The Rolls Royce Avon turbojet engine
Development of the Rolls Royce Avon turbo jet was started in 1945 under the Rolls Royce designation AJ-65 (Axial Jet 65 hundred pounds). This was Rolls Royces first axial flow engine. It was designed by Alan Arnold Griffith as a single spool design with a 15 stage compressor and a design thrust of 6500lbs.
Developed as a potential replacement for the Rolls Royce Nene engine, first prototypes of the Rolls Royce Avon appeared in 1947. Due to a number of minor problems production did not get underway until 1950. The first production version, the Rolls Royce Avon RA.3/Mk.101 provided 6500lbs of thrust and was used in the English Electric Canberra B.2.
The Rolls Royce Avon would continue to be developed for some time. While the early versions had 8 canular combustion chambers, later versions had a can-annular combustion chamber. On some engines a simple two-position eyelet nozzle reheat system was used, giving around 30% more power. Production of the Avon for aircraft would continue until 1974, by which time an impressive total of over 11,000 had been built. The Avon was still in operational service with the RAF in the Canberra PR.9 until 23 June 2006.
Derivatives of the Rolls Royce Avon continue to be used in static industrial applications, and are still marketed by Rolls Royce as a compact high reliability power source. For example, in 2003 two electrical generating sets were ordered for the Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT) to provide additional power for PTT's Mab Ta Phut, Rayong, gas plant, which introduced Rolls-Royce Avon power in 1984.
Aircraft using the Rolls Royce Avon
The following is a list of aircraft using different versions of the Rolls Royce Avon engines.
- English Electric Canberra B.6 - Avon Mk 109 / RA.3
- Hawker Hunter - Avon Mk 104 & Mk 107
- Supermarine Swift - Avon Mk 105
- CAC CA-26 Avon Sabre - Rolls Royce Avon Mk 26 (Avon engined Australian built F-86 Sabre version)
- De Havilland Comet 2 - Rolls Royce Avon Mk 502 (6500lbs thrust)
- De Havilland Comet C.2 - Rolls Royce Avon Mk 117 (7350lbs thrust)
- Vickers Valiant - Rolls Royce Avon Mk 201
- De Havilland Comet 3 - Rolls Royce Avon RA.26 (10,000lbs thrust)
- Fairey Delta FD.2 - Rolls Royce Avon RA.14R
- Fairey Delta FD.2 - Rolls Royce Avon RA.28
- Vickers Valiant - Rolls Royce Avon RA.28
- English Electric Canberra PR.9 - Rolls Royce Avon RA.28
- De Havilland Sea Vixen - Rolls Royce Avon RA.28
- English Electric / BAC / Lightning F.1 - Rolls Royce Avon RA.24R Mk 210
- J32B Lansen - Rolls Royce Avon Mk 48 (15,190lbs with reheat)
- SAAB Draken - Rolls Royce Avon Mk 48 Built under license by Svenska Flygmotor as the RM6B
- Supermarine Scimitar F.1 - Rolls Royce Avon Mk 202
- De Havilland Comet 4 - Rolls Royce Avon RA.29 Mk 524
- Caravelle 3 - Rolls Royce Avon RA.29/3 Mk 527
- Caravelle 4 - Rolls Royce Avon RA.29/6 Mk 533R
- English Electric / BAC / Lightning - Rolls Royce Avon Mk 301 & Mk 302