Rolls-Royce is considering development of another scaled-down version the Trent 800 engine to power the recently launched stretched Boeing 767-400 and the proposed "simple stretch" 747-400 increased gross weight (IGW) aircraft.

"We've the core opportunity to do a new engine for that in a timescale that will satisfy Boeing," says R-R chief executive John Rose. He adds that it would be "-a development of the Trent 500, what we call the Trent 600, which would be rebladed".

Boeing is studying the 747-400IGW as an alternative to the now shelved, and more ambitious, -500X and -600X derivatives. Two versions are being looked at, one a stretch seating an extra 80 to 100 passengers, and the other an IGW variant adding an extra 550-1,100km (300-600nm) to the existing -400's range of 13,300km.

According to Boeing Commercial Airplane Group president Ron Woodard, the aircraft would be available in 2001-2 and require a 289kN (65,000lb)-thrust engine. "It will, like all things, be engine driven," he says.

R-R is already is negotiations with Airbus Industrie to develop the 245-290kN Trent 500 for the planned ultra-long-haul A340-500 and growth A340-600 aircraft. The engine would consist of a scaled-down Trent 800 core and the same 2.5m-diameter fan as that of the 700, to produce a 9.1 bypass ratio.

"The advantage we have is, because we did a new engine for the A330 and a new engine for the 777, we now have cores that we can scale and provide engines for a number of different applications. We're using a scale of the Trent 800 for the 500, and that will do for the 600," says Rose.

Airlines, however, warn that should the 747-400IGW increase in size and and require engines with thrust ratings beyond 290kN, it could produce too big a thrust range for the Trent 500/600 to be efficient. The General Electric/ Pratt & Whitney Engine Alliance already plans to offer the 310kN GP7000 for the 747-400IGW (Flight International, 7-13 May).

R-R at the same time is looking at other applications for the proposed Trent 500/600 core, including higher-thrust engines for future versions of the 757, such as an extended-range aircraft. "That core is capable of being in time retrofitted into the RB.211-535," says Rose.

The company's immediate priority, aside from the A340, is developing the growth 445-454kN Trent 8100/8102 engine for the planned 777-200X/300X. Under a new memorandum with Boeing, R-R now plans to have an engine ready for service by January 2001, still four months behind GE and P&W. "It could be an issue," admits Rose, but adds: "Our objective is too satisfy the customer's requirements, which as yet haven't been fully defined."

Source: Flight International