Friday, November 25, 2016

News: Rolls-Royce powers new Airbus on first flight

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The latest version of the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB, the most efficient large aero engine flying in the world today, has powered the Airbus A350-1000 aircraft to the skies for the first time.

The Trent XWB-97 is the sole powerplant for the longer range A350-1000, which will enter service next year. Key parts for the Trent XWB family are manufactured at Rolls-Royce's £110m Rotherham facility.

The first test flight, which took place at Toulouse, France, marks another milestone for the highly successful Trent XWB programme. The Trent XWB-84 has already delivered outstanding performance and reliability since it first went into service in January 2015.

The Trent XWB, specifically designed for the A350 XWB, is the fastest-selling widebody engine ever, with more than 1,600 already sold.

During more than four hours aloft, the A350-1000, the longest-fuselage version of the A350 XWB that seats 366 passengers, demonstrated the performance and efficiency that will be appreciated by airline and aircraft leasing customers worldwide – 11 of which already have ordered 195 A350-1000s from the Middle East, North America, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Eric Schulz, Rolls-Royce, President – Civil Aerospace, said: "This is a great moment for Airbus and Rolls-Royce and I am proud our engines power this outstanding programme and this particular flight today. We are absolutely committed to continue to deliver new types of engines to meet the evolving needs of the industry."

Didier Evrard, Airbus EVP of Programmes, added: "Today's successful A350-1000 first-flight is an encouraging milestone for our newest and largest member of the A350 XWB family. Over the months ahead we look forward to a successful flight-test campaign, together with our partner Rolls-Royce – whose new Trent XWB-97 engine promises to deliver the performance to help make this aircraft the most economically efficient and capable in its class."

Almost half of the value of the Trent XWB engine consists of parts made in the UK by Rolls-Royce and its suppliers. Rolls-Royce manufacturing plants in the UK contributing to the engine are located at Ansty, Barnoldswick, Birmingham, Bristol, Derby, Hucknall, Inchinnan, Nuneaton, Rotherham, Sunderland and Washington.

Two types of turbine blades are manufactured at the Rotherham facility: high pressure (HP) and intermediate pressure (IP) single crystal blades. The blades are "grown" in a special process which ensures that they are created from a single metal crystal to maximise their strength. These SX blades generate the power of a Formula 1 racing car.

The most advanced turbine blade casting facility in the world was officially opened on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham in 2014. When fully operational in 2017, the 150,000 sq ft facility will employ 150 people and have the capacity to manufacture more than 100,000 single crystal turbine blades a year.

Rolls-Royce website
Airbus website

Images: Airbus


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