Rolls-Royce Olympus

The Rolls-Royce Olympus (originally the Bristol B.E.10 Olympus) was the world's first two-spool axial-flow turbojet aircraft engine, originally developed and produced by Bristol Aero Engines. First running in 1950, its initial use was as the powerplant of the Avro Vulcan V bomber. The design was further developed for supersonic performance as part of the BAC TSR-2 programme. Later it saw production as the Rolls-Royce/Snecma Olympus 593, the powerplant for Concorde SST.

Bristol Aero Engines (formerly Bristol Engine Company) merged with Armstrong Siddeley Motors in 1959 to form Bristol Siddeley Engines Limited (BSEL) which in turn was taken over by Rolls-Royce in 1966.

As of 2012, the Olympus remains in service as both a marine and industrial gas turbine. It also powers the restored Avro Vulcan XH558.

Mk.320 (of which the museum has two)
The performance specification for TSR2 was issued in 1962. It was to be powered by two BSEL Olympus Mk 320 (BOl.22R) engines rated at 30,610 lbf (136.2 kN) with reheat at take-off. The engine was a cutting edge derivative of the Olympus Mk 301 with a Solar-type afterburner. The engine first ran in March 1961 and was test flown in February 1962 underslung Vulcan B1 XA894 and was demonstrated at the Farnborough Air Show in September. In December 1962 during a full power ground run at Filton, the engine blew up after an LP turbine failure, completely destroying its host Vulcan in the subsequent fire.

General characteristics (Olympus 101)

  • Type: Axial flow two-spool turbojet
  • Length: 152.2 in (387 cm)
  • Diameter: 40 in (100 cm)
  • Dry weight: 3,615 lb (1,640 kg)


  • Maximum thrust: 11,000 lbf (49 kN)
  • Specific fuel consumption: .817
  • Power-to-weight ratio: 3.04:1


  • Compressor: Axial 6 LP pressure stages, 8 HP stages
  • Combustors: Cannular 10 flame tubes
  • Turbine: HP single stage, LP single stage
  • Fuel type: AVTUR or AVTAG