Boeing has begun flight tests of the Rolls-Royce RB.211-524G/H-T engine on a new British Airways 747-400. The engine, a hybrid combination of the Trent 700 high-pressure O4 module and the existing -524G/H low-pressure system, has been ordered by Cathay Pacific and South African Airways (SAA).

R-R is using the aircraft as a testbed under an agreement with Boeing and British Airways, which has not yet selected the G/H-T variant of the RB.211-524 engine for 14 -400s it has on order.

The -400 began lapse-rate take-off tests at Colorado Springs, Colorado, on 16 November, followed by ground and flight cooling tests at Mesa, Arizona, over subsequent days. R-R says that "NAMs" (nautical air miles fuel mileage tests) have not yet begun on the engine, which is rated at 283kN (63,600lb) thrust. The fast-paced flight test effort could result in aircraft/engine certification before the end of the year.

Source: Flight International