Monday, July 23, 2018

News: Rolls-Royce flying high at Farnborough

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Plans for a flying taxi, powering Airbus' whale-shaped BelugaXL and recreating its engines in Lego may have made the headlines for Rolls-Royce at the Farnborough International Airshow but it is the latest accreditations and constant stream of contract announcements for its Trent engines that are powering the world-renowned engineers to new heights.

A month on from confirming a "fundamental restructuring" programme that affects 4,600 jobs, and still also reeling from problems from earlier iterations of its Trent 1000 engines, Rolls-Royce has used the trade show to announce new deals and discuss key milestones.

Rolls-Royce's £110m facility on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham is the most advanced turbine blade casting facility in the world. The 150,000 sq ft facility employs around 150 people and has the capacity to manufacture more than 100,000 single crystal turbine blades a year.

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At Farnborough, which attracts 100,000 visitors over the trade days alone, Rolls-Royce announced a number of new deals: STARLUX Airlines of Taiwan selected 17 and Sichuan Airlines selected ten Airbus A350 aircraft, which are powered by the Trent XWB; AirAsia X selected a further 34, and Uganda Airlines selected two Airbus A330neo aircraft, powered by the Trent 7000 engine; Hi Fly, a Portuguese charter airline headquartered in Lisbon, becomes a new operator of Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines following the addition of an Airbus A380 to its growing fleet.

The A330neo was a star attraction at Farnborough Airshow, where it made its first appearance. Airbus itself won further new business for 431 aircraft (93 firm orders and 338 MoUs).

The A330neo is exclusively powered by the Trent 7000 which brings together more than 50 million flying hours of experience from the Trent 700, which powers the original version of the A330. It combines architecture from the Trent 1000 TEN – the latest version of the Trent 1000 engine – and the latest technology from the Trent XWB.

Trent engines contain turbine blades made in Rotherham.

The A330neo has received its "ticket to fly" from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) this month, with Rolls-Royce also delivering the first production engines to the Airbus facility in Toulouse, France.

The Trent 7000 is the fourth Rolls-Royce engine to receive formal certification in just 12 months, following in the footsteps of the Trent 1000 TEN, Trent XWB-97, and Pearl 15.

Chris Cholerton, President – Civil Aerospace at Rolls-Royce, said: "This is another great milestone in a period of unprecedented activity for us. Certifying and delivering the Trent 7000 engine further strengthens our position on the latest generation of aircraft and I would like to thank everyone at EASA and Airbus, as well as my own Rolls-Royce colleagues, who have worked so closely to get to this point.

"We now look forward to supporting Airbus and TAP Air Portugal as they prepare for the aircraft to enter into service later this year."

The 68-72,000lb thrust Trent 7000 will deliver a step change in performance and economics compared to the Trent 700. Benefitting from a bypass ratio double that of its predecessor, the Trent 7000 will improve specific fuel consumption by ten per cent, and will significantly reduce noise.

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Also this month, Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines powered Airbus' new BelugaXL air transporter (pictured) on its first flight from Toulouse, France.

The BelugaXL is based on an Airbus A330 design and is used to carry complete sections of Airbus aircraft from different production sites and to the final assembly lines in Europe.

Rolls-Royce website

Images: Airbus / Rolls-Royce

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