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Rolls-Royce RB211 turbofan aero engine, 1970.


© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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Geoffrey Wilde (b 1917) was the originator of the RB211 which asisted the development of all Rolls-Royce's large engines. It was conceived due to the problems asociated with noise and rising fuel costs. When the jet engine was used on low-speed aircraft, low propulsive efficiency wasted energy, This was because the exhaust leaving the engine has exces speed relative to surrounding air, and the energy is dispersed into the atmosphere, resulting in noise. The British Government acquired the company and financed the development costs.
 
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