Tuesday, July 15, 2014

News: Rolls-Royce to supply Airbus for A330 revamp

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Airbus has selected the new Trent 7000 from Rolls-Royce as the exclusive engine for the new Airbus A330neo.

Both the new engine and revamped plane were launched on the first day of the Farnborough International Airshow, one of the world's largest exhibitions and air displays.

The A330neo will be added to Airbus' Widebody Family with aerodynamic enhancements and new cabin features, and the ultra efficient Trent engine, reducing fuel consumption by 14% per seat, making it the most cost efficient, medium range widebody aircraft on the market.

The majority of modern widebody aircraft, either in service or on order, are powered by Rolls-Royce Trent engines. Combining previous work developing the Trent 700 - the engine of choice for the current A330; the Trent 1000; and the Trent XWB - the world's most efficient large civil engine, the new Trent 7000 will improve specific fuel consumption by ten per cent; have twice the bypass ratio; and will halve perceived noise.

The engines will contain turbine blades manufacturing in Rotherham at Rolls-Royce's Advanced Blade Casting Facility (ABCF). Made from single crystals using the very latest manufacturing techniques, these SX blades generate the power of a Formula 1 racing car. The temperature within the high pressure turbine is 1,700 degrees centigrade, hotter than the melting point of the turbine blades themselves so they have to be coated with a special ceramic and cooled with air passed through the discs and out of a series of precise holes in the blade.

Production is underway in Rotherham and the ground-breaking manufacturing techniques are being validated. The facility, on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) has the capacity to produce 200,000 turbine blades per year.

Rolls-Royce spends around £1bn a year on research and development as it strives to develop new manufacturing techniques and make its engines more efficient and cost effective. The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing in Rotherham is to work with partners on the development of next-generation Rolls-Royce engines. The AMRC is also working with Airbus on on a new ultra high strength aerospace steel.

Fabrice Bregier, president and chief executive officer at Airbus, said: "The A330neo is the logical evolution of our reliable and versatile A330 Family. It provides an optimal solution for airlines around the world looking to minimise their fuel and operating costs while offering best-in-class comfort to their passengers. We see strong market potential for the A330neo and we are confident this new aircraft will be a success in the medium-haul segment.

"The Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 combines world-leading experience and cutting-edge technology to play a vital role in ensuring the success of this aircraft for decades to come."

Eric Schulz, president, Civil Large Engines at Rolls-Royce, added: "The Trent 7000 is the natural selection for the A330neo, bringing together our engine experience, design architecture and leading-edge technology. With this pedigree, supported by TotalCare services that maximise aircraft availability, the economic advantages of the Trent 7000 are helping to write this new chapter in the A330 success story."

The decision to revamp the A330 was immediately vindicated with the announcement that Air Lease Corporation is to buy 25 A330neo planes as part of a $14 billion order with Airbus.

Airbus website
Rolls-Royce website

Images: Airbus

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