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Rolls Royce Engine Receives A380 Airworthiness Certification, and Airbus Install First A380 Cabin

  • Tuesday, 14th December 2004
  • Reading time: less than a minute

The Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine, being developed for the Airbus A380, has achieved its airworthiness certification on schedule – less than 20 months after its first run, and Engineers are installing the mini cabins for the first three aircraft to fly.

As the choice of launch customer Singapore Airlines, the Trent 900 is the leading engine for the A380 development programme, and the first set of engines has been delivered to Airbus in Toulouse, France in readiness for the aircraft’s maiden flight in early 2005.

The Trent 900 – the first large aero engine programme to complete certification through the new European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) – is meeting or exceeding all performance targets, including fuel burn, and will have the lowest noise and emissions levels on the A380. Since the engine first ran in March 2003, seven development engines have been used in safety and reliability testing. This has included measuring the engine’s resistance to multiple bird strikes, and its performance in severe weather conditions simulated by water, hail and ice ingestion tests. The programme also included the statutory “blade-off” test, which successfully demonstrated the ability of the engine’s safety system to contain a fan blade, deliberately blown free by an explosive charge with the engine at full power.

Earlier this year, the Trent 900 successfully completed a 60-hour flight test programme, installed on a specially converted A340-300 flying test bed. This followed simulated altitude testing at Tullahoma, USA during which engine performance and handling characteristics were measured beyond the limits of the normal flight envelope.

In another A380 development, engineers from Airbus’ plant in Hamburg, Germany are currently at the A380 final assembly line in Toulouse installing the mini cabins for the first three aircraft to fly.

The cabins will be installed on Airbus’ three flight test A380. No passenger seats are being fitted, as they are not required for the aircraft to perform flight tests. Engineers expect to complete installation of the cabins in all three aircraft on schedule.

The mini cabin consists of interior furnishings – such as side walls and ceiling panels – galley, lavatory and overhead stowage bins and is installed in a small section of the aircraft’s upper fuselage, close to the cockpit area. For the second flying A380, a flight crew rest compartment will also be installed. The mini cabin set of components also includes stairs for the cockpit, forward and rear fuselage.

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