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Rolls-Royce becomes first engine supplier for Airbus A350, with formal development of 'Trent XWB' powerplant

Engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce has signed a formal commercial agreement with Airbus to develop a powerplant for the newly-approved A350 XWB twin-jet.

The new engine, known as the ‘Trent XWB’ will have a thrust range of 75,000-95,000lb (333-422kN).

Rolls-Royce had reached a preliminary deal earlier this year to provide an A350 powerplant and chief executive Sir John Rose says: “It is an excellent opportunity for us to further develop our Trent family of engines.

“The Trent XWB has evolved with the aircraft during the initial design process to ensure that we can offer customers the optimum power solution for the A350 XWB.”

EADS gave the go-ahead for Airbus to produce the A350 XWB on 1 December, nearly five months after the revamped aircraft was unveiled at the Farnborough Air Show in the UK.

The previous version of the A350 was to have been powered by the General Electric GEnx turbofan and the proposed Rolls-Royce Trent 1700.

Airbus has yet to secure a commitment from a second engine supplier for the A350 XWB. The new aircraft is expected to enter service in 2013.

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