WP-3D Engine Upgrade

Rolls-Royce completed assembly and ground testing in mid February 2014 of the first enhanced T56 engine for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, WP-3D weather reconnaissance aircraft, demonstrating fuel use reduction of more than thirteen percent. NOAA's WP-3Ds will be the first aircraft to fly the T56 engine enhancement, known as Series 3.5. In addition to reduced fuel consumption, the enhancement package allows T56 engines to operate at lower turbine temperatures, which extends parts life, and improves reliability by an estimated twenty-two percent. The P-3 Series 3.5 flight test program, supported by Lockheed Martin, is scheduled for completion in late 2014. The first WP-3D equipped with Series 3.5 enhancements is expected to enter service beginning in early 2015.

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