Paris Air Show

Paris 2011: Trent XWB turbofan put to the test

 - June 19, 2011, 5:01 AM

Eight Trent XWB engines–serial numbers 20990 and 20001 through 20007–are being used in Rolls-Royce’s test program. Following are descriptions of the status or goals for each of the eight:

By the end of this month, the manufacturer hopes to complete pass-off tests of Trent XWB 20990, its most highly instrumented flight-test engine ever, ahead of trials aboard the Airbus A380 flying test bed.

Bird-ingestion trials are to be conducted with Trent XWB 20001, on which the fan blades have been fitted with strain gauges for initial tests with a “medium” bird that will continue in July with a “large” specimen. This engine was previously used for performance-envelope expansion, compressor functional operations, and operability testing.

Serial number 20002 is being used on Rolls-Royce’s Test Bed 58 at Derby for integration of aircraft interface systems. After low-pressure turbine testing in May, the unit was to be used for thermal and emissions tests, integration of buyer-furnished equipment and water ingestion trials with all work scheduled for completion before this week’ show.

 Next month will see engine cyclic tests performed with Trent XWB 20003. This month, 20004 is to begin endurance testing–involving “lots of hours” at high speed and high thrust, according to Trent XWB chief engineer Chris Young as the manufacturer confirms the powerplant’s maturity.

Trent XWB 20005 is being used for tests in the UK and the U.S. and in late May was scheduled to undergo flutter and cross-wind tests. The unit also has been involved in thermal survey work at Derby, while the U.S. program also involves fan strain-gauging, noise and thrust-reverser tests. The thermal survey has yielded positive results with Rolls-Royce saying, for example, that cooler-than-predicted disc-cavity temperatures have been demonstrated.

Engine 20006 is being reconfigured ahead of altitude testing that is scheduled to begin in the U.S. in August. The powerplant has been used to validate sea-level performance, low-, intermediate- and high-pressure bearing loads, variable-frequency generators and oil-system optimization.

            Next month, thermal and strain-gauge testing of the intermediate pressure turbine will be performed on Trent XWB 20007.