By the beginning of June, the first 84,000-pound-thrust Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine had flown for more than 40 hours aboard the Airbus A380 flying testbed (FTB) as Airbus moves toward a first A350 flight “probably around mid-2013,” according to engine program director Chris Young. Trent XWB Serial Number 20990 had logged 43 hours and was scheduled to make two more flights before replacement by S/N21000, dubbed FTB2 (see box).
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News and issues relating to air transport and cargo engines.
Ten Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines–serial numbers (S/Ns) 20990, 20001 through 20006, 20009 and 21000–are being used in the test program.
•By last month, some 43 hours’ testing had been accumulated during 14 of 16 scheduled flights with initial flight-test unit S/N 20990, which will subsequently be available to provide spare capacity. Rolls-Royce says the powerplant is its most highly instrumented flight-test engine ever.
Last year commercial airline Volga-Dnepr had revenues of $1.741 billion and generated a net profit of $59.3 million. At the same time, its debts rose to $186 million and, by the company’s estimates, are expected to increase by a further $250- to $300 million during 2012 as Volga-Dnepr borrows more capital money for its Boeing 747-8F acquisitions.
The anticipated signing of a government-to-government deal between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Victor Yanukovich, is expected to kick-start a plan to resume production of Antonov’s An-124 Ruslan freighter.
Airbus has completed the first phase of the A350XWB flight test bed (FTB) campaign, including testing of the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine and Goodrich nacelle system. The campaign comprises more than 100 hours of running time and nearly 80 flight hours.
Few expected CFM International to match its record sales campaign of 2011 this year, but after his company sold 900 engines through the first six months of 2012, one might excuse company chief executive Jean-Paul Ebanga for a moment to allow him to catch his breath.
Sagem, part of France’s Safran Group, and Germany’s MTU Aero Engine have formed a 50-50 joint venture company for equipment control software and hardware. Dubbed Aerospace Embedded Solutions (AES), the new company will provide “safety-critical” products for military and civil aviation with applications including engines, landing gear and thrust reversers.
GKN Aerospace is set to create a $1.4 billion engine components business when it completes its acquisition of Volvo Aero, announced last week. The UK-based group is to pay approximately $981 million for Volvo Aero, which already supplies components for all major aircraft engine manufacturers.
General Electric/Safran joint venture Nexcelle has successfully completed the test program for the thrust reverser on next-generation integrated propulsion systems (IPS).
Canada’s National Research Council (Hall 4 Stand C18B) has been flight-testing its Dassault Falcon 20 fueled by biofuel while sampling the exhaust using a probe fitted to a Lockheed T-33 chase plane. The NRC believes the exercise to be a world first.