Dubai Air Show

ILFC orders A350XWB engines

 - November 11, 2007, 7:05 PM

Rolls-Royce has notched another sale of its Trent XWB engine for the Airbus A350XWB, this time to International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC).

The $800 million order, for engines to power 20 aircraft, brings firm sales of the 74,000lb – 92,000lb thrust Trent XWB to engines for 192 aircraft. More orders appear likely to come at the air show as a result of Airbus’ expected announcement of further sales of the A350XWB, for which Rolls-Royce remains the exclusive engine supplier.

R-R said it will complete final engine configuration and technology selection of the engine by mid-2008. Ground testing is scheduled for 2010, flight testing in 2011 and first flight on the A350XWB the year after.

GE Aviation has yet to commit to powering the Airbus with a new version of the GEnx on the competing Boeing 787. It has shown reluctance to develop a brand new engine for the entire A350XWB range because the largest version, the A350XWB-1000, competes directly with the existing ultra-long range Boeing 777-300ER, powered exclusively by the GE90, an arrangement with which at the Paris air show in June GE said it was “extremely happy”.   

GE GEnx program manager Tom Brisken told AIN at Paris that GE talked “daily” with Airbus about powering the new aircraft. “We very much want to join the A350XWB program, and we’ve been looking at installation issues and tradeoffs to ensure the engine is sized correctly,” he said. “We have some exciting things in the pipeline and we think the XWB would benefit from that.”  However, the anticipated launch has not yet materialized, as Airbus remains firmly committed to i

Every new order gained by Rolls-Royce only serves to dig deeper into the potential sales revenue for GE aboard the new Airbus. Even before the show, Airbus had announced around 300 “commitments” for the A350XWB, all of which will be Trent-powered–unless GE comes up with its own engine.