I was appointed Programme Director - Trent XWB earlier this year, having moved to Rolls-Royce two years ago. However, I’ve worked in this industry for 25 years and when the Trent XWB architecture was first derived back in 2005 I was Head of Engineering for Goodrich Aero Engine Controls – so I go a long way back with the Trent XWB.
It’s a fantastic programme to be involved with and at a really exciting time. We have more than 8,000 hours of testing to show just how great an engine this is, and I’m delighted engine certification has awarded us a record 420 minutes ETOPS, something which will enable customers to fly an extended range over places where airports and landing areas are sparse. This is a significant achievement and I’m looking forward to introducing new customers to the Trent XWB – for some airlines, the ETOPS rating means they will be able to fly further than they can today and will be able to expand their networks.
As we enter into service, the work doesn’t end there, of course. Our job is to ensure each engine performs exactly as expected, and at a production rate of one engine a day – testimony to the popularity of this aircraft/engine combination. Each engine is a huge achievement both from a technical point of view and from a logistical perspective as we rely on the contribution of suppliers and people from all around the world. And it’s the people that really make the difference – they’re the best thing about working here. All the people I work with, including customers and suppliers, are really motivated and proud of what they’ve done and acknowledge this is something exceptional.
We must also remember that we have two engines within the programme and, as the -84 enters into service, we have the -97 undergoing its certification programme and the expectations will be equally high for the engine in terms of performance and reliability.
Outside of work, I’m no less busy with two teenage children and enjoy working on classic cars.