Rolls-Royce Trent XWB completes first test flight

Saturday, 18 February 2012

The Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine has taken to the skies for the first time, powering an Airbus A380 test aircraft in Toulouse, France. The aircraft flew with one of its four Trent 900 engines replaced by a Trent XWB.

The Trent XWB is the most efficient civil aircraft engine on offer in the world and will power the new Airbus A350 XWB.

The Trent XWB is the fastest-selling Trent engine ever, with more than 1,100 already sold.  At the 2011 Paris Airshow Rolls-Royce also announced that it will be the exclusive engine supplier for the longer range A350-1000 aircraft.

Chris Young, Rolls-Royce, Trent XWB Programme Director, said: “It’s a great moment to see the Trent XWB take to the air for the first time. Today’s flight is the product of years of work and demonstrates the progress being made on our journey to deliver this world leading technology.”

The Trent XWB ran on a ground test bed for the first time in June 2010 and test results have shown it to be the most efficient large civil aerospace engine ever produced.

Data recorded during a series of test flights that will accumulate around 175 flight hours and which will run for a seven month period, will validate results from ground testing and demonstrate the engine’s in-flight performance. The Trent XWB has already successfully completed more than 1,500 hours of testing, including endurance running, icing and simulated altitude.

  1. Rolls-Royce is a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air, and has established a strong position in global markets - civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy.
  2. As a result of this strategy, Rolls-Royce has a broad customer base comprising more than 500 airlines, 4,000 corporate and utility aircraft and helicopter operators, 160 armed forces, more than 4,000 marine customers, including 70 navies, and energy customers in more than 80 countries.
  3. Annual underlying revenues were £11.3 billion in 2011, of which more than half came from the provision of services. The firm and announced order book stood at £62.2 billion at 31 December 2011, providing visibility of future levels of activity.
  4. Rolls-Royce employs 40,400 skilled people in offices, manufacturing and service facilities in over 50 countries. Over 11,000 of these employees are engineers.
  5. In 2011, Rolls-Royce invested £908 million on research and development, two thirds of which had the objective of further improving the environmental performance of its products, in particular reducing emissions.
  6. Rolls-Royce supports a global network of 28 University Technology Centres, which connect the company’s engineers with the forefront of scientific research.
  7. The Group has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment and to further developing employee skills.

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