A Bit About Our Specialty - The T-56 Jet Engine


The T56 is a single shaft, modular design military turboprop with a 14 stage axial flow compressor driven by a four stage turbin produced by Rolls-Royce. The commercial version is designated T501-D. It was originally developed by Allison, which Rolls-Royce acquired in 1995.


The T56 entered production in 1954 and over 18,000 engines have been produced since, loging some 200 million flying hours.


While the T56 is a jet engine, it uses a propeller to produce most of its thrust. A gearbox converts the T-56 high speed compressor and turbine rotation down which turns the propeller at a much slower, more efficient speed. The production T-56 engine delivers 4,800 horsepower with 4,000 horsepower driving the propeller and an additional 800 lbs. of thrust produced by the jet exhaust. Its maximum operating altitude is 55,000 ft. The T56 turboprop has been in continuous production since 1954, and was originally designed to power the Lockheed C-130 Hercules but is also installed in the P-3, and E-2/C-2 aircraft. A marine equivalent is used by the Navy to generate electrical power for its destroyer-class ships.


The commercial equivalent of T56 is the 501D, which powers the Lockheed Electra and Convair 580 commercial aircraft. The 501K is a commercial engine used in several applications in a number of industries including the energy industry. There is a worldwide network of commercial support for this engine group.


More than 50 years have elapsed since the Air Force issued its original design specification, yet the remarkable C-130 remains in production. The initial production model was the C-130A, with four Allison T56-A-11 or -9 turboprops. A total of 219 were ordered and deliveries began in December 1956.



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