Newsletter 26
Spring 2010
Updated on 22Feb2010
Published by the Hawker Association
for the Members.
Contents Hawker Association

Book reviews
Camm Windsor memorial
Christmas lunch
Handley Page sixty years
Harrier news
Harry Hawker biography
Hawk news
Hurricane & Fury news
International powered lift
Making them right
New RN carriers news
RAF museum news
Sea Harrier news
Sea Hawk & Sea Fury news
Visit to Rolls-Royce  
    On 17 September a group of sixteen Association Members, including Gordon Lewis, a ‘local‘, visited Roll-Royce (R-R) Bristol at the invitation of Jock Heron, also a Member, Chairman of the Roll-Royce Heritage Trust (R-RHT).
   We were met by Jock, Gordon and Ralph Denning at the Whittle House Conference Centre where, as we enjoyed coffee and biscuits after our long drive, we could admire a dismantled Pegasus. All its major assemblies: fan, compressor, plenum chamber etc, were mounted on stands and lined up longitudinally so that the whole engine was stretched out over about fifteen feet; most instructive.
    Also on show was a very early Pegasus 3, a Pegasus 5 bearing a plaque naming it as an “International Historic Engineering Landmark” awarded by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, and a current Pegasus 11-61. A lift fan for the F-35B Lightning II and a working model of its associated three-rotating-segment articulated nozzle completed the engine exhibition.
Visit To Rolls-Royce And The Heritage Trust

    There were also a number of models of interest, including the original Wibault Gyroptere engine, the Dornier Do31 which had two Pegasus 5s, the BS100 powered P.1154, a large Kestrel  model and a large cut-away model of a Pegasus 11-61 complete with zero scarfe nozzles.
    In a conference room Jock Heron told us a bit about the R-RHT which was formed in 1981 and now has five branches representing the companies that were absorbed into R-R.
    Next came a presentation, on R-R today, by our host, Francis Kearney, Senior Vice President European Business & Aftermarket Sales. There are, he told us, four markets for R-R products totalling 9.1 bn annually: civil and defence aerospace representing 49% and 19% respectively, marine propulsion 24% and the energy industries 8%. Of these markets 48% is original equipment and 42% services. R-R is starting to develop a fifth market, nuclear power.
    R-R employs 38,900 people in fifty countries, has an order book worth 55.8 bn and annual profits of 880m. In the USA R-R has invested $120m in what was the Allison Engine plant at Indianapolis where there are now 4,000 employees. An important product here is the T-56 turboprop for the C-130 Hercules and other transports.
    Francis went on to describe the range of engines currently produced and supported by R-R in all fields. For combat aircraft out-of-production engines are the Pegasus in the Harrier with support to at least 2018, the RB199 in the Tornado and the Viper in the MB339 in large scale service in many countries. In production are the EJ200 for the Typhoon, the Adour for the Hawk, and the lift system (remote fan and articulated nozzle) for the JSF F-35B Lightning II.
    In development jointly with General Electric (low pressure section by R-R, high pressure section by GE) under US Department of Defense funding is the F136, as an alternative engine for the JSF.
    Engines are also provided for tactical aircraft, importantly the C-130 Hercules, and helicopters, and of course for large numbers of airliners by Boeing, Airbus etc.
    There are more than 20,000 R-R military engines installed worldwide. R-R sales are No.2 in the world and No.1 in Europe. Of all the world’s installed engines 23% are R-R vs. 33% to GE, the leader.
    Next we went to the R-RHT Museum in the Sir Roy Fedden Centre where Jock Heron, Patrick Hassell, the Trust Deputy Chairman, and Peter Pavey, the R-RHT Branch Secretary, showed us round in groups. There are far too many engines to list because the collection covers everything from Bristol’s earliest piston engines to modern jets via early Whittle/Power Jets, Halford /de Havilland and R-R turbojets.
    Some highlights were a Power Jets W.2/700 and a DH Goblin representing early Whittle and Halford centrifugal compressor engines, double sided and single sided respectively. A cut-away Centaurus was hugely impressive as was its gear train displayed separately in a glass case like a beautiful work of art, which it is.
    Another work of art was a Pegasus prototype plenum chamber burning combustion unit, a very complex piece fabricated from hand formed and welded sheet metal, which would not look out of place in the Tate Modern sculpture gallery. A rare type on display was a DH Gyron as flown on the Short Sperrin and intended for the prototype P.1121.
    R-R Bristol carries out gas turbine manufacture, assembly and test and after lunch in the very nice R-R restaurant we were taken by Mike Chaplin and Jerry Fussel, Process Supporters for Adour/Pegasus and EJ200, to visit the factory. At first sight this looked more like a huge, lofty, quiet, open plan office than an engine factory but as we were shown round some signs of engine build became apparent amongst the computer work stations, component storage racks and benches. However, it must be said that the place was not a hive of activity.
    The whole building, spotless in every respect, was divided into colour coded areas, a different colour for each engine, all components arriving in containers of the relevant colour so that a wrong item would be immediately apparent. As well as complete EJ200 and Adour engines, which are assembled in the vertical position, the F-35B lift system is also built here. This was altogether a very impressive facility as befits a world-class engine supplier.
    Back at the Whittle Centre we said goodbye to our most attentive hosts and thanked them for what had been a fascinating visit from both historical and contemporary technological viewpoints.