Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engine on target for 2022 certification


Rolls-Royce’s Pearl 700 engine has successfully achieved further test milestones on its way to certification and entry into service in 2022 by reaching more than 8,000 test cycles and more than 3,000 testing hours.

During the test campaigns, the Pearl 700 has been tested at cold start temperatures, where fuel viscosity is comparable to honey and in hot conditions, successfully completing long, high power endurance runs and high-cycle tests. It has also been successfully tested running on 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).

According to Rolls-Royce the test program did not stop during the Covid-19 pandemic – the medium bird strike test was performed with a novel remote set-up allowing key members of the team to join the test virtually.

The flight test program started in February 2020  with a fleet of five dedicated flight-test aircraft and one production-test aircraft.

The Pearl 700 engines have already powered Gulfstream’s new flagship aircraft the G700 beyond its maximum operating speed and cruise altitude, flying nearly as fast as the speed of sound (Mach 0.99 / 1,220km/h) while reaching an altitude of 54,000 ft / 16,459 m.

In typical operations, the G700 has a maximum operating speed of Mach 0.925 and a maximum cruise altitude of 51,000 ft (15,545m), which allows it to fly above commercial air traffic and the weather in the troposphere. During its first international visits to the Middle East and Europe the aircraft set two city pair speed records and a third speed record on its return trip to the United States.

Dr Dirk Geisinger, director business aviation at Rolls-Royce said: “Seeing the Pearl 700 program running at such a fast pace makes me really proud of the team behind it. In addition to the extensive ground testing, the flight test campaign is progressing exceptionally well.

“Today, it stands at more than 3,000 engine flying hours from more than 2,000 engine flights and with the G700 test aircraft fleet in the air these numbers are increasing daily. The pioneering technology and the outstanding performance of the Pearl 700 supports Gulfstream’s business aircraft in reaching new standards for the top end of the ultra-long-range corporate jet market.”

The Pearl 700 combines the Advance2 engine core with a low-pressure system, resulting in an 8% increase in take-off thrust at 18,250lb compared to its predecessor, the BR725 engine. The engine offers a 5% higher efficiency, while maintaining low noise and emissions performance, says Rolls-Royce.
The engine also features a highly-efficient blisked fan, a high pressure compressor with a market-leading pressure ratio of 24:1 and six blisked stages, an ultra-low emissions combustor, a two-stage shroudless high pressure turbine and an enhanced four-stage low pressure turbine that is one of the most efficient and compact in the industry.

The engine was developed at the Rolls-Royce Centre of Excellence for Business Aviation Engines in Dahlewitz, Germany.

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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