Engine deal for US aircraft boosts Rolls

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The Independent Online
ROLLS-ROYCE received an important vote of confidence yesterday after its BR700 engine, being developed in partnership with BMW of Germany, was selected by McDonnell Douglas for its next generation of regional aircraft.

The US manufacturer has chosen the 20,000 lb-thrust BR715 to power all three versions of the planned MD-95 aircraft. The potential market is put at more than 1,000 aircraft.

The news will also come as a boost for Rolls' aero-engine plant in Derby, which will manufacture a third of the fuel-efficient engines. A new plant in Dahlewitz, near Berlin, will assemble them.

This is the third large contract for the new engine, due to enter service in 1998 with a thrust range of 15,000 lb to 22,000 lb. The BR700 has already been selected to power the Gulfstream GV and the Canadair Global Express.

Announcing the breakthrough at the Asian aerospace air show in Singapore, Albert Schneider, chairman of BMW Rolls-Royce, said it established the company 'as a major supplier of aero-engines to the highly demanding passenger aircraft market'.

The MD-95 series, a successor to the DC-9, will carry 100-122 passengers and have a range of 1,700 to 2,300 miles. Go-ahead for the programme depends on marketing studies now being carried out by McDonnell Douglas and Rolls.

Rolls also announced a new joint venture, with Smiths Industries, to develop a digital control system for a range of aero-engines.