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ANALYSIS: Rolls-Royce readies for Trent XWB-97 flight test on A380

A year after it powered to life for the first time in a concrete-walled test cell, the engine for the largest variant of the Airbus A350 will any day now be departing Rolls-Royce’s factory in Derby, and making its way by road and sea to Toulouse, where it is set to make its maiden sortie on Airbus’s A380 flying testbed, most likely in October, according to Airbus. Six to nine months and 120h of testing later, the Trent XWB-97 – exclusive powerplant for the A350-1000 – should fly on that aircraft for the first time, ahead of the type’s service entry in 2017.

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