posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 06:01 AM
When Lockheed were designing the L-1011, its engine was to be the Rolls-Royce RB211.
This engine was a very high risk program, with corresponding high returns if it went right. It was to be the first of the wide-chord fan blade
engines, using carbon fibre fan blades as opposed to the thinner titanium blades with mid-span snubbers - thus it was going to be far, far more
efficient... if it worked.
Unfortunately, Rolls had serious problems with delamination of the carbon fibre blades - this bankrupted Rolls, the UK government had to save the
company by nationalising it. Lockheed had to get the US government to bail them out of the resulting mess. Eventually, with the recalling of several
veteran engineers, they got the RB211 out in service, and it has since evolved into one of the greatest engines out there - the current Trents being a
pretty straight evolution of the design.
Unfortunately, Lockheed were badly stung by this, and decided (for good or bad) to steer away from civilan projects and concentrate on military
matters... who knows, that may have been part of the government deal that saved the company.