As Airbus prepares to put together the first A350 XWB, the European manufacturer acknowledges the stiff task it faces to open the final assembly line (FAL) by the end of this year and to fly the aircraft within 12 months thereafter. It says significant challenges remain to start the FAL by year’s end with “an appropriate level of quality to prepare the ramp-up.”
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  family,” so if Boeing looks at payload/range or economics “so will Rolls-Royce.”
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.
With positive early test results and an accelerating work schedule, Rolls-Royce is confident it can deliver the Trent XWB as a mature engine, ready for full production before the end of 2014. Related technology programs are said to be on track in terms of high temperature and thrust.
Building on a strong upturn in global airline traffic, Airbus is ramping up production of all its models–A320 family, A330 and A380–while keeping a careful eye on possible supply chain issues that could hit increased output rates for these models and also for the new A350 XWB widebody. Meanwhile, costs and an uncompetitive euro-dollar exchange continue to give headaches to the European airframer’s top management.
Building on a strong upturn in global traffic, Airbus is ramping up production of all its models–the A320 family, A330 and A380–dealing with several supply chain issues, a couple of them quite unusual and impossible to anticipate.
Rolls-Royce believes it can contain the financial cost of last November’s uncontained disc failure in a Trent 900 engine to not much more than £56 million ($89.6 million). It allocated that amount for dealing with the fallout from the accident on a Qantas A380 airliner in its financial results for 2010, announced on February 10.
Airbus has received the first set of Messier-Dowty-built A350 XWB main landing gear, the European airframer announced today. Delivered to Airbus’s A350 XWB landing gear systems test facility in Filton, UK, the main landing gear set for the A350-900 follows the arrival last month of the nose landing gear produced by Liebherr.
Airbus has moved forward by six months its target to introduce the A320neo, in effect pre-empting any word from Boeing about its choice of whether to re-engine the 737 or introduce a new “clean-sheet” design. John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer for customers, said he thinks the U.S.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) yesterday withdrew requirements for repetitive Rolls-Royce Trent 900 inspections it mandated following the uncontained failure of a Qantas Airbus A380 engine last November. The relevant airworthiness directive (AD 2010-0242R1), which applies to all examples of seven engine variants, follows “further assessment of manufacturing data and additional stress analysis.”