New Rolls-Royce engine takes to the skies

The British made Rolls-Royce Trent XWB (extra wide body) aero engine has taken to the skies for the first time, powering an Airbus A380 test aircraft in Toulouse, France.

The aircraft flew with one of its four Trent 900 engines replaced by a Trent XWB, which is claimed to be the most efficient civil aircraft engine in the world. Rolls says that the Trent XWB is also the fastest-selling Trent engine ever, with more than 1,100 already sold. At the 2011 Paris Airshow, the company announced that it will be the exclusive engine supplier for the longer range Airbus A350-1000 aircraft. Chris Young, Rolls-Royce, Trent XWB Programme Director, said: "It's a great moment to see the Trent XWB take to the air for the first time. Today's flight is the product of years of work and demonstrates the progress being made on our journey to deliver this world leading technology." The Trent XWB ran on a ground test bed for the first time in June 2010. Around 175 hours of test flights over a seven month period will validate results from ground testing and demonstrate the engine's in-flight performance. The Trent XWB has already successfully completed more than 1,500 hours of testing, including endurance running, icing and simulated altitude.