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PARIS: Rolls-Royce to address cost impact of Trent XWB decision through Total Care programme

Rolls-Royce will address the maintenance cost impact of its decision to incorporate a new, scaled-up core in the Airbus A350-1000's Trent XWB - which eliminates commonality with -800/900's engine - through its Total Care support programme.

The UK engine-maker had previously planned to base the A350-1000's engine on the 84,000lb thrust (375kN) version that powers the -900, with some material and fan module changes.

But the larger core and other technical modifications eliminate much of the commonality. The new engine will not be interchangeable with those on the A350-800/900, even though that was the original intent.

"The systems, interfaces and nacelle external lines are going to be common, as well as a lot of the accessories. So for the airline, the interface with the aircraft is going to look like the same Trent XWB," said R-R civil aerospace president Mark King.

"There is a lot of commonality in the supply chain and the systems and the bits that the airlines deal with on a day-to-day basis, for example the training.

"It's only the off-wing stuff that is going to have the impact, where there is limited part-number commonality in the core, and we can take care of that under [the] Total Care [support package] as part of the solution."

King said that the decision to go with a derivative rather than all-new design means the programme is lower risk. "Even the new core is not a redesign, it is a scale."

Rolls-Royce aims to apply the technology to other members of the Trent family, and introduce a major revision to the Trent 1000 for the Boeing 787 within five years that will "open clear daylight relative to the competition", said King.

"This engine will be more than an 'EP' [enhanced performance] upgrade, it will be a significant improvement for the Trent 1000," King said. "We hope to do it for a 2015-16 service-entry timeframe. To achieve that, we'll need to make some decisions in the next six months or so."

King said that the intention is to read across technologies from the Trent XWB and Environmentally Friendly Engine demonstrator for the Trent 1000 upgrade. "The technologies we're running on the testbed between the XWB engine and the demonstrator gives us a real opportunity to upgrade the Trent 1000."

Potential changes could include modifications to the turbine, such as an additional stage or upgrades to the compressor. However, exact plans for the Trent 1000 are still being discussed both internally and with Boeing. "Within this process we're looking at a whole bunch of things," said King. "We have a number of options, and we'll decide [on the changes] in discussion with Boeing.

"The intent with this engine is that we are capable of addressing the 787 derivatives that Boeing might decide to develop in the future."