Airbus’ A350 engine begins flight tests

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The A350-1000’s new engine – the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 – has successfully made its first flight test aboard Airbus’s dedicated A380 ‘Flying Test Bed’. The aircraft took off from Airbus’s facilities in Toulouse, France, and the engine was tested across a wide range of power settings and at altitudes up to 35,000ft during a flight of a little over four hours. Engine operation and handling qualities were evaluated from low speeds to Mach 0.87.

The Trent XWB-97 development engine was mounted on the A380’s inner left engine pylon, replacing one of the aircraft’s Trent 900 engines.

The XWB-97 engine’s flight test program, which commenced about nine months prior to the A350-1000’s first flight, will also include hot weather and icing condition-testing campaigns. The specially enhanced Trent XWB-97 produces 97,000 lb of thrust on take-off, making it the most powerful engine ever developed for an Airbus aircraft.

November 13, 2015

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