Airbus has slightly bumped up the nominal engine thrust for the A350 XWB's Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines to counter the empty - and maximum-take-off-weight increases revealed last year.

Before last December's design freeze, the A350 MTOW was increased by 3t across the family to maintain the payload/range capability after Airbus established that the aircraft's weight empty would be 2.2t greater than the 113.5t target.

At the time, A350 chief engineer Gordon McConnell said the weight growth would not affect take-off performance or create the need for additional engine thrust except "at some specific airfields where discussions have been held with R-R about where we'll need a percent or two more".

A350 XWB
 © Airbus

However, A350 programme chief Didier Evrard now confirms that the thrusts were tweaked at definition freeze "following the weight increase". Nominal thrust ratings for the -800, -900 and -1000 variants have each had a 1,000lb (4.5kN) increase to 75,000lb, 84,000lb and 93,000lb, respectively. Evrard says the change has had a "very marginal" impact on fuel burn and operating cost assumptions.

This is the second thrust adjustment for the A350. In 2007, Airbus revealed reductions in nominal thrust values of between 1,000lb and 4,000lb for each variant.

Source: Flight International