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AvWeek: Trent 1000 engines fight to get back to spec

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787RRpeople_560.jpgAviation Week reports in its latest issue that Rolls-Royce has developed an upgraded Trent 1000 engine, bringing the 787 powerplant within 1% of fuel consumption targets at entry into service.

Rolls-Royce also confirms to Aviation Week that the early models of the engine suffered from a "4-5% shortfall in early development tests." According to the Airbus' assessment of the Trent 1000, the specific fuel consumption target (SFC) was previously believed to be exceeded by 2-3%.

The upgraded turbofan, designated Build 4A [Package B], will first fly on ZA004 by year end after completing flight test trials aboard the company's 747 test bed in July. Aviation Week also reports that the focus will be on ZA002 and ZA004 to complete bulk of the propulsion tests. ZA004 will first flight with the standard Trent 1000 engine.

Build 4A [Package B] 787-8 improvements include:
  • Revised six-stage low pressure turbine (LPT) design
  • High-aspect-ratio blades
  • Relocation of the intermediate-pressure (IP) compressor bleed offtake ports
  • Fan outlet guide vanes with improved aerodynamics
According to the report, Rolls-Royce has already tested the revised LPT on production Engine 10025 in August of last year putting the engine within 2% of spec. The improvements were later validated on a demonstrator engine in February and beat cruise SFC by 0.5%.

The engine maker is currently working to transition the demonstrator test elements of Build 4A [Package B] from prototypes to production standard parts.

According to program sources, ZA001 will make its first flight with standard build Engines 10015 and 10016.

In addition, the Aviation Week article also inadvertently confirms the change in Boeing's 787 delivery planning.

The report quotes Andy Geer, Trent 1000 chief engineer, as saying the upgraded engine will be service ready in time for the sixth production 787 and "literally within weeks" of the first delivery in February 2010 to ANA.

The sixth production 787, airplane number 12 overall, was originally destined for Hainan/Grand China Air and was set to be powered by General Electric GEnx engines. ANA, which has inherited the majority of the early delivery slots for Chinese airlines, will power its 787 fleet with Rolls-Royce engines.

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