolls-Royce said the enhancement on the engine that powers the C-135H Hercules, showed a fuel-burn improvement of more than 8 percent in ground tests and that flight tests are moving forward.
"We look forward to carrying out flight tests to confirm what we have already demonstrated in the test cell -- significant savings in fuel costs, improved reliability and performance," said Tom Bell, Rolls-Royce's president for Customer Business.
"Rolls-Royce has invested to help the US Air Force and other operators around the world meet their goal of reducing fuel costs, while also extending the life of the C-130 fleet and potentially saving billions of dollars."
Rolls-Royce said the improvement in fuel efficiency comes through the use of proven technologies used on other military and commercial aircraft engines, such as new blade and vane materials and advanced turbine airfoil aerodynamic designs.
The enhancements can be performed during a conventional engine overhaul without any modifications to the aircraft or engine control systems.
The U.S. Air Force aims to reduce its consumption of aviation fuel by 10 percent by 2015 and the Series 3.5 enhancement program will help achieve that goal, the company said.
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