The recent grounding of the latest widebody twinjet to enter airline service - Boeing's 787 - means the Airbus A350 XWB will come under unprecedented public scrutiny when customer deliveries get under way in 2014.

Although the 787's current woes are not powerplant-related, Rolls-Royce is well aware that as sole engine supplier to the A350 it has a critical role in ensuring the European-built widebody enjoys a relatively trouble-free commercial debut.

Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine


Its blade-off test was an indoor first

Rolls-Royce is understandably endeavouring to leave no stone unturned as it seeks to demonstrate the maturity and service-ready credentials of the Trent XWB, its most advanced three-spool large turbofan, which has notched up more than 1,200 sales before the A350 even gets airborne.

An illustration of this determination is the fact that although all flight-test work required for certification of the Trent XWB has been completed, Airbus and Rolls-Royce have together decided to extend the campaign using the airframer's A380 flying testbed ahead of the A350's maiden sortie.


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