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Rolls-Royce-Powered Airbus A380 Comes to Montreal Today

Nov. 12, 2007, Montreal., Que. - Rolls-Royce Trent 900 Powers into Service on the A380


November 12, 2007
By Carey Fredericks

Nov. 12, 2007, Montreal., Que. – Rolls-Royce Trent 900 Powers into Service on the A380.

The Rolls-Royce Trent 900 has had an exceptionally smooth entry into service on the Airbus A380 with Singapore Airlines. Passengers can take comfort from the fact that the A380’s launch engine has more development experience than any previous member of the Trent series at the time it begins commercial operation.

The Trent 900 accumulated around 14,000 flying hours on four of the five flight test A380s over a 30 month program. During ground running and flight tests, the engine completed in excess of 37,000 cycles, which is equivalent to over 14 years of operation on one aircraft.

On board the A380, the engine was put through its paces in the most testing conditions to prove its reliability. These tests included 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.

Levels of performance were excellent, confirming all engine handling predictions and proving that it was ready for service. With the Trent
900-powered A380 achieving certification in December 2006, the engine met all its key targets.

Whilst being one of the most powerful engines produced by Rolls-Royce, as well as physically the largest, with a fan diameter of 116 inches, the Trent 900 has been designed to minimize environmental impact.

It is currently the world’s cleanest high-thrust engine, with levels of emissions well below all current and proposed legislation, including CAEP 6. It is also the quietest powerplant on the A380, with the engine and airframe combination operating well within the stringent noise limits for airports such as London Heathrow – one of the A380’s early destinations for launch customer Singapore Airlines.

Eight out of the eleven customers who have made engine selections for their A380s: Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Qantas, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Etihad Airways, China Southern and British Airways, have selected the Trent 900, giving it a 61 percent market share with 109
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.

The first run of the Trent 900 took place on schedule in March 2003 and the engine was certificated to plan in October 2004. The first flight of the A380 took place in April 2005 and provided an early demonstration of the quietness 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.

Trent 900 Wow Facts

  • At take-off, the A380’s four Trents are delivering thrust equivalent to the power of more than 3,500 family cars!
  • Each of the 70 high pressure turbine blades in a Trent 900 produces about 900hp (670 kw)….more power than a Formula One racing car.
  • If you applied the high-pressure turbine blade cooling technology to an ice cube, you could put it in an oven at 200°C and it would never melt.
  • The 116-inch fan operates at nearly 3,000rpm which means the blade tips are travelling at about 1,000mph (1,600 km/h) or about 1.3 times the speed of sound.

Rolls-Royce is also providing the launch engine for the Boeing 787 with the Trent 1000, and the Airbus A350 XWB with the Trent XWB.