PICTURE: A350's Trent XWB engine runs for first time

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Rolls-Royce has conducted a first-time run of its new Trent XWB engine for the Airbus A350 family.

The engine ran yesterday on a test-bed at the manufacturer's Derby facility.

Rolls-Royce says the operation initiates the "most extensive pre-flight programme in Trent history", ahead of flight tests on an A380 in 2011.

Seven Trent XWB development engines will be operating by early next year, says the company, while flight-testing is scheduled to start on the A350 in 2012.

trent xwb run
 © Rolls-Royce

Airbus has secured orders for 182 A350-800s, 273 A350-900s and 75 A350-1000s - the equivalent of 1,060 engines. The Trent XWB is the only powerplant offered for the A350.

"The engine's first run meets programme commitments set out in 2006," says Rolls-Royce.

A350 programme chief Didier Evrard says: "The first engine run of the Trent XWB has been achieved fully on time with our schedule and is a major milestone that marks the coming to life of the new aircraft."