Rolls-Royce AE 2100

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AE 2100
RR AE 2100 of C-27J.jpg
The Rolls-Royce AE 2100 D2A on a C-27J
Type Turboprop
National origin United States
Manufacturer Allison Engine Company
Rolls-Royce plc
Major applications Alenia C-27J Spartan
Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules
Saab 2000
ShinMaywa US-2
Number built 2,300+[1]
Developed from Rolls-Royce T406

The Rolls-Royce AE 2100 is a turboprop developed by Allison Engine Company, now part of Rolls-Royce North America. The engine was originally known as the GMA 2100, when Allison was a division of former corporate parent General Motors.


On July 11, 1989, Saab-Scania A.B. selected the GMA 2100 to power its new Saab 2000, a 50-seat stretch of the Saab 340 turboprop, in a USD$500 million dollar deal.[2] In July 1990, Industrie Pesawat Terbang Nusantara (IPTN) of Indonesia picked the GMA 2100 as the engine for the twin-engine N-250 regional airliner.[3] Flight testing with a 13 ft 6 in diameter (4.11 m) Dowty R373 propeller on a Lockheed P-3 Orion testbed aircraft began on August 23, 1990 and finished after over 50 hours of flight and ground testing.[4]

The GMA 2100D3 became the powerplant for the Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules. It made its first test flight on March 19, 1994,[5] which was conducted by Marshall Aerospace on a Lockheed C-130K Hercules testbed leased from the Royal Air Force. Testing ended in June 1994 after 47 flight hours.[6] The engine powered the initial flight of the C-130J aircraft on April 5, 1996.[7] By April 1997, the D3 variant had received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) type certification.[8] 2,000 of the D3 variants have been delivered as of 2018.[9]

The engine's C variant was certified on December 20, 1993.[10] It powered the N-250 prototype's first flight on August 10, 1995,[11] but the N-250 aircraft program was postponed indefinitely in the late 1990s due to the Asian financial crisis.[12]

In June 1997, the AE 2100 was selected by Lockheed Martin and Alenia to power the C-27J Spartan tactical airlifter.[13] In October 2015, Alenia announced plans to use a 5,100-horsepower (3,800-kilowatt) uprated version of the AE 2100 as the baseline engine by 2017.[14]


C-130J Hercules with six-bladed props

A derivative of the Allison AE 1107C-Liberty (Rolls-Royce T406) turboshaft engine, the AE 2100 shares the same high-pressure core as that engine, as does the Rolls-Royce AE 3007 turbofan. This core is capable of powering turboprops of up to 10,000 shp (7,500 kW).[15] The AE 2100 is a two-shaft design,[16]: 83–84  and it was the first[when?] to use dual FADECs (full authority digital engine control) to control both engine and propeller,[17] allowing both to be adjusted with a single lever.[16]: 83–84  There are four production variants of the engine: the civil AE 2100A, and the military variants which include the AE 2100D2/D2A, AE 2100D3, AE 2100J and AE 2100P.

The AE 2100 inherited the Allison T56's 14-stage axial compressor design, but the inlet and the stator for the first five stages have variable blades. The annular combustor has 16 air-blast fuel injection nozzles. The turbine that drives the compressor has two stages, with the first stage using single-crystal blades. A free power turbine with two stages drives the propeller through an inner shaft and a gearbox.[16]: 83–84  The engine has replaceable steel blades and vanes, which are more reliable but heavier than titanium.[15]

The AE 2100 engine and gearbox are rated at 6,000 shaft horsepower (4,500 kilowatts), but was derated to 4,200, 4,590, and 3,600 shp (3,130, 3,420, and 2,680 kW) for the Saab 2000, Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules, and IPTN N-250, respectively.[18] The engine uses six-bladed, all-composite blade Dowty propellers, including the model R381 on the Saab 2000, R414 on the ShinMaywa US-2,[17] R384 on the IPTN N-250,[19] and R391 on the C-130J military transport[20] and the LM-100J civil-certified version of the C-130J.[21] The gearbox has a reduction ratio of about 14 and a mean time before unscheduled removal (MTBUR) of over 35,000 hours.[22]

Variants and applications[edit]

AE 2100A
AE 2100C
AE 2100D2A
AE 2100D3
AE 2100F
A variant proposed in 1995 and paired with Dowty R394 propellers to retrofit the Allison T56-powered Lockheed C-130 models E through H and Lockheed L-100-30, at a price after engine/propeller trade-in of USD$11 million per aircraft.[23]
AE 2100G
A variant offered in 1994 for the proposed ATR 82, a twin-turboprop airliner seating up to 86 passengers and requiring about 5,000 hp (3,700 kW) of power.[24]
AE 2100H
A variant offered in 1996 for Dassault Aviation's proposed Atlantic Third Generation (ATL3G) maritime patrol aircraft (MPA).[25]
AE 2100J
A hybrid of the AE 2100A and AE 2100D3, sporting the torque-meter and interconnecting struts from the AE 2100A and the gearbox-mounted accessory gearbox from the AE 2100D3; also uses a stronger reduction gearbox, a Dowty six-bladed propeller for higher loads, and modified inlet and bypass section positioning to mitigate seawater ingestion;[26] powers the ShinMaywa US-2.
AE 2100P
AE 2100SD-7
A variant proposed in 1994 for the European Future Large Aircraft[27] (which eventually became the Airbus A400M), with the required power increase from 6,000 to 10,000 shp (4,500 to 7,500 kW) estimated to cost USD$600 million.[28]

