Flight International online news 12:00GMT: Rolls-Royce is to develop a new engine, the Trent 1700, specifically for the Airbus A350 twin-jet, under a newly-sealed agreement with the European airframer.
The agreement ends months of wrangling over when Rolls-Royce might be prepared to supply a competing powerplant for the A350 after the aircraft was initially offered to carriers with the rival General Electric GEnx engine.
It will be made available for aircraft deliveries from mid-2011 – about a year after the A350 is due to enter service.
Rolls-Royce will design the engine to be “fully optimised” for the A350. It will have a thrust rating of 333kN (75,000lb) and run for the first time in 2009.
The manufacturer is expecting the powerplant to achieve certification in 2010.
Rolls-Royce is providing the Trent 1000 engine for the Boeing 787, against which the A350 is competing, and Airbus and Rolls-Royce have been in discussions for months over the development of a modified version of this powerplant.
“We are confident that the Trent 1700 will play a significant part in the appeal of this new [aircraft],” says Airbus chief Gustav Humbert.
Rolls-Royce president of civil aerospace Mike Terrett adds the engine will follow a “derivative, cost-effective development route” and bring “world-best technologies and operating economics” to the jet.
Airbus intends the A350 to be a successor to the A330 for which Rolls-Royce already offers the Trent 700 engine.
Source: Flight International