Rolls-Royce has completed the first testbed run of its Trent 1000 engine, being developed for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The engine ran on schedule on 14 February – a date set almost three years ago.
As launch engine on the 787, the Trent 1000 is the first of the aircraft’s powerplants to run, and will also be the first in the air when mounted on R-R’s Boeing 747 flying testbed in the first quarter of next year.
Following certification, it will power the 787’s first flight and will begin commercial operations with launch customer All Nippon Airways (ANA) in mid-2008.
Senior executives from ANA took part in a “final bolt” ceremony, symbolically marking completion of the first engine, before it was passed to test ahead of plan.
Dominic Horwood, director of Boeing programmes at R-R, says: “Initial testing is proceeding very smoothly, and everything we’ve seen is in line with expectations. We have delivered on our promise to our customers to run the Trent 1000 on time, and that’s really important to us. It’s just a great start to our programme.”
The engine started electrically, first time, using a new design feature called IP power offtake. This involves dual use starter-generators that act as both electrical starters on the ground and power generators while airborne.
In flight, power is created by mechanically driving the generators using the engine’s intermediate pressure compressor, including power for the cabin environmental conditioning system rather than taking conventional bleed air. Each Trent 1000 is capable of generating around 0.5mW of electrical energy to power the increased number of electrical systems used in the 787.
The first engine is one of seven to be used in ground testing, while a further nine are earmarked for the flight-test programme.
With a thrust range from 53,200-75,000lb (235-335kN), the Trent 1000 is capable of powering all versions of the 787.
The engine has 15% lower fuel burn than those of a decade ago, and delivers 40% lower emissions than required by current international legislation.