Rolls-Royce commits to Derby as the production hub for the Trent XWB
Rolls-Royce is today announcing that Derby will be the production centre for the Trent XWB. The Trent XWB is the world's most efficient large aero engine and the fastest-selling widebody engine ever, with more than 1,500 engines sold to 40 customers to date. It is the sole power plant available for the Airbus A350 XWB.
Rolls-Royce has invested around £30m expanding its Derby Assembly & Test Facility and installing new equipment, in order to meet customer demand for the engine. Over the next three to four years, Trent XWB production will grow to over 300 engines a year - the equivalent of one every working day - and will stay at that level for several years. The majority of these engines will be built in Derby. The engine is expected to be in service for many years, creating an annuity of aftermarket services that will generate revenues for decades to come.
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Almost ten years ago, Rolls-Royce made its commitment to Airbus that it would develop a new engine for its latest wide-body aircraft. Work on the engine began in 2006 and it is ready to power the first A350 XWB aircraft to be delivered to launch customer Qatar Airways later this month.
Tony Wood, Rolls-Royce, President - Aerospace said: "The Trent XWB engine is fundamental to the future growth of Rolls-Royce. It accounts for half of our civil aerospace order book, before the Airbus A350 XWB has even entered commercial service. That is a great vote of confidence in our abilities at Rolls-Royce."
Eric Schulz, Rolls-Royce, President - Civil Large Engines, said "We are very proud of the Trent XWB. We have implemented a range of new technologies in this programme, to make the Trent XWB the world’s most efficient engine flying today, and it is the bedrock for our future programmes. Customers have responded very strongly to what we have to offer, making the Trent XWB the fastest-selling widebody engine ever."
Simon Burr, Rolls-Royce, Director - Trent XWB Programme added: "The Trent XWB engine going into production is the exciting culmination of years of hard work by Rolls-Royce employees, partners and suppliers around the world. Many of the team who have been crucial to its development are based in Derby and it is great news for them, the local area and the wider UK economy that Rolls-Royce will build the bulk of the engines here."
Over 10,000 people worldwide, from academics, researchers and Rolls-Royce engineers to supply chain partners and other third parties have contributed to the Trent XWB programme over the years, to get it to a position where it is ready to power the first commercial flights of the Airbus A350 XWB.
The Trent XWB includes ground-breaking technology which has been developed in partnership with academics and researchers across the world through Rolls-Royce’s network of University Technology Centres (UTCs). For example seven UTCs in the UK were involved in the development of the swept fan blade. The Trent XWB is the result of work across 16 manufacturing plants and 11 engineering and testing facilities, as well as work with 12 engineering partners and 75 supply chain partners
Some facts about the Trent XWB:
- Each Trent XWB is made up of more than 20,000 parts.
- The fan case of the Trent XWB, at just under 10ft in diameter, is wider than the fuselage of Concorde.
- The fan blades at the front suck in up to 1.3 tonnes (more than a squash court) of air every second at take-off.
- The force on a fan blade at take-off is equivalent to a load of almost 90 tons, the same as nine London buses hanging off each blade.
- Inside the engine, each of the 68 high-pressure turbine blades generates 800hp at take off - the equivalent to that of a Formula 1 racing car - and the blade tips reach 1,200mph (nearly twice the speed of sound).
- The HP turbine blades operate in an environment where temperatures can exceed 2,000C, higher than their melting point. Each blade has tiny air holes in it, through which ‘cooling air’ (at 700C) is blown to cover the blade’s surface.
- At full power, air leaves the nozzle at the back of the engine at almost 1000mph.
Source : Rolls Royce - view original press release