The Rolls-Royce engine destined for the Airbus A350 XWB has made its first flight aboard an A380 test aircraft.
The Trent XWB development engine, fitted with a range of test sensors, was mounted on the A380’s inner left engine pylon where it replaced one of the A380’s Trent 900 engines. Airbus said the initial five hour test flight was a success.
“This is a promising start to the Trent XWB’s flight-test program which will ensure a thorough real-life testing of the engine, nacelle and its systems.” said Charles Champion, executive vice president of engineering at Airbus. “This will allow for a high level of powerplant integration, maturity and reliability to be achieved by the time it flies on the first A350 XWB aircraft.”
The Trent XWB engine test program is being launched roughly a year ahead of scheduled first flight for the composite built A350. The engine test program is set to accumulate about 175 flight hours over a seven month period and will include hot weather and icing condition portions, Airbus says. The program will run about three times longer than previous such efforts, which Airbus says will contribute to ‘de-risking’ the A350 XWB’s development.