|Rolls-Royce Gnome at the Imperial War Museum Duxford|
|Manufacturer||de Havilland Engines|
|First run||5 June 1959|
|Major applications||Westland Sea King |
|Developed from||General Electric T58|
The Rolls-Royce Gnome is a British turboshaft engine originally developed by the de Havilland Engine Company as a licence-built General Electric T58, an American mid-1950s design. The Gnome came to Rolls-Royce after their takeover of Bristol Siddeley in 1968, Bristol having absorbed de Havilland Engines Limited in 1961.
A licence to manufacture the T58 was purchased in 1958. The T58 had begun bench testing in 1955 and by 1958 had already been used in helicopters and de Havilland were able to test their first engines in a Westland Whirlwind and Wasp helicopters in August 1959.
There were two series produced: the "H" turboshaft for helicopter use, and the "P" turboprop for fixed-wing aircraft.
A single-stage turbine drives the 10 stage all-axial compressor, whilst a two-stage free power turbine drives the load. The combustor is annular. The Gnome differed from the T-58 in having a British developed fuel control system (Lucas).
Because an all-axial design is employed, the final stage compressor rotor blades are amongst the smallest ever manufactured. Normally, a small engine such as this would feature an axial/centrifugal or even a double centrifugal compressor.
The engine was the first developed with a full authority analogue computer, de Havilland's own, as part of the fuel control system, specifically to anticipate helicopter power demand from pilot control inputs and to limit fuel flow during acceleration to prevent engine surge from occurring. The system developed relieved the helicopter pilot of the need to control rotor speed directly and in this way was the analogue forerunner of all subsequent FADEC systems worldwide.
Rolls-Royce Gnome engines are on display at the following museums:
Data from Flight
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