Unseasonably bad weather at the 2012 Farnborough International airshow required exhibitors and visitors alike to dig deep into the reserves of resilience and flexibility that they have had to draw on in business conditions that remain uncomfortably unpredictable. But despite the near-relentless British rain, the event delivered no small amount of encouragement for the aerospace sector (primarily on the commercial side of the fence) and plenty of points of interest for industry watchers.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued an emergency airworthiness directive (AD) for the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine on July 25, several days after All Nippon Airways was forced to ground five of its Boeing 787 Dreamliners when the engine maker flagged up problems during product development testing. The Trent 1000 powers all of the
All Nippon Airways returned to service the last of five grounded Boeing 787s on July 30, a little more than a week after Rolls-Royce discovered a defect in a batch of Trent 1000 engines installed in the airplanes.
Another Boeing 787 engine problem—this time involving a General Electric GEnx turbofan in an airplane destined for Air India—sparked a grass fire at Charleston International Airport during a pre-flight test on Saturday, forcing the airport to close its main runway for more than an hour.
Two All Nippon Airways Boeing 787s remain out of service after inspections uncovered a problem with their Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines. ANA grounded five of its Dreamliners over the weekend after the Rolls-Royce discovered some “minor” corrosion within an external gearbox during product development testing.
Airbus collected some $16.9 billion worth of business during last week’s Farnborough airshow, gaining firm orders for 54 airplanes and MOUs for another 61.
Rolls-Royce closed the Farnborough International airshow with a flurry of new business from Latin America. Brazil-based Synergy Aerospace signed a $630 million contract covering Trent 700 engines and TotalCare support for nine Airbus A330 aircraft ordered on July 12. Earlier, Colombia-based AviancaTaca placed a $280 million order with Rolls-Royce covering Trent 700 engines to power fourA330 freighters, as well as TotalCare support. The deal confirms a memorandum of understanding placed in November 2011. The four A330s will be operated by AviancaTaca subsidiary Tampa Cargo.
Boeing’s 787-8 is offered with both the 74,000-pound-thrust Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines and General Electric’s GEnx turbofans. The GEnx family has a thrust range of from 53,000 to 75-000 pounds.
An all-new RB3025 engine concept has been created by Rolls-Royce following a Boeing request also extended to General Electric and Pratt & Whitney for a powerplant for a future 777-size aircraft in around 2020. The current 777 is powered exclusively by the GE90.
Rolls-Royce has selected a 132.5-inch diameter for the composite fan for the 99,500-pound-thrust engine, which will sport a 12:1 bypass ratio and a 62:1 overall pressure ratio that would be the highest achieved on a commercial aircraft.
A composite fan blade, a real Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 high-bypass powerplant and a model of the Trent XWB being developed for the Airbus A350 are on the manufacturer’s stand here at Farnborough (Hall 4 Stand H3, and Innovation Zone) to illustrate the state of the engine maker’s art and where the company expects to go next.