Another $300 million leaves the country


I understand that BAe had reservations about bidding for the MARS contract and that some people are rather loathe to give BAe another penny as well. However, the above piece of news is somewhat different.

Travelling as I do between the Czech Republic and the UK on a weekly basis, I am taken aback that we have to buy American engines, as you can see same type aircraft with differnt engines and my question is why did we not buy Rolls Royce.

My second thought is why we do not have an offset clause like so many other European countries?
Scarcely “down the drain.”

Integrating and proving the airworthiness of another engine would be very expensive and the other engine is unlikely to be any cheaper. So buying the US engine is the cheapest option.

Balance of trade is an issue, but we may be getting an offset deal, the article does not say and I don't know.

Also we already have aircraft with US engines so changing over to another would cause serious training and logistic issues.

Note: the OP has now removed the “down the drain” part of his post. However, all the other points are still valid.


Book Reviewer
Our masters need to have before them our historic and costly lessons that show that the idea that you can just stuff a different engine or other major system into an already designed aircraft and fly off are bogus.

Worked examples:

1.The Whirlwind helicopter. Alvis Leonides engine substituted, perched at 45 degrees for which the engine was never designed. That with other bad ideas caused numerous of these to ditch and cost many Fleet Air Arm lives (as if politicians care about that latter point).

2. Fleet Air Arm Phantom, must have RR engine, that needed re-designed body and redesigned longer nose oleo, result reduced performance.

3. Let's put UK technology into Chinook, result eight aircraft sorely needed in Afghanistan sat U/s in a hangar instead. Mult-million-pound programme to correct and virtually rebuild the aircraft including replacing ALL the wiring which meant stripping the a/c down to its bones.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Aircraft engines and control systems aren't just plug-in-and-go items.
The proposed sale supports the continued UK access to the United States Air Force/Boeing Globemaster III Sustainment Partnership program supporting the UK’s fleet of eight Boeing C-17A Globemaster III aircraft.
Think this answers the OP's question.
Never knew that a problem exsisted with leonides in whirlwinds. An acquaintance of mine flew them and I remember him saying how glad they were of the extra power and how much more reliable they were than the P&W's. As for hanging them at 45 degrees what odds it was a fuel injected engine (I don't actually know if they were on the whirlwind but the engine was designed for it. a lucas system that was the dogs in it's era). The flyer is still breathing (just) so will ask him when I see him.

As for the subject of the thread. We are now making RR engines in Singapore. What's that all about. Offsets my arrse. We have 3 million unemployed I'm sure some of them have skills beyond the call centres.

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