UK/German engine passes its first tests

High hopes for worldwide sales of BMW Rolls-Royce BR715 turbofan

The new BMW Rolls-Royce BR715 turbofan was run for the first time at full power on Monday at the company’s Dahlewitz plant near Berlin – the engine reaching 25,745lb thrust.

Although the BR715 engine is put together in Germany, some 30-35% of it is made in Britain.

The BR715 will power the new McDonnell Douglas MD-95 regional airliner, and a variant could equip the AE100 airliner which China wants to build with Airbus Industrie.

BMW Rolls-Royce business vice-president Richard Smallwood said that despite Boeing’s pending merger with McDonnell Douglas, `we’re very confident Boeing will support the MD-95, as there really isn’t anything out there that will compete’.

Though the test runs were late, BMW Rolls-Royce said time will be made up to make sure BR715 is certified on schedule in September 1998. First production BR715s will be delivered to McDonnell Douglas in June 1999.

Aviation Industries of China and Airbus still disagree on how large the AE100 could become and this will influence the BR715 version which BMW Rolls-Royce offers for the aircraft.