Paris Air Show

Paris 2011: Next Up: Power for Boeing’s 787-10X

 - June 19, 2011, 5:02 AM

Rolls-Royce is working “very closely” on the engine requirements for a 787-10X development being considered by Boeing, according to Trent 1000 program director Simon Carlisle. “The goal is to be ready with an engine for the whole [787] family,” so if Boeing looks at payload/range or economics “so will Rolls-Royce.”

The UK engine manufacturer is confident that the Trent 1000 engine, developed to power the much-delayed Boeing 787, will be a mature product when it enters service with Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) later this year. Carlisle said the Trent 1000 is “the only engine certificated to 74,000 pounds thrust, [approved for] 330 minutes extended-range twin-engine operations, [to have performed] over 1,000 flights [and flown] over 2,800 hours.” The 787 flight test program has “gone very well for us,” according to R-R, which has almost 50 engines completed or in manufacture.

In May, two significant Trent 1000 flight test activities remained to be conducted: extended-range twin-engine operations clearance and function and reliability trials. But the engine development had been held back by that of the airframe, which has been delayed by more than three years. “The program has been much slower than we would have liked,” said Carlisle. “I guess we’ll never know what 2007 entry-into-service would have been like, but the engine is now much more reliable.”

Next month, Boeing will conduct 787 operational validation flights with ANA. Rolls-Royce said a high level of support–both people and parts–is being established ahead of service entry–initially in Japan, then in Europe and on the U.S. West Coast.

The engine manufacturer, which is “seeing more [sales] campaign activity” as airlines are “beginning to wind up acquisitions in anticipation of the end of the recession,” expects to see order decisions coming at the end of the year. It claims a 50-percent customer share, saying that one of its 21 Trent 1000 customers remains “unannounced,” while another is a private customer.

At ranges below 3,000 nm, a new Trent 1000 delivers up to a 1.5 percent advantage over its competitor, according to program chief engineer Andrew Green. “The [engine’s] superior performance retention is worth an additional one percent through [more efficient] fuel burn, saving over $1 million per aircraft over 15 years,” he explained. 

Rolls-Royce has already developed A and B variants, and Carlisle said a planned Trent 1000C, and the 787-10X, will be “all about economy.” The manufacturer is evaluating all phases of economic fuel burn as it seeks to understand Boeing requirements so it can provide all necessary thrust.

Claiming that the Trent 1000 delivers the best lifetime fuel-burn for the 787, Rolls-Royce said the engine offers very significant margins over likely future emissions standards on noise, smoke, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and ultra-hydrocarbons. Green said the 787-8’s claimed QC0.25 noise quotient is “pretty unprecedented.”

Green also said the Trent family, which has logged some 65 million flying hours, has enjoyed a 15-percent efficiency improvement since the advent of the Trent 700. The smaller engine benefits from both the Trent 800 and Trent 1000. The latter is contributing technology to the Trent 900 product-improvement program now under way and, in turn, the Trent 800. The company is considering how best to deliver new Trent 1000s from its Asian factory in Singapore to Boeing’s final assembly line in the U.S.