A350s Trent XWB Engine Makes First Flight on Airbus A380 Test Aircraft

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The A350 XWBs new engine the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB has successfully made its maiden flight aboard Airbus dedicated A380 Flying-Test-Bed aircraft.

The aircraft took off from Airbus facilities in Toulouse on Saturday and performed a flight of more than five hours during which the engine covered a wide range of power settings at altitudes up to 43,000ft.

The Trent XWB development engine, specially fitted with test sensors to measure hundreds of parameters, was mounted on the A380s inner left engine pylon, replacing one of the aircrafts Trent 900 engines.

The crew on board this first flight were: Airbus Experimental test pilots Terry Lutz and Frank Chapman; Experimental Test Flight Engineer Pascal Verneau; and Flight Test Engineers Emanuele Costanzo and Tuan Do.

The A350 XWBs engine performed excellently during its first flight-test, just as we expected, said Charles Champion, Executive Vice President of Engineering at Airbus. This is a promising start to the Trent XWBs flight-test programme which will ensure a thorough real-life testing of the engine, nacelle and its systems.

Commencing around one year prior to the A350 XWBs first flight, this engine flight-test programme is scheduled to accumulate around 175 flight hours some three times more airborne flying hours than on previous programmes. This will be accomplished over a seven month period and will include hot weather as well as icing condition testing campaigns. It will also test the advanced nacelle and thrust reverser system provided by Goodrich.

The overall objective of these flight-tests is the early and systematic validation of all performance aspects of the engine and also the associated systems. In turn, this will contribute to significantly de-risking the A350 XWBs development well ahead of entry-into-service. The first results of this flight-test campaign are expected this summer.

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