The A350 XWB’s engine shows early maturity during “hot” testing

The Trent XWB engine for Airbus’ widebody A350 XWB jetliner continues to demonstrate advanced maturity as this Rolls-Royce-built powerplant is put through its paces in the most thorough engine test programme to date.

9 October 2012 Feature story

Since its installation on the A380 flying test bed in February, the engine has completed over 130 flight hours – with the most recent evaluations performed in the United Arab Emirates desert environment, where the Trent XWB engine underwent “hot” tests in ground temperatures above 40°C during August. 

This “hot” testing spanned a series of flights totalling 23 hours, with each Trent XWB element – including the engine, nacelle, air inlet, pylon and associated systems – meeting expectations. 

Incorporating a 118 inch-diameter fan, the engine is Rolls-Royce's largest yet. It is specially-designed for use on the A350 XWB, and is integrated in a nacelle produced by UTC Aerospace Systems, with the nacelle air intake produced at Airbus' Nantes site.

The Trent XWB turbofan’s “hot” testing is to be followed by noise level evaluations later in 2012. During the following spring, the current powerplant will be swapped for a unit whose characteristics are even closer to the engines to be used for first flight and on series production A350 XWB aircraft.

In total, the Trent XWB test campaign will cover more than 200 flight hours, which is four-times greater than that of previous programmes.