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Rolls-Royce TEN Engine for 787 Stretch Variants Progresses

 - November 15, 2013, 5:00 AM
Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines powered the Boeing 787-9’s first flight in September. The upgraded Trent 1000-TEN is under development and is to enter service on the 787-8 and -9 in 2016.

Rolls-Royce (R-R) has completed a 1,500-cycle test of its new Trent 1000-TEN engine and is well into the demonstration phase ahead of formal testing in early 2014, according to T1000 program chief engineer Gareth Jones. In mid-October, the initial demonstrator unit was being stripped down in R-R’s development department as the company prepared to assemble a second test engine.

This latest family variant (see Rolls-Royce Trent 1000-TEN characteristics sidebar), which is designed to provide up to 78,000 pounds thrust and is available to power each 787 version, is scheduled to enter service on the Boeing 787-8 and -9 in 2016 and the planned -10 “double-stretch” model two years later. Alternative thrust levels will be available through replacement of the data-entry plug to re-rate engines, according to Jones.

The -TEN is expected to fly aboard a Boeing 747 testbed in early 2015 before Boeing’s own flight testing of the new powerplant begins, following engine certification in the third quarter of that year. (Its -TEN suffix stands for Thrust, Efficiency and New technology.)

Last month the company began parts manufacture for the first T1000-TEN development example, including intermediate-pressure (IP) turbine blade casting, IP compressor front case, high-pressure turbine blade wax pattern and the HP/IP case. The UK engine manufacturer said it is “well on track” toward assembly of the unit. Meanwhile, R-R is continuing to deliver the T1000 Package B upgrade, now in service, and to develop the Pack C that will become available next year.

The T1000-TEN represents a further development of the current engine (which is dedicated to the 787) with a higher bypass ratio and a “fundamentally different bill of materials,” said Jones. “The compression ratio is up a shade on [that of] the Pack C, but with a different core compressor–[it’s] not just a throttle push that would drive new pressure ratios.”

In early 2013, R-R completed the strip and layout of a Pack C upgrade following 150 hours of testing and by last month it had finished cyclic running of an engine to support 330-minute extended-range twin-engine operations (Etops). The flying testbed (FTB) program, using three different engines, was completed ahead of European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) airworthiness approval, which was granted in September. EASA certification for Etops flights is expected in early 2014 well ahead of entry into service, said Jones.

Last month, Jones said it was too early for R-R to share numbers regarding early Pack C specific fuel consumption in the air, but he said the program was on track and the company was confident of the upgrade’s prospective performance. Nevertheless, R-R claims that the T1000 delivers the best lifetime fuel-burn for 787 operators, with new-engine consumption equivalency available at 3,000-nm range and with “a fuel-burn advantage well ahead at shorter ranges.”

Pack C flight-testing is “up and running [and] trucking along with fundamentally no issues,” according to Jones. T1000-TEN flight testing of the upgrade aboard the 787 has involved four aircraft:

– 787-8 MSN ZA004 was the first to fly frequently with the Pack C upgrade, having also been used for Pack B work and a lot of earlier T1000 flight testing;

– 787-9 MSN ZB001 (line number [LN] 126) is the first -9 airframe to fly the Pack C and had completed about a month’s flying by mid-October;

– 787-9 MSN ZB002/LN 133 was expected to have flown with Pack C engines by this month; and

– 787-9 LN 169, the first Air New Zealand aircraft, and LN 146, which has been earmarked for Etops and function and reliability testing, also have Pack C engines.

R-R expects to see 90 T1000-powered 787s in service by the end of this year, with Royal Brunei having, in mid-October, become the most recent operator when it began crew training with its first aircraft. The powerplant manufacturer points out that the T1000 had been the first engine certificated for the 787, the first to enter service and the first to receive 330-minute Etops clearance.


The Rolls-Royce Trent 1000-TEN’s physical hardware characteristics introduce knowledge gained from earlier variants, including:

– a new rising-line intermediate-pressure compressor using Trent XWB technology;

– a new high-pressure turbine (HPT);

– a full-face cover plate in front of the HPT disc, expected to offer longer life and to permit through-life improvements;

– a modulated HP air system reduces parasitic flow, helping to improve fuel burn efficiency, and improves performance retention through maintenance of seal margins;

– a new, more-efficient HP compressor previously demonstrated on the New Aero-engine Core (Newac) concepts program and the Trent XWB; and

– new lighter, more-efficient bladed discs, again using Trent XWB technology.