Rolls-Royce and Aircelle have signed a service contract for the Trent 900 engine nacelles that will be fitted to British Airways Airbus A380s. The airline has ordered 12 of the type.
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).
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.
Operators of Boeing 787s powered by the latest-standard GEnx-1Bs are promised real fuel savings over similar aircraft with competing engines, according to engine maker General Electric. The powerplants also will be more durable and remain “on wing” longer if equipped with two performance improvement packages: PIPs I and II.
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.
Italian propulsion component company Avio has made the trip to Farnborough to showcase its role in some of the engine industry’s latest and most advanced offerings.
A GE partner, Avio holds a 12-percent share in the GEnx engine (an option for the Boeing 787) and carries responsibility for the accessory drive gearbox, stator parts of the low-pressure turbine and lubrication system.
Rolls-Royce will not be rushing to spend the proceeds from selling its 32.5-percent equity and program shares in International Aero Engines (IAE) to Pratt & Whitney (P&W), according to civil aerospace president Mark King. The $1.5 billion cash sum will be retained for general corporate purposes, said the company, which is making a “modest” financial investment in P&W’s PW1100G-JM geared turbofan (GTF) powerplant offered for the re-engined Airbus A320neo program.
Rolls-Royce was close to reaching an agreement with Boeing on the requirements for a Trent 1000-powered 787-10X just ahead of the Farnborough International Airshow. The planned new version of the Dreamliner widebody could become a formal program later this year, possibly linked to the prospective launch of an upgraded 777.
Substantial order cancellations struck both Boeing and Airbus during the month of April, leaving the Boeing 787 in negative territory for the year and the A350 backlog significantly dented, according to data released last week by both manufacturers.
The Kuznetsov design bureau, part of the United Engine Corporation (ODK), unveiled a new geared turbofan design at the Engines 2000 exhibition in Moscow last month. The PD30 is proposed for an upgrade to the Antonov An-124 Ruslan heavy airlifter, which is currently powered by the Ukrainian Ivchenko Progress D18T. The PD30 could also power Russia’s proposed widebody airliner, known as Airplane 2020.