The Rolls-Royce Trent 900, the largest aero engine the company has ever built, will be unveiled along with the new Airbus A380 at a special ceremony in Toulouse on Tuesday (18 January).
The Trent 900 is the leading engine for the aircraft’s development programme and will power the A380’s maiden flight in Spring this year. It will also launch the four-engined, 555-seat A380 into commercial service with Singapore Airlines (SIA) in Spring 2006.
In addition to SIA, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas and Virgin Atlantic have also selected Trent-powered A380s for a total of 80 firm and option aircraft, giving the Trent 900 a 50 per cent share of the market.
Mike Terrett, President Civil Aerospace, Rolls-Royce, said: “We’re celebrating a major milestone for the Trent 900, and the smooth entry into service for the A380 remains our main focus.
“The Trent 900 continues to meet, or better, its development targets. We are on track to deliver this fourth member of the Trent series into commercial service on schedule and to specification.”
Engine certification was achieved on schedule in October 2004 through the new European Aviation Safety Agency. Even though it will operate initially at a maximum take-off thrust of 70,000lb, the Trent 900 is cleared at an 80,000lb rating, allowing margin for future growth. It reached thrusts in excess of 90,000lb during early test bed running.
With a fan diameter of 116 inches, the Trent 900 is physically the largest engine ever built by Rolls-Royce. It is also the world’s cleanest large turbofan engine, measured by emissions per pound of thrust.
Design features include new generation “swept” fan blades with a scimitar-shaped leading edge for lower noise and greater aerodynamic efficiency. The engine also has the latest standard software, capable of providing real-time, in-flight engine health monitoring.
A total of 18 Trent 900s are being delivered to Airbus to support a flight test programme involving four A380s.
The engine has already successfully completed a 60-hour flight test programme on a converted A340-300 flying test bed, as well as a series of safety and reliability tests including multiple bird strikes and fan blade containment. Other testing has included measurement of severe weather performance through water, hail and ice ingestion, as well as simulated altitude handling at a specialist test bed in Tullahoma, USA.
Risk and revenue sharing partners on the Trent 900 are Industria de Turbo Propulsores (ITP), Hamilton Sundstrand, Avio, Marubeni, Volvo Aero, Goodrich and Honeywell.
Samsung Techwin, Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) and Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI) are programme associates.
Initial facilities for Trent 900 maintenance will be Singapore Aero Engine Services Ltd. (SAESL) and N3 Engine Overhaul Services in Erfurt, Germany. N3 Engine Overhaul Services, the latest addition to the global network of Rolls-Royce repair and overhaul joint ventures, begins operations in 2007.