The Rolls-Royce Trent 1000, which will power the Boeing 787 Dreamliner into airline service, has successfully completed a number of key tests towards achieving engine certification from the airworthiness authorities.
Dominic Horwood, Director – Boeing Programmes at Rolls-Royce, said: “As the manufacturer of the launch engine for the 787, we have the responsibility of powering the Dreamliner’s first flight and also of being first into airline service in 2008. We have just a few tests remaining and we’re on-track to achieve certification ahead of the 787’s first flight later this year.”
The Trent 1000 has completed its altitude test phase at the Arnold Engineering Development Centre (AEDC) in Tullahoma, Tennessee. This has included complete icing compliance, engine operability and in-flight restarts across the flight envelope. The engine has performed excellently throughout altitude testing and the quality of data from the controlled environment at AEDC has met certification requirements. As part of Boeing’s flight readiness programme, the Trent 1000 will now participate in a flight test phase on the Rolls-Royce flying test bed.
Rolls-Royce has also successfully completed the fan blade containment test. A Trent 1000 was accelerated to full speed before a fan blade was released at its root by an explosive charge. The engine’s behaviour after the event was as expected and comfortably met certification requirements.
Separate bird ingestion tests simulated the impact of a single two and a half kilogram bird, and a flock of one kilogram birds. The Trent 1000 suffered thrust loss of less than two per cent during the two tests – well below the 25 per cent power loss allowed.
Both the fan blade containment and bird strike tests were carried out at the company’s test facility at Hucknall near Nottingham, UK.
Other testing has involved high temperature running and cyclic endurance tests equivalent to thousands of normal in-service hours. Key milestones already passed, or in the final stages, include the engine type test and a 1,000 cycle engine test which allows assessment of initial maintenance requirements.