Rolls-Royce's Hugely Powerful Pearl 10X Engine to Fly for the First Time Later This Year

Rolls-Royce Pearl 10X almost ready for first flight 10 photos
Photo: Dassault
Dassault Falcon 10XDassault Falcon 10XRolls-Royce Pearl 10XRolls-Royce Pearl 10XRolls-Royce Pearl 10XRolls-Royce Pearl 10XDassault Falcon 10XDassault Falcon 10XDassault Falcon 10X
As you're reading this, Geneva, Switzerland is the place where all the greats of the aviation industry have gathered for the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE). Among them is engine behemoth Rolls-Royce, which took the opportunity to give us an update on the Pearl 10X.
That's an engine developed specifically for the upcoming Dassault Falcon 10X airplane, the first Rolls powerplant to be featured in a business jet made by the French aerospace company. The technology was first announced back in 2021, and now we're told its development is progressing "full steam ahead."

The Pearl 10X is described by the company as the most powerful business aviation engine in the whole Rolls-Royce portfolio. Being capable of developing 18,000 lbs of thrust, it should allow the Falcon to fly very close to the speed of sound, at Mach 0.925.

The so-called Advance2 engine core that forms its heart is responsible for this, but also for a reduction in fuel consumption by five percent over previous variants. Thanks to this, the plane should be capable of flying distances as long as that between say New York to Shanghai (over 7,000 miles/11,200 km) without the need to refuel.

In the years that have passed since the engine's announcement, some 1,500 test hours have been completed, and the results point to the unit being more than able to meet the performance requirements of the airplane it's meant for. A run of the entire powerplant, brand new, ultra-slim nacelle included, was performed earlier in 2023.

Tests have been performed on the low-emissions combustor, which can burn 100 percent Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), the two-stage shroudless high-pressure turbine and the corresponding four-stage low-pressure turbine, and the accessory gearbox that helps harness the huge power.

Up next for the engine is the first true test in the environment it's supposed to operate in. Later this year, Rolls-Royce will begin the flight test campaign, with the powerplant installed under the wings of a Boeing 747. Flights will be performed from Tucson, Arizona.

With the engine so close to this major milestone, the company is moving along with the build of a production facility in Le Haillan, France. It's from here that production of the Dassault Falcon 10X will be supported.

As for the plane itself, the Falcon 10X will hit the market as one with the largest cabin of any purpose-built business jet, eight inches (20 cm) wider and two inches (five cm) taller than the largest such machine currently in operation.

The first flight of a complete airplane of this kind is expected sometime in 2025, joining the fight against products made by Bombardier and Gulfstream. It's expected the Falcon 10X will have a price of around $75 million.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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