This is a Rolls-Royce T58 Gnome turboshaft engine, originally designed for use in helicopters by American company General Electric, and later built under license by de Havilland, Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz, Alfa Romeo, and Rolls-Royce.

The General Electric T58 entered development in 1953 to meet a 1953 US Navy requirement for a helicopter turboshaft engine with a weight under 400 lbs (180 kgs) capable of 800 bhp. The final T58 design far exceeded these requirements, weighing in at just 250 lbs (110 kgs) and producing 1,050 bhp.

General Electric Jet Engines

Image DescriptionThis vintage General Electric chart shows the company’s selection of small aircraft engines – the GE T58 is shown on the lower lefthand corner. Image courtesy of General Electric.

The General Electric T58 was quickly approved for production, and was first flow in an experimental Sikorsky HSS-1 helicopter in 1957. In 1959 it became the first turbine engine to gain FAA certification for civil helicopter use, and over the coming three decades it would become one of the most important helicopter engines in the world.

The T58 would eventually power a vast array of helicopters including the Bell UH-1F, Boeing CH-46 Sea Knight, Bell X-22, Aerospatiale SA 321K Super Frelon, Agusta A.101, Fairchild VZ-5, Kaman K-16B, Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King, Sikorsky HH-52 Seaguard, and a slew of others.

The engine would be built under license as mentioned above, and these license-built versions would then power a further array of aircraft including the Westland Sea King and Commando, Westland Whirlwind, Westland Wessex, Vertol 107, Agusta A.101, and the hovercraft models Saunders-Roe SR.N5 and Saunders-Roe SR.N6.

Interestingly, it would be the T58 engine that powered the Carroll Shelby turbine cars at the 1968 Indianapolis 500 race. Though these cars were disqualified over a dispute surrounding the maximum allowable inlet size.

Rolls-Royce T58 Gnome Turboshaft Engine 5

Image DescriptionThe original General Electric T58 would become the first turbine engine to gain FAA certification for civil helicopter use.

The engine you see here is a retired T58 that we think is a Rolls-Royce unit based on the eBay description, though this would need to be clarified before any purchase takes place. The listing doesn’t elaborate as to whether the engine is operational or not, it would no longer be suitable for helicopter use of course, but it could potentially be used to power an unusual car.

If you’d like to read more about the engine or enquire about it you can visit the listing here. It’s being offered out of Jouy le Moutier, France with a Buy It Now price of $9,000 USD.

Rolls-Royce T58 Gnome Turboshaft Engine 4 Rolls-Royce T58 Gnome Turboshaft Engine 3 Rolls-Royce T58 Gnome Turboshaft Engine 2 Rolls-Royce T58 Gnome Turboshaft Engine 1 Rolls-Royce T58 Gnome Turboshaft Engine 6

Images courtesy of eBay

Published by Ben Branch -