WICHITA, Kan.—Spirit AeroSystems recently entered into an exclusive agreement with Rolls-Royce to design and build the next generation of slim-line nacelles for Rolls-Royce’s new Pearl® 10X engine. The new, ready-for-assembly nacelle, said to be “ultra-slim,” is reported to improve laminar flow to boost aircraft performance and acoustic impedance. The Rolls‑Royce work is an example of Spirit’s diversification strategy to grow its presence in the business jet market, Spirit AeroSystems said in a release.
“Leveraging our decades of manufacturing experience with metallic and composite structures, Spirit is diversifying our business to bring innovative products to business jet customers, and our program with Rolls-Royce is a great example of that work,” said Katie Wesbrooks, senior director of business and regional jets and strategic programs at Spirit AeroSystems, in the release. “We’re excited to embark on this new program with Rolls-Royce as we continue to advance programs within the business jet market.”
The Pearl 10X is a highly powerful and efficient engine, enabling operators to travel ultra-long distances at nearly the speed of sound for outstanding airport accessibility. For production, Spirit will leverage its composite and fabrication capabilities at its Wichita facility to support the program. Spirit will provide competitive aerostructures with kits that Rolls-Royce can seamlessly install during final assembly, helping to speed up processes, according to the release.
Spirit AeroSystems is a major provider of engine strut and nacelle products for numerous kinds of aircraft. Spirit learned from its work on the BR725, a Rolls-Royce engine, to create process improvements to confidently produce the volume of nacelles required for the new Pearl 10X program. The company applied advanced digital design techniques to continue to advance the affordability of robotic manufacturing and industrialization, Spirit AeroSystems said in the release.