Rolls-Royce Trent 900 completes successful blade-off test

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 1 December 2004




(2004), "Rolls-Royce Trent 900 completes successful blade-off test", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 76 No. 6.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Rolls-Royce Trent 900 completes successful blade-off test

Rolls-Royce Trent 900 completes successful blade-off test

Keywords: Rolls-Royce, Aircraft, Safety

Rolls-Royce recently announced that the Trent 900 engine, being developed for the A380, had successfully completed a fan-blade containment test, one of the critical safety demonstrations ahead of certification by the airworthiness authorities.

During the test, which took place on schedule at the company's Hucknall, UK, facility, the engine was accelerated to full speed before a fan blade was released at the root by an explosive charge. The blade and its debris were contained successfully and the engine performed a controlled shutdown.

Ian Crawford, Director Airbus Programmes for Rolls-Royce, said: “This was a key event in the development programme, and although computer simulations accurately predicted this result, it is always good to see it validated by the reality of the test. We are now focused on meeting the remaining development milestones on schedule and to delivering the Trent 900 into service successfully on the A380 in Spring 2006”.

The Trent 900, which will be the first engine delivered on the A380, has a set of hollow, titanium fan blades measuring 116 in. in diameter – the largest ever designed by Rolls-Royce.

The engine made its maiden flight on the Airbus flying test bed in July and continued its flight test programme of around 50 h through to August.

Environmental testing reportedly show the Trent 900 to be the world's cleanest large turbofan, measured by emissions per pound of thrust. It is also on track to be the quietest engine on the A380.

Engine certification in October 2004 is to be followed by flight testing on the A380 in the early 2005. The engine will be rated at 80,000 lb thrust, providing significant margin for growth above the 70,000 lb required at entry into service.

Orders from launch customer Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Virgin Atlantic and Lufthansa have given the Trent 900 a 48 per cent share of announced firm and option orders.

Risk and revenue sharing partners on the programme are Avio, Goodrich Aerostructures Group, Hamilton Sundstrand, Honeywell, Marubeni, Industria de Turbo Propulsores (ITP) and Volvo Aero.

Samsung Techwin, Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) and Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI) are programme associates.

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