The Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine - for the Airbus A380 - has passed the latest in a series of mandatory tests required for safety certification by the airworthiness authorities.
The engine, which will be the first to enter service on the Airbus A380, has cleared the 150h endurance test, which involved running at maximum power for extended periods.
This allowed development engineers to monitor the Trent 900's behaviour at high shaft speeds and to prove its thermal capability at operating temperatures higher than those typically experienced in airline service. More than 40% of the engine's time on the test bed was spent at thrusts of 86,000lb (380kN) and above - well in excess of the 70,000lb thrust required at entry into service. The engine, which will be certified at 80,000lb thrust to allow margin for future growth, also performed more than 100 re-starts as part of the exercise.
Ian Crawford, director, Airbus Programmes at Rolls-Royce, says: "Following on from last month's successful fan blade containment, the endurance test provides further evidence that the Trent 900's development programme is in robust shape, and continues to meet its targets on schedule.
"We're seeing excellent results from the Airbus flying test bed, and we are keenly anticipating first flight of the Trent-powered A380 itself in early 2005."
The first Trent 900 scheduled for installation on the A380 has completed its pass-off test at Rolls-Royce in Derby, demonstrating excellent fuel consumption levels, and will be delivered to Toulouse later this month.
Meanwhile, the flying test bed programme is now well past the halfway point of its 50h schedule which began in mid-May. Fuel burn is in line with predictions, and compatibility between engine and nacelle has been successfully demonstrated.
Early testing involved operating the Trent 900 at a variety of altitudes across its flight envelope, and included successful in-flight engine re-lights.
Bird ingestion testing has also been completed successfully, including demonstration of the engine's capability to continue operating, following the impact of an 5.5lb (2.5kg) bird - a new, tougher criteria recently introduced by the airworthiness authorities. The engine, which will enter service with launch customer Singapore Airlines in spring 2006, has also been selected by Lufthansa, Qantas and Virgin Atlantic, giving it a 48% share of firm and option orders.
Source: Flight Daily News