Rolls-Royce is still talking to Boeing about supplying the Trent 600 for the proposed Boeing derivative – the 747-400X Quiet Long Range (QLR).

Up to now, Boeing has only been offering potential customers versions of the GE CF6-80C2 and Pratt & Whitney PW4062, with the Trent on the sidelines because of the prohibitive cost of integrating a new engine on to the airframe.

However, Boeing is contemplating a slippage in service entry date of the 747-400XQLR from its planned June 2004 timeframe that may bring the Trent 600 back into the running. "There are cost issues around putting a brand new engine on the airframe," acknowledges Terrett.

However, there are several large 747 operators that currently have Trent engines that would find a Trent-powered 747-400XQLR more attractive than a GE or P&W powered one.


Rolls-Royce cannot push a derivative of the RB211 engine for this aircraft. "It is not a credible business case, only a Trent derivative will work" offering the right balance of performance and quietness, says Terrett.

On its other civil engine developments, Rolls-Royce is studying an engine for Boeing's proposed Sonic Cruiser that has a core closest to the 75,000lbs Trent 800, based on its three-shaft engine technology, and with the latest technologies from its research and development projects.

It has also already begun cutting metal on the first Trent 900 that will power the Airbus A380. The first run of this engine is scheduled for March 2003.

In the regional aircraft sector, Rolls-Royce sees opportunities for the BR700 on a version of the Russian Tupolev Tu-334 and on the Chinese NRJ21 regional jet project. It sees fewer potential new outlets for its AE 3007 powerplant, which has done so well with the Embraer ERJ-135/-140/-145 family.


The latest version of this engine, the AE 3007A1E will enter service with launch customer ExpressJet in fourth quarter of this year.

The A1E, installed on the ERJ-145XR, offers a 7% increase in take-off/climb thrust over existing AE 3007A1 variants allowing up to a 35% increase in range.

Source: Flight Daily News