Rolls-Royce to power enhanced Airbus A350-1000

UK aerospace firm Rolls-Royce has signed an agreement to be the exclusive engine provider for the largest of Airbus' new composite based airliners.

According to the power systems specialist, which made the announcement at Le Bourget International Air Show in Paris yesterday, the new higher thrust version of the Trent XWB (pictured) will deliver 97,000lbs maximum thrust. This will be achieved by the inclusion of new high temperature turbine technology, an increase in the size of the engine core and advanced fan aerodynamics. The A350 XWB will feature Airbus' first composite based fuselage and wings. These will be made from carbon fibre reinforced plastic to help reduce fuel consumption and make maintenance easier. More than 70% of the aircraft's airframe will be made from advanced materials, combining 53% composite structures with titanium and advanced aluminium alloys. "Trent XWB engines currently on test are proving to be the most advanced civil aero engines in the world today," said Mark King, president, Civil Aerospace, Rolls-Royce. "The higher thrust variant of the Trent XWB incorporates further innovations from our Advance 3 technology demonstrator programmes." Fabrice Brégier, ceo, Airbus, added: "We are delighted to announce that, together with our partner Rolls-Royce, we will develop and produce an enhanced A350-1000 aircraft with outstanding payload and long range, the best economics and 25% lower fuel burn and Co2 emissions than its nearest competitor. This will unequivocally assure the A350-1000's position as the most efficient aircraft in its category." Rolls-Royce also announced several other contract wins at Le Bourget Air Show, most notably its $2.2billion agreement with TAM Airlines of Brazil. In addition, the manufacturer made public a $250m contract with China Southern Airlines and a $60m deal to supply engines for six Gulf Air Airbus 321s. The higher thrust variant of the Trent XWB is scheduled to run for the first time in mid 2014 and enter service in mid 2017.