Subscribe Free
in Air Transport / Features

Rolls-Royce delivers a slice of history

Posted 23 January 2017 · Add Comment

The first of Rolls-Royce's Trent 900 engines for Emirates Airline's latest tranche of A380 super-jumbo airliners, ordered in 2013, have now been delivered to Toulouse for installation by makers Airbus. Geoff Thomas reports.

Emirates picked Rolls-Royce to supply 217 engines, valued at $9.2 billion, for 52 Airbus A380s and says the UK manufacturer is in pole position to power a more fuel-efficient ‘neo’ variant of the aircraft if the long-mooted plan goes ahead.
The new A380s will be the first Emirates airliners to be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines, the airline having chosen the UK company’s power-plants in preference to the rival Engine Alliance GP7200 engines that power its previously ordered 90 super-jumbos.
Speaking at a London media briefing, Emirates president, Tim Clark, said that some of the Trent 900s could be converted to more efficient ‘neo’ types, should Airbus decide to go ahead with an upgrade of the A380.
He also commented that the aerodynamically revamped airliner could use an improved version of Rolls-Royce’s Trent XWB engine now in service on the Airbus A350.
The world’s largest international airline has said it could order at least 100 more A380s if Airbus commits to a ‘neo’ version, equipped with engines that are more fuel-efficient.
Any A380neo would, it’s believed, be expected to deliver fuel efficiency gains of between 10% and 13%. Emirates is confident that an order for around 200 A380neo aircraft may spur Airbus into further developing the airliner.
Airbus, on the other hand, clearly believes that re-engining the A380 is unlikely to be as successful as the current A320neo and A330neo projects have been. Only time, and further growth in a relatively stagnant market, will tell.
Many market analysts believe that, while the current A380 is competitive in economic terms with Boeing’s 777-300ER, it is less so when compared with the latest B777-9. So the conundrum facing Airbus is simple: can it maintain sales of the current A380 for perhaps a decade while market demand for the super-jumbo worldwide increases?
The delivery of the initial shipset of four Trent 900 engines to Airbus for installation on the first of Emirates’ 52 A380s was a significant event for Derby-based Rolls-Royce for two key reasons.
Firstly, it was the initial shipment in an order that is the largest ever in Rolls-Royce’s commercial engines history. The decision also made the Trent 900 the engine of choice, both in terms of number of customers and also in terms of overall market share. Rolls-Royce now has just less than 70% of the current firm order backlog for the A380 and 11 out of 17 operators have now selected the Rolls-Royce option.
The delivery was also significant in that Emirates’ Trent 900s are the first to be built to the new enhanced performance (EP3) standard.
The EP3 package, which is the current build standard, includes elliptical leading edges on compressor blades, and a variety of improvements in the internal aerodynamics of the engine, all contributing towards enhanced fuel economy and improved longevity before maintenance is required.
The package also includes casing improvements to optimise cooling air and sealing, together with further improvements around the high-pressure turbine.
This latest EP3 package follows a Trent 900 EP2 programme, introduced in 2014, that included optimised fan blade tip clearances; improved turbine case cooling; improved sealing for the low-pressure (LP) turbine; an optimised intermediate pressure (IP) compressor; an improved engine sector stator; and improvements to the internal air flow system.
The Trent 900 engine that powered the very first A380 commercial flight back in 2007, was the company’s main display exhibit at the most recent Dubai Airshow and, during the event, it was presented to Emirates. This gesture now enables Emirates Engineering apprentices and personnel to familiarise themselves first-hand with the mechanics and operations of the engine.
It was subsequently moved from the air show site to Emirates’ engineering training facility at Dubai International Airport – a location where maintenance and engineering staff can now familiarise themselves and receive hands-on training, learning how to perform tasks that would be difficult to achieve on an in-service aircraft, including fan blade installation and component removal.
 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 Ten receives certification

The Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 TEN, which will power all variants of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, has been granted full flight certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). This important milestone comes as the first set of

UAE Space Agency discusses cooperation with Ministry of Climate Change and Environment

The UAE Space Agency has discussed means of joint cooperation with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment during a meeting between high-level Space Agency delegates and the Minister of Climate Change and Environment.

EgyptAir increases flights from Cairo to several cities around the world

EgyptAir is to add new flights between Cairo and a number of cities and capitals around the world, starting from October 29th, 2017 in the beginning of winter schedule this year.

RJ launches sales promotion campaign in Jordan

Royal Jordanian (RJ) has launched a new sales promotion campaign in Jordan on its destinations in Saudi Arabia; Riyadh, Jeddah, Medina and Dammam, in addition to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.

DAE completes acquisition of AWAS

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) has completed the previously announced acquisition of the AWAS group of companies.

Foreign operators cautiously resume Benghazi operations

Foreign airlines have slowly begun operating commercial flights to/from Benghazi, just weeks after local Libyan carriers resumed their own scheduled passenger services to/from the eastern Libyan city, reports ch-aviation.

TAA SK 12MTHS16
See us at
AIME BT1204240118RMIT BT1631817Aviation Show 267291117DASAS BT3006161117DIAC BT1105121117Commercial Aircraft Financing BT2017Global Aerospace BT28218Aviation Africa BT18418DAS BT1105161117