The Rolls-Royce Olympus is a high-powered axial-flow turbojet aircraft engine, originally developed and produced by Bristol Aero Engines (hence the name from Greek mythology, a long time tradition of the company), later passed to Bristol Siddeley, and finally to Rolls-Royce. The original design was used as the powerplant for the Avro Vulcan V Bomber. It was later developed for sustained supersonic performance as part of the BAC TSR-2 program, and when this was cancelled was used as the powerplant for Concorde. The engine is still in production for industrial and naval power. Curtiss-Wright in the USA built a licensed version as the J67.
The Olympus was first run in 1950 reaching 10,000 lbf (44 kN) thrust. In 1953 it was test flown in an English Electric Canberra aircraft. Entering full production in 1955, the Olympus continued to be developed by Bristol Siddeley. The Olympus 101 entered service on the Vulcan B.1 in 1956, to be followed by the 102 and 104.
The 106 was a development engine for the 201. The Vulcan B.2 was the first to use the Olympus 201.
By modifications to the LP compressor (which included adding an extra LP stage) and the LP turbine, the thrust was increased from the 17,000 lbf (76 kN) of the Olympus 201 to 20,000 lbf (89 kN). The new engine was known as the Olympus 301. Due to the increased air mass, the Vulcan's air intakes had to be widened and, because of the extra compressor stage, the engines were larger and would not fit into the engine bays without extensive modifications
A marine version of the Olympus was trialled in the refitted Royal Navy frigate HMS Exmouth which became the first major warship in a western navy to be powered by gas turbine engines - conversion taking from 1966-1968. The Olympus was subsequently used for the Type 21 frigates and the sole Type 82 destroyer, HMS Bristol (TM1A).
The Rolls-Royce Olympus powers the following naval vessels:
The Olympus 593 project was started in 1964, using the BAC TSR2's Olympus 320 as a basis for development. Bristol Siddeley and Snecma Moteurs of France were to share the project. Acquiring Bristol Siddeley in 1966, Rolls-Royce continued as the British partner.