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Rolls-Royce Olympus: Wikis


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Preserved Bristol built Olympus
Type Turbojet
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer Bristol Aero Engines
Rolls-Royce Limited
First run 1950
Major applications Avro Vulcan, maritime powerplant
Developed into Rolls-Royce/Snecma Olympus 593

The Rolls-Royce Olympus, formerly the Bristol Olympus is a high-powered axial-flow turbojet aircraft engine, originally developed and produced by Bristol Aero Engines in 1950 (hence the name from Greek mythology, a long time tradition of the company), then by Bristol Siddeley after merger, and finally under Rolls-Royce on their takeover of BS in 1966. The original design was used as the powerplant for the Avro Vulcan V Bomber. It was later developed for sustained supersonic performance as part of the BAC TSR-2 program, and when this was cancelled was used as the powerplant for Concorde. The engine is still in production for industrial and naval power. Curtiss-Wright in the USA built a licensed version as the J67.


Bristol Siddeley Olympus (Vulcan)

The Olympus was first run in 1950 reaching 10,000 lbf (44 kN) thrust. In 1953 it was test flown in an English Electric Canberra aircraft. Entering full production in 1955, the Olympus continued to be developed by Bristol Siddeley. The Olympus 101 entered service on the Vulcan B.1 in 1956, to be followed by the 102 and 104.

The 106 was a development engine for the 201. The Vulcan B.2 was the first to use the Olympus 201.

By modifications to the Low Pressure (LP) compressor (which included adding an extra LP stage) and the LP turbine, the thrust was increased from the 17,000 lbf (76 kN) of the Olympus 201 to 20,000 lbf (89 kN). The new engine was known as the Olympus 301. Due to the increased air mass, the Vulcan's air intakes had to be widened and, because of the extra compressor stage, the engines were larger and would not fit into the engine bays without extensive modifications

With the addition of reheat in the Olympus BOl.22R (Mk. 320) chosen for the TSR-2 the thrust was increased to 30,610 lbf, this series of engines culminating in the Olympus R28 Mk.360 of 42,733 lbf, an increase in thrust on the original 100-series engine of over 400%.

Bristol Siddeley Olympus Versions

  • 100 - 9,750 lbf
  • 101 - 11,000 lbf
  • 102 - 12,000 lbf
  • 104 - 13,400 lbf
  • 201 Series - 17,000 lbf (76 kN)
  • 301 Series - 20,000 lbf (89 kN)
  • Olympus 22R Mk.320 - 19,610 lb dry, 30,610 lb with reheat for initial flight test use in the TSR-2
  • Olympus R28 Mk.360 - 42,733 lbf wet - development of Mk.320 engine for production use in the TSR-2

Rolls-Royce Olympus TM3B marine turbine

A marine version of the Olympus was trialled in the refitted Royal Navy frigate HMS Exmouth which became the first major warship in a western navy to be powered by gas turbine engines - conversion taking from 1966-1968. The Olympus was subsequently used for the Type 21 frigates and the sole Type 82 destroyer, HMS Bristol (TM1A).

The Rolls-Royce Olympus powers the following naval vessels:

  • Royal Navy
    • Invincible class aircraft carriers — 4 turbines each
    • Type 42 destroyers — 2 Olympus and 2 Tyne
    • Type 22 frigates Batch 1 and 2; 2 Olympus and 2 Tyne

Rolls-Royce/Snecma Olympus 593

The powerplant for Concorde, the Olympus 593 project was started in 1964, using the BAC TSR2's Olympus 320 as a basis for development. Bristol Siddeley and Snecma Moteurs of France were to share the project. Acquiring Bristol Siddeley in 1966, Rolls-Royce continued as the British partner.


Another view of a Rolls-Royce Bristol Olympus (Mark unknown)

General characteristics

  • Type: axial flow afterburning turbojet
  • Length: 7112 mm
  • Diameter: 1212 mm
  • Dry weight: 3175 kg


  • Compressor: axial 7 low pressure stages, 7 high pressure stages
  • Combustors: nickel alloy construction 16 fuel injectors mounted at head, each with twin outlets
  • Turbine: high pressure single stage, low pressure single stage


Control system

  • world's first FADEC control system


  • straight pipe with pneumatically operated convergent nozzle
  • single ring afterburner
  • 'eyelids' which act as variable divergent nozzles/thrust reversers

See also


External links


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