Thursday, October 19, 2017

News: Rolls-Royce powers Airbus A330neo first test flight

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The Trent 7000 engine from Rolls-Royce, complete with key components manufactured in Rotherham, has powered the new Airbus A330neo into the skies for its first test flight.

The innovative engine, the exclusive power plant for the A330neo, is the seventh member of the Trent family which has become the engine of choice in the wide body market over the last 20 years.

The flight in Toulouse also marked an important milestone for Rolls-Royce as it celebrates its third "first flight" in less than 12 months, the others being the Trent XWB-97 and Trent 1000 TEN, an unprecedented achievement in the aerospace industry. Each programme has brought together more than 20,000 parts to create an engine that then undergoes rigorous testing at a number of test beds and facilities around the world.

Before the first flight, the Trent 7000 has undergone a series of ground tests that has included: altitude, icing, cross-wind, noise and cyclic testing in USA, and endurance, operability and functional performance testing in UK.

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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 to see the latest member of the Trent family power this outstanding aircraft for the first time today. We have helped Airbus create a new product that offers customers a transformation in performance and economics. We are now focused on supporting the flight test programme and ensuring our customers have a smooth entry into service."

Drawing on the technology and experience of the most advanced family of engines in the world, key components include the turbine blades which rotate at 12,500 rpm, with their tips reaching 1,200mph – nearly twice the speed of sound. At take off each of the engine's high pressure turbine blades generates around 800 horsepower per blade - similar to a Formula One 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. The 150,000 sq ft facility employs 150 people and has the capacity to manufacture more than 100,000 single crystal turbine blades a year. The advanced turbine blade castings are produced for the company's most modern, high-thrust engines.

There are two types of turbine blade manufactured at the Rotherham facility: high pressure (HP) and intermediate pressure (IP) single crystal blades. There are over 65 in every iconic Trent engine and 182 turbine blades in each Trent XWB engine.

Rolls-Royce website
Airbus website

Images: UKSE

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