Welcome

Welcome to the Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust Member’s Area – this is the home page for exclusive member only content

WHAT’S ON

John Harris

The Last Flight of Rudolph Hess

Scottish Branch

Clydeside Aviation

Bristol Branch

Life Prediction – Turbines

Welcome

Welcome to the Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust Member’s Area – this is the home page for exclusive member only content

WHAT’S ON

John Harris

The Last Flight of Rudolph Hess

Scottish Branch

Clydeside Aviation

Bristol Branch

Life Prediction – Turbines

Welcome

With over 100 years of history Rolls-Royce have provided the power for many icons of flight including Spitfire and Mustang, Lancaster, Comet, Jumbo Jet, Concorde, Tornado, Dreamliner and the Airbus A350. The Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust was formed in 1981 to promote and preserve its history and engineering excellence.

Visit one of the Trust’s sites and you can see and interact with the engines on which Britain’s aeronautical history was built, along with rockets, marine engines, petrol and Diesel engines and cars.

WHAT’S ON

John Harris

The Last Flight of Rudolph Hess

Scottish Branch

Clydeside Aviation

Bristol Branch

Life Prediction – Turbines

LEARN AND EXPLORE

Access our background, history, STEM and participate sections where you can learn and explore.

LEARN AND EXPLORE

Access our background, history, STEM and participate sections where you can learn and explore.

  • 1884
  • 1906
  • 1914
  • 1931
  • 1940
  • 1944
  • 1953
  • 1959
  • 1960
  • 1971
  • 1987
  • 1990
  • 1995
  • 1998
  • 1999
  • 2004
  • 2005
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 1884

    Rolls-Royce grew from the electrical and mechanical business established by Henry Royce in 1884. Royce built his first motor car in 1904 and in May of that year met Charles Rolls, whose company sold quality cars in London.

    An agreement was reached that Royce Limited would manufacture a range of cars to be exclusively sold by CS Rolls & Co – they were to bear the name Rolls-Royce.

  • 1906

    Success with the cars led to the formation of the Rolls-Royce company in March 1906 and to the launch of the six-cylinder Silver Ghost which, within a year, was hailed as ‘the best car in the world’.

  • 1914

    At the start of the First World War, in response to the nation’s needs, Royce designed his first aero engine – the Eagle, providing some half of the total horsepower used in the air war by the allies.

    The Eagle powered the first direct transatlantic flight as well as the first flight from England to Australia – both in the Vickers Vimy aircraft.

    The above photograph shows early Renault V8 engines being manufactured under licence.

  • 1931

    The late 1920s saw us develop the ‘R’ engine to power Britain’s entry in the International Schneider Trophy seaplane contest. It established a new world air speed record of over 400mph in 1931.

    Subsequently it established new world records on both land and water. More importantly, as subsequent events were to prove, it gave us the technological base to develop the Merlin, which Royce has begun to work on before his death in 1933.

  • 1940

    The Merlin powered the Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire in the Battle of Britain, however it was the Avro Lancaster four-engine heavy bomber and the de Havilland Mosquito fighter/bomber that accounted for most of the Merlins produced during the Second World War. Demand for the Merlin during the Second World War transformed us from a relatively small company into a major contender in aero propulsion.

  • 1944

    In parallel, we began development of the aero gas turbine, pioneered by Sir Frank Whittle.

    The Welland engine entered service in the Gloster Meteor fighter in 1944 and we had the confidence immediately after the war to commit ourselves to the gas turbine, in which it had a technological lead.

  • 1953

    We entered the civil gas turbine aviation market with the Dart in the Vickers Viscount. It was to become the cornerstone of universal acceptance of gas turbines by the airline industry.

    The Avon-powered Comet became the first turbojet to enter transatlantic service and in 1960, the Conway engine in the Boeing 707 became the first turbofan to enter airline service.

  • 1959

    The other major manufacturers in Britain between the wars were Armstrong Siddeley, Blackburn, Bristol, de Havilland and Napier.

    The leader among these was Bristol which, in 1959, merged with the motor car and aero-engine maker Armstrong Siddeley. Three other smaller engine companies were absorbed into Bristol Siddeley and Rolls-Royce in 1961.

    Finally, the capability of the British aero-engine industry was consolidated when we merged with Bristol Siddeley in 1966.

  • 1960

    With the emergence of the widebody airliners in the late 1960s, we launched the RB211 for the Lockheed L-1011 Tri-Star.

  • 1971

    Early problems with the RB211 led to the company being taken into state ownership, and the flotation of the motor car business in 1973 as a separate entity.

    The three-shaft turbofan concept of the RB211 has now established itself at the heart of our world-class family of engines.

  • 1987

    We returned to the private sector, undergoing a number of mergers and acquisitions to create the only company in Britain capable of delivering power for use in the air, at sea and on land.

