Rolls-Royce Pearl 10X starts flight tests

Airborne at last: Rolls-Royce has begun its flight test programe for its Pearl 10X engine.

Rolls-Royce has started flights tests of its long-awaited Pearl 10X engine. Selected to power Dassault’s new flagship Falcon 10X business jet, the Pearl 10X engine made its flight test debut on the engine manufacturer’s dedicated Boeing 747 flying testbed.

Philipp Zeller, senior vice president Dassault, Business Aviation, Rolls-Royce welcomed the next phase of the engine development programme. “All the tests completed to date confirm the reliability of the engine and show it will meet the performance requirements to power Dassault’s flagship, the Falcon 10X,” said Zeller.

The flight test programme, based at in Tucson, Arizona will include engine performance and handling checks at various speeds and altitudes, inflight engine relights, tests of the nacelle’s anti-icing system and fan vibration tests at various altitudes.

Air tests follow a ground test programme which included the evaluation of the Pearl 10X’s e new ultra-low emissions Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM) combustor, which is compatible with 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and a new accessory gearbox, which enables higher additional power extraction. The engine is said to have exceeded its target thrust levels on its first test run will be the most powerful business aviation engine in the Rolls-Royce portfolio, according to the company.

The test programme has now logged more than 2,300 testing hours, both on the Advance 2 demonstrator and the Pearl 10X engine configuration. Combining what is claimed to be the most efficient core of any business jet engine with a high-performance low-pressure system, the Pearl 10X delivers more than 18,000lbf of thrust. Compared with the manufacturer’s last generation of business aviation engines, the Pearl 10X offers a 5% higher efficiency, while delivering outstanding low noise and emissions performance, according to Rolls-Royce. “This combination will enable customers and operators to have premium airport accessibility and fly ultra-long-range connections, whilst also being able to travel close to the speed of sound,” said the company.

The 10X engine is the third power plant in Rolls-Royce’s Pearl line. The Pearl 15 engine equips the Bombardier Global 5500/6500 and the Pearl 700 powers the Gulfstream G700/G800.

Rolls-Royce traditionally names engines after British rivers, featuring in its portfolio the Trent, Tay, Derwent and Welland engines. Striking a more international nomenclature, its Pearl engine may have drawn inspiration from rivers located in two vast potential markets. There are Pearl rivers in the US, located in Mississippi and Louisiana, and in Guangdong Province, southern China.

The Falcon 10X, powered by the Pearl 10X, is expected to enter service in 2027 – two years behind schedule.

The Pearl 10X engine undergoing flight tests on a Boeing 747, based in Tucson, Arizonia.

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