Rolls-Royce has created new engine controls capability near the campus of Purdue University to support the company’s U.S. defense business, including the F130 engine competing for the U.S. Air Force B-52 program. The high-tech controllers, about the size of a laptop computer, are safety-critical technical components that reduce pilot workload and enhance fuel efficiency.
Rolls-Royce will assemble and test electronic engine controllers. The first controller has been completed at Rolls-Royce in the Purdue Research Foundation’s Discovery Park District adjacent to the Purdue campus at West Lafayette, Indiana, and will be installed onto a Rolls-Royce AE 3007H engine, manufactured at the company’s facilities in Indianapolis, U.S.
“Rolls-Royce has partnered with Purdue University for decades and we are excited to launch our new controls capability on campus to assemble and test these high-tech engine components,” Tom Bell, Rolls-Royce, president – Defense and CEO of Rolls-Royce North America, said. “Whether for the Rolls-Royce AE family of engines or for our competitive F130 engine for the B-52, these new controllers will support U.S. military pilots as they fly around the world, offering the highest-quality technical product.”
Purdue University has been designated as a Rolls-Royce University Technology Partnership and collaborated on research including advanced engine technology, materials and testing capability with Rolls-Royce investment at the university topping $18 million since 2015 and more than 600 Purdue graduates among the company’s workforce in Indianapolis. Rolls-Royce and Purdue have also collaborated on initiatives in cybersecurity and digital technology, as well as the new controls project.
The facility at Purdue will also assemble electronic controllers for Rolls-Royce F130 engines for the Air Force B-52 strategic bomber re-engining program, if the company wins the engine competition later this year.