Singapore Air Show

Rolls-Royce tests Boeing 787 engine

 - December 6, 2006, 10:24 AM

Rolls-Royce has completed its first run of its Trent 1000, the engine competing with General Electric’s GEnx to power the Boeing 787.

No problems were encountered during the test, although the engine departs from tradition in being designed with a mechanical offtake for electrical power.

The 53,200- to 75,000-pound- thrust Trent 1000 is the launch engine on the 787 and will enter service powering launch customer All Nippon Airways aircraft in mid-2008. Before then, the engine will be flight tested aboard a Boeing 747 flying testbed beginning in the first quarter of 2007.

For the first time the engine was started electrically with a new intermediate-pressure compressor power offtake feature using dual-use starter-generators acting both as starters and as power generators during flight. The generators produce half a megawatt of electrical power to meet the 787’s greater electrical needs.

To date, Rolls-Royce has picked up orders for 87 Boeing 787s, against the 94 announced by GE. The GE figure does not, however, include Ethiopian Airlines’ order for the GEnx to power the ten 787s it has on firm order.