Rolls-Royce Nene

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Rolls Royce Nene Mk.II

The Rolls-Royce Nene or Rolls-Royce RB.41 was, after the Welland and Derwent models, the third jet engine of the British company Rolls-Royce to be built in series. The centrifugal compressor engine was planned and built in just five and a half months in 1944 and completed its first test runs on October 27, 1944. It was used in successful British aircraft types such as the Hawker Sea Hawk and the Supermarine Attacker before the company started using the Avon engine switched to axial compressors .

The Nene powered the first civil jet aircraft, a modified Vickers Viking , which first flew on April 6, 1948.


Although it was a direct development from the work of Frank Whittle , a centrifugal compressor with two inlets was used in the Nene for an improved compression rate and thus higher thrust. It had nine combustion chambers and a single-stage axial turbine and weighed 750 kg. During the design phase, Rolls-Royce decided to give its engines both numbers and names, with the Welland and Derwent keeping their original Rover numbers , B / 23 and B / 26. Later it was thought that these numbers were too reminiscent of bombers and added the "R" from "Rolls", so that the "RB" numbers still used today arose.

At around 22 kN, the Nene achieved twice the thrust of the previous generation engines, and with similar dimensions and basic design. It would have been entirely possible to replace the older engines with the Nene. Due to the age of the Gloster Meteor , no need for further improvement was seen. Instead, a series of significantly more powerful engines based on the Rolls-Royce Avon was promoted. Radial compressor drives like the Nene then ran out.

The Nene got a river name according to company tradition, the river Nene of the same name is located in eastern England.

Licenses and production abroad

The US American Taylor Turbine Corporation built the engine as the J42-TT-2 under license. Several of the early US carrier aircraft such as the Grumman F9F Panther were equipped with this engine. The license was later sold to Pratt and Whitney , who worked with Rolls-Royce to develop a water -injected version , the J-48.

The engine was also built under license in France, China and Australia. In Australia the De Havilland Vampire of the RAAF was equipped with it.

Soviet Union

25 engines including the design plans were handed over to the Soviet Union as a token of the goodwill of the Labor government at the time , after a Soviet delegation, including Artjom Mikoyan , visited the Rolls-Royce engine production facility at the invitation of the British government in July 1946 .

The engines obtained were used in prototypes such as the Tu-78/79 , then reverse engineering also resulted in the production of unlicensed replicas such as the Klimow RD-45 and the more powerful Klimow WK-1 . These engines were produced in large series and used in several Soviet fighters, for example in the MiG-15 , one of the best fighters in the world at the time.

Technical specifications

  • Length: 2464 mm
  • Diameter: 1257 mm
  • Shear: 22.2 kN at 12,400 min -1
  • Compressor: 1-stage radial
  • Combustion chamber: 9 individual combustion chambers
  • Turbine: 1-stage axial

Web links

Commons : Rolls-Royce Nene  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Paul Duffy, AI Kandalov: Tupolev: The Man and His Aircraft edition of 173 Reference Series, published by SAE, 1996 ISBN 978-1-56091-899-8 , page 102
  2. Revisiting the 'Nene Blunder': Western Aviation Technology Transfers to China , ETH Center for Security Studies,