I have noticed not many airlines opt for RR engines for their 747 fleet, why is that? in the 70s and 80s it was just Saudia, British Airways, Qantas, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific and some examples of Malaysian Airlines 747s that had Rolls Royce engines, in the 90s and at present its again just Qantas, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, British Airways, South African and Cargolux any others? why are General Electric and Pratt & Whitney engines more popular with 747 operators?
I think this is because the RB211-524D4 engines that were installed on these 747's were quite thirsty powerplants, as well as being significantly heavier than the P&W JT9D's or GE CF6 engine options, due to the shorter and fatter cowling design.
The RB211 engines were good performers in 'hot and high' environments, which is a reason why airlines such as Saudia and Cathay Pacific used them, Saudia in particular (Saudia used the RB211-524 powerplant on it's L-1011 TriStar aircraft).
The Malaysian Airlines RR powered 747 was actually purchased from British Airways, which is why that particular 747 had RR powerplants.
What's interesting was that Rolls-Royce recouped a lot of the investment in the RB.211 because they did get it qualified on the 747. That allowed R-R to build the smaller RB.211-535 series, which became the most popular engine on the Boeing 757.
Because of the longer nacelle design, this is why R-R engines are quieter than P&W engines because of the better mixing of hot and cold gases, which muffles noise more effectively.
It's interesting that most RR operators have strong ties with Great Britain. Commonwealth, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia (Back from the early oil years).
But definitely, the RR on the 744 is the most graceful.
Cathay Pacific is a big customer of Rolls Royce given CX is owned by Swire Group which is British and RR is also British. CX's fleet is all powered by Rolls Royce except for Airbus A340-300 as there is only one powerplant available, which is the CFM56 engines. CFM is a consortia between General Electric and Rolls Royce so therefore there is a link to RR there through Scema.
The RR engines on Boeing 747-400 and Airbus A330-300 aircrafts look the best.