Mitsubishi to Partner on Trent XWB

 - January 20, 2009, 5:35 AM

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has decided to participate in development of the new Rolls-Royce Trent XWB aero-engine for the Airbus A350 XWB, the company announced today. As a risk- and revenue-sharing partner (RRSP), MHI will take responsibility for the development and manufacture of the components for the engine’s combustion system and manufacture of low-pressure turbine blades and others.

The latest high-bypass Trent-series engine will offer thrust ratings across a range of between 74,000 and 92,000 pounds. The Trent XWB remains the only engine type that Airbus has secured for the A350 XWB family, as the European airframe maker has so far failed to convince GE to develop a family that would offer a wide-enough thrust range to power the A350 XWB-1000.

To date, MHI has cooperated with Rolls-Royce through its involvement in the V2500 engine program, and as an RRSP it has participated in Rolls-Royce’s program to develop the Trent 1000, an engine earmarked for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

MHI calls its participation in the Trent XWB “an ideal opportunity to strengthen its international competitiveness in core technology for aero-engines by joining in the engine’s development from the initial design stage.” It also means that MHI will now have a hand in the development of engines that satisfy most needs of the large-size commercial aircraft engine market segment, said the company.

Apart from the Trent XWB, MHI’s involvement in the commercial engine business has included development and manufacture of Pratt & Whitney’s PW4000, PW6000, JT8D-200 and other engine models, International Aero Engines’ (IAE) V2500 and the aforementioned Trent 1000.