Rolls-Royce ran the Trent XWB engine for the first time on Thursday aboard a testbed in Derby, UK, the company announced on Friday. Chosen to power the Airbus A350 XWB, the Trent XWB remains the sole powerplant option for the new airliner. The engine’s first run meets program commitments established in 2006, said Rolls-Royce.
It seems Boeing hasn’t convinced everyone of the value of its standard engine interface feature on the 787 Dreamliner, which the company says allows quick and cost-effective changeability between the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000s and GE GEnx-1B turbofans chosen to power the airplane.
In 2009 the annual Product Support Survey produced by NBAA Convention News’ sister publication Aviation International News Williams International keeps the top slot in turbofans and GE stays last, but otherwise almost all the deck gets shuffled. Among turboprop/turboshaft manufacturers, Honeywell remains on top and Turbomeca falls into last place.
Indianapolis is now home to the third Rolls-Royce global On-Wing Care center to open in the past 18 months. The engine maker’s latest facility in a global network of repair and overhaul service centers, it will serve as Rolls-Royce’s new North American headquarters for the On-Wing Care program. The $1 million On-Wing Care center located at Indianapolis International Airport becomes the sixth Rolls-Royce facility in the Indianapolis area.
Rolls-Royce yesterday received EASA certification for its 16,000-pound-thrust BR725 engine. Similar approval from the FAA is expected soon. The launch platform for the new powerplant is the Gulfstream G650, which is scheduled to fly by year-end. “The BR725 development program has progressed extremely quickly and efficiently with a clear focus on technology and delivering key milestones.
Gulf Air has selected the Rolls-Royce Trent 700EP turbofan to power 20 previously ordered Airbus A330 aircraft, along with a TotalCare long-term service agreement. With the spares, the order totals 44 engines for $1.5 billion. Deliveries are scheduled to start in 2012.
Rolls-Royce has opened its new North American headquarters for On-Wing Care at Indianapolis International Airport. The $1 million, 14,000-sq-ft hangar and 11,000-sq-ft-shop provide line maintenance and “hospital level” support for all Rolls-Royce corporate and regional aircraft engines. A company spokesman said the facility can handle more than 100 engines a year.
In both engineering and visual terms, the open rotor is a huge departure from the turbofans that power today’s aircraft. As such, Rolls-Royce believes its market acceptance will involve a comprehensive understanding of the operational environment in which it will function.
Rolls-Royce, in its annual 10-year market forecast, sees a market characterized by near-term softness followed by a resumption of growth. Over the period, total helicopter deliveries are predicted to be 15,800, a slight increase on the figure from last year’s forecast.
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.