Rolls-Royce arrives at this week’s Dubai Air Show pleased with the “very positive” results achieved during 1,200 hours of testing eight examples of the new Trent XWB engine developed for the planned Airbus A350XWB twin-aisle twinjet. The first Trent XWB has recently been fitted to Airbus A380 (MSN001) and is expected to fly shortly.
Program director Chris Cholerton said the test program has seen five Trent XWBs run in four countries. The engine, said to be 16 percent more efficient than the first Trent powerplant, recently completed a 150-hour endurance type test at Spain’s Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aeroespacial (INTA) in Madrid before being shipped back to Rolls-Royce in Derby, UK, for a complete strip-down and analysis.
Rolls-Royce Trent XWB chief engineer Chris Young said the endurance test was a challenge: “The turbine-entry temperatures we were able to deliver [showed] a substantial margin at the A350-900’s full 84,000 pounds thrust, providing further confidence in the on-wing life of the engine,” which is claimed to be the fastest selling Trent engine.
Tests included operating the engine for 17 hours at the maximum temperature at redline speed. A further 42 hours were run at the 82,000 pounds maximum continuous rating, while some 40 hours were operated at 91,000 pounds thrust. One issue discovered during testing involved a “rotating airfield” at the back of the intermediate-power turbine, a circumstance that has been overcome through a local redesign.