Specifications (AE 2100D3)[edit]

The AE 2100D3 engines of a US Air Force C-130J Hercules ready for inspection at Ramstein Air Base, Germany
A side view of the AE 2100J engine without its casing, on display at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in 2019

Data from FAA type certificate data sheet no. TE1CH.[29]

General characteristics



See also[edit]

Related development

Comparable engines

Related lists


  1. ^ "Rolls-Royce reaches services contract with USAF for C-130J Fleet" (Press release). 20 September 2017 – via ASDNews.
  2. ^ "G.M. engines for Saab plane". New York Times. Reuters. 12 July 1989. p. D4. ISSN 0362-4331.
  3. ^ "Allison wins regional powerplant battle". Flight International. Vol. 138, no. 4225. 18 July 1990. pp. 18+. ISSN 0015-3710. Gale A9247977.
  4. ^ "P3 flight test" (PDF). The Dowty Aerospace Gloucester Newsletter. No. 18. February 1991. p. 7.
  5. ^ United States House Committee on Appropriations (1994). Department of Defense appropriations for 1995, part 3 (Report). p. 491. hdl:2027/uc1.31210014044646. ISBN 0-16-045949-4. OCLC 1097431953.
  6. ^ Warwick, Graham (31 August 1994). "Hercules renewed". Flight International. Vol. 146, no. 4436. pp. 130+. ISSN 0015-3710.
  7. ^ "Lockheed Martin makes delayed C-130J first flight". Flight International. 16 April 1996. ISSN 0015-3710.
  8. ^ "C-130J engine receives FAA certification". Defense Daily. Vol. 195. 10 April 1997. p. 63. ISSN 0889-0404. Gale A19305553.
  9. ^ "Rolls-Royce delivers 2,000th AE 2100D3 engine for USAF C-130J". Rolls-Royce Holdings plc (Press release). 22 February 2018. Retrieved 3 June 2022.
  10. ^ "Allison AE 2100C certified for IPTN N-250". Commuter Regional Airline News. 21 February 1994. ISSN 1040-5402. Gale A14848632.
  11. ^ Lewis, Paul (15 August 1995). "IPTN wins approval as N-250 flies". Flight International. Bandung, Indonesia. ISSN 0015-3710.
  12. ^ Polek, Gregory (26 November 2007). "New regional airplanes: Fresh designs promise answer to evolving market demands". Aviation International News. Vol. 33, no. 18 (published October 2001). pp. R10–R14. ISSN 0887-9877.
  13. ^ Caires, Greg (20 June 1997). "Allison wins C-27J engine competition". Defense Daily. Vol. 195. p. 499. ISSN 0889-0404. Gale A19524835.
  14. ^ Perry, Dominic (19 October 2015). "Alenia Aermacchi outlines performance boost for C-27J". FlightGlobal.
  15. ^ a b Premo, David J. (November 1991). "Allison flies solo into the new commuter aircraft market". Commuter Air International. Vol. 13, no. 11. pp. 19+. ISSN 0199-2686. Gale A11594215.
  16. ^ a b c d Coniglio, Sergio (February 2010). "Military aircraft propulsion: Jets vs. props". Military Technology (MILTECH). Vol. 34, no. 2. Mönch Publishing Group. pp. 77–84. ISSN 0722-3226. OCLC 527912380.
  17. ^ a b "From Rotol Airscrews to Dowty Propellers: 80 years of aviation propulsion excellence". Dowty Propellers. 21 December 2017. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  18. ^ Sweetman, Bill (October 1994). "New power for regionals". Finance, markets & industry. Interavia. Vol. 49, no. 583. Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A. pp. 16–18. ISSN 1423-3215. OCLC 199793280.
  19. ^ "IPTN rolls out with 188 orders; Gulfstream Air signs LOI for 4". Commuter Regional Airline News. Vol. 12, no. 45. 14 November 1994. p. 3. ISSN 1040-5402. Gale A15885142.
  20. ^ Doyle, Andrew; Norris, Guy (28 August 1996). "Developing power". Flight International. Vol. 150, no. 4538. pp. 113+. ISSN 0015-3710.
  21. ^ Broge, Jean L. (21 April 2016). "Lockheed Martin LM-100J starts taking (a similar) shape". Aerospace & Defense Technology. ISSN 2472-2081.
  22. ^ Woolley, David (November 1991). "Powering up the next generation of turboprop aircraft". Commuter Air International. Vol. 13, no. 11. pp. 12+. ISSN 0199-2686. Gale A11594213.
  23. ^ Staats, Alan (12 December 1995). "Falcon to begin C-130 re-engine programme". Flight International. Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A.
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External links[edit]