Four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines power today’s Airbus A380 flight to Hong Kong. The Trent 900 has now accumulated over 9,000 flying hours on four of the five flight test A380s, and completed more than 31,000 cycles in ground running and on the aircraft.
During the flight test programme, the engine has been put through its paces in the most testing conditions, including the extremes of cold weather and hot and high performance, as well as taking the aircraft beyond altitudes and speeds it will ever see in service. Results have been excellent, confirming performance predictions. With the Trent 900-powered A380 achieving certification in December 2006, the Trent 900 has now met all its key targets.
Despite being one of the most powerful engines produced by Rolls-Royce, the Trent 900 has been designed to minimise its environmental impact. It is well below all current and proposed legislation on emissions, including CAEP 6. The engine and airframe combination meets the stringent noise limits for airports such as London Heathrow – one of the A380’s early destinations for launch customer Singapore Airlines.
The Rolls-Royce Trent 900 is the launch engine for the Airbus A380 with the first Trent-powered aircraft scheduled to be delivered to Singapore Airlines later this year.
Seven out of the ten airline customers who have made engine selections to date on the A380, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Qantas, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Etihad Airways and China Southern, have selected the Trent 900, giving it a 58 per cent market share with 90 Trent-powered firm and option aircraft on order.
The Trent 900 is the fourth member of the Trent family of engines that Rolls-Royce has produced since the original Trent 700 first flew on the A330 in 1995. At nearly ten feet in diameter, it is the largest engine Rolls-Royce has ever built.
The first run of the Trent 900 took place on time in March 2003 and the engine was certificated on plan in October 2004. The first flight of the A380 took place in April 2005 and was an early demonstration of the quiet characteristics of the Rolls-Royce powerplant.
The Trent 900 has been developed with partners around the world. Seven companies are participating as risk and revenue-sharing partners: Industria de Turbo Propulsores (ITP) of Spain, Hamilton Sundstrand, Goodrich and Honeywell of the United States, Avio of Italy, Volvo Aero of Sweden, and Marubeni of Japan. In addition, Samsung Techwin of South Korea, and Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) and Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI) of Japan are programme associates.