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June 15, 2024
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Airbus completed installation of the first Rolls-Royce Trent XWB flight-test engine on its A380 “flying-testbed” aircraft (MSN 001). The aircraft is seen here at Airbus’ Jean-Luc Lagardère site in Toulouse where the engine was mounted. The aircraft and engine will now be prepared for the flight-test campaign commencing in the coming weeks.

The Trent XWB engine, which is the largest Rolls-Royce turbofan to date, with a 118-inch diameter fan, is specially designed to power all members of the new Airbus A350 XWB Family.

The Trent XWB has a 118 inch fan and the Trent 900, the typical Rolls-Royce engine found on an A380 has a 116 inch fan. The following chart illustrates the relative dimensions and outputs of the three big Trents. As you can see they are quite close in dimensions. The XWB engine will power the entire A350 family so has three various variants.

(engine images courtesy of Rolls-Royce)

4 thoughts on “Another A350 Milestone

  1. We can clearly see the progression from one engine to the other in terms of the thrust that RR is able to extract for a given fan diameter.

    – The Trent 900 has 72K of thrust with a fan diameter of 116 in., for a ratio of 1.6 in. per klb.

    – The Trent 1000 has 74K of thrust with a fan diameter of 112 in., for a ratio of 1.5 in. per klb.

    – The Trent XWB has 97K of thrust with a fan diameter of 118in., for a ratio of 1.2 in. per klb.

    It’s impressive to see how much power RR was able to derive with a small increase in fan diameter. I hope CFMI will be able to extract proportionally the same kind of power with the CFM LEAP-1B on the 737MAX in order to satisfy Boeing’s requirement for a relatively small fan diameter.

    But in the end it will be the actual figures for specific fuel consumption (SFC) that will determine how much progress they have made.

  2. Note that the relevant parameter is not diameter, but area, i.e. D^2. Trent 900 =
    5.35 lbs/in^2. 1000 = 5.9 lbs/in^2. XWB = 6.97 lbs/in^2. Impressive nonetheless… especially the step from 1000 to XWB. I think that the XWB benefits from tons of lessons learnt from the 1000, much like the -2B did from the -1B.

  3. Yes mneja, I agree with you and I thank you for the more appropriate statement. Nevertheless, the relation between the resulting numbers remains roughly the same.

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