Engineers at Rolls-Royce have overseen the first run of the Trent XWB, the engine that will power the new Airbus A350 XWB family of aircraft.
The Trent XWB ran for first time on 17 June on a testbed in Derby. The engine is claimed to be the most fuel efficient large engine design currently available, with 28 per cent better fuel efficiency than pre-Trent generation engines.
Didier Evrard, Airbus’ head of the A350 XWB Programme, said: “The first engine run of the Trent XWB has been achieved fully on time with our schedule and is a major milestone that marks the coming to life of the new aircraft.”
The first run starts the most extensive pre-flight programme in Trent history, before the start of flight tests on an Airbus A380 testbed next year and A350 XWB flight tests in 2012. Seven development engines will be running by early 2011.
In terms of technology and performance, the Trent XWB will be available with a thrust of up to 93,000lb. It will use Rolls-Royce’s existing three-shaft architecture, while infusing the latest technology from several research and demonstrator programmes. Design features include blisks, contra-rotation, low hub-tip ratio swept fan and new materials technology.
Rolls-Royce said the Trent XWB will also incorporate the latest noise and emissions reduction technology, with the combustion system representing a further development of the Trent 900 and Trent 1000.