  • 1990

    In 1990, we formed an aero engines joint venture with BMW of Germany.

    We took full control of the joint venture from January 2000. The legal name of the company is now Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co KG.

  • 1995

    Allison Engine Company in Indianapolis was acquired.

    Allison brought with it major new civil engines including the AE3007 for Embraer’s new regional jet, and existing, successful defence programmes.

  • 1998

    Rolls-Royce Motor Cars was sold by Vickers to Volkswagen, although BMW holds the rights to the name and the marque for use on Rolls-Royce cars, having acquired the rights from Rolls-Royce plc for £40m in 1998.

    BMW took over responsibility for Rolls-Royce cars from the beginning of 2003.

  • 1999

    We took full control of our oil and gas joint venture, Cooper Rolls, with the acquisition of the rotating compression equipment interests of Cooper Energy Services.

    We also acquired National Airmotive in California, a major repair and overhaul facility now part of Rolls-Royce Engine Services.

    The 1990s ended with the £576m acquisition of Vickers plc which, with primarily the Ulstein and Kamewa products and capabilities joining the our existing gas turbine activities, transformed us into the global leader in marine power systems.

  • 2004

    We celebrated our centenary throughout 2004 with a series of special events for customers, partners from education and industry, as well as employees, families and friends in the UK, Germany, Scandinavia North America and the Far East.

  • 2005

    We opened our 6,000 square metre Marine facility in Shanghai.

    Located in the Nanhui industrial zone in Shanghai, the facility is equipped with specialised machinery and a 200-strong workforce, including a growing team of service engineers.

    The revolutionary tiltrotor aircraft known as the V-22 Osprey went into its first operational use with the US Marine Corps, transforming troop deployment.

  • 2006

    The Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 is the only engine optimised specifically for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. It ran for the first time in 2006.

  • 2007

    The MT30 marine gas turbine was selected to power the US Navy’s first two DDG-1000 multi-mission destroyers.

    In October the Trent 900 was the first engine to power the Airbus A380 into service with Singapore Airlines. The A380 is the world’s largest airliner and has four engines per aircraft.

  • 2009

    In 2009 work began on a manufacturing and assembly facility at Crosspointe in the United States.

    The decision to build a large-engine assembly plant and a new wide-chord fan blade factory in Seletar, Singapore, was announced, the first of these to be built outside the UK.

    We celebrated the first flight of six of our customers’ aircraft: the Boeing 787; Gulfstream G650; Airbus A400M; Embraer Legacy 650, the BAE Systems Mantis UAV and the AgustaWestland Lynx Wildcat helicopter.

    Rolls-Royce marine power saw the US Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship go on active duty, the first sailing of the Royal Navy’s Astute class submarine and the commissioning of the Royal Navy’s first Type 45 Destroyer, HMS Daring.

  • 2010

    The engine for the Airbus A350, the Trent XWB, ran for the first time in June.

    At this point 1,150 Trent XWB engines were already on order promising to make the Trent XWB the most successful member of the Trent family.

    Our naval business secured a breakthrough order from the US Navy to power 10 Littoral Combat Ships with MT30 marine gas turbine engines. This represents the largest naval surface vessel contract the Group has signed to this date. In the UK, six Type 45 Destroyers for the Royal Navy are launched, equipped with our highly-efficient WR-21 gas turbine power system.

    Early in 2010, the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter deployed our unique LiftSystem® for the first time.

  • 2011

    The Trent 1000 is the first engine to power Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which went into service on 26 October 2011 with All Nippon Airways (ANA).

    The 1,000th production Trent 700 engine is delivered to Cathay Pacific in November.

    In May 2011, the UK Government awarded us the contract to develop a new propulsion system for the next generation of nuclear-powered submarines.

  • 2012

    The short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter entered service with the US Marine Corps and deliveries were made to the UK MoD.

    The Apprentice Academy opened in Rolls-Royce, Derby, on the 2nd November 2012, equipped with workshops containing the very latest machines, tooling and software to help train the high-class engineers of the future.

  • 2013

    The Trent XWB engine takes to the skies for the first time on an Airbus A380 test aircraft in Toulouse, France. The aircraft flew with one of its four Trent 900 engines replaced by the Trent XWB.

    Tognum, which makes MTU high-speed reciprocating engines becomes part of Rolls-Royce under the name Rolls-Royce Power Systems.

GET INVOLVED

Join our existing worldwide membership of over 2500 and as well as the benefits of membership you can also get involved with us as a volunteer. Membership is open to all with an interest in Rolls-Royce, its history and heritage.

Find out more
Join Now
get involved

GET INVOLVED

GET INVOLVED

Join our existing worldwide membership of over 2500 and as well as the benefits of membership you can also get involved with us as a volunteer. Membership is open to all with an interest in Rolls-Royce, its history and heritage.

Find out more
Join Now
get involved