The A350-1000’s new engine – the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 – has successfully made its first flight-test aboard Airbus’ dedicated A380 “Flying-Test-Bed” aircraft. The aircraft took off from Airbus’ facilities in Toulouse and performed a flight of 4 hours, 14 mins during which the engine covered a wide range of power settings at altitudes up to 35,000ft. The engine’s operation and handling qualities were evaluated from low speeds to Mach 0.87.
The Trent XWB-97 development engine was mounted on the A380’s inner left engine pylon, replacing one of the aircraft’s Trent 900 engines. The crew on board this first flight were: Airbus Experimental test pilots Etienne de Malleray and Hugues Van der Stichel; Experimental Test Flight Engineer Gerard Maisonneuve and Flight Test Engineers Emmanuele Costanzo and Jean-Philippe Cottet.
Commencing around nine months prior to the A350-1000’s first flight, this engine flight-test programme will include hot weather as well as icing condition testing campaigns. The specially enhanced Trent XWB engine produces 97,000lbs of thrust on take-off – making it the most powerful engine ever developed for an Airbus aircraft.