Rolls-Royce Plc reported a successful first test flight for a more advanced version of its Trent turboshaft jet engine, the Trent 1000 TEN. A series of tests is being carried out by Rolls-Royce using its Flying Test Bed aircraft (a Boeing 747) at Tucson, Ariz.
The Trent 1000 TEN (the acronym is for "Thrust, Efficiency and New Technology") is described as an improved version of the Trent 1000 that reduces fuel burn via an advanced, intermediate pressure compressor in which the rear stages spin at higher speeds.” Rolls has indicated the new engine builds on technologies proven with its Trent XWB engine and Advance engine program, emphasizing increased thrust and engine efficiency.
The compressor features three-blade blisks, and Rolls is counting on the updated design to help it gain a greater share of engines selected for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Most of the engines selected by buyers of that fast-selling wide-body aircraft have been GE Aviation’s GEnx units.
Once it enters commercial service, the Trent 1000 TEN will power all three variants of the twin-engine Boeing 787 series. The current version Trent 1000 engine was chosen for the first 787-8 jet that entered service with All Nippon Airways in 2011, and on the first 787-9 that entered service with Air New Zealand in 2014.
Boeing recently started major assembly work on the first 787-10 jets. The OEM has delivered 380 Dreamliners since 2011, and it has orders to build nearly 1,150 more of the aircraft series.
The test flight was conducted on a modified 747-200 jet, the Spirit of Excellence, that Rolls has used to carry out test flights for new engine programs since 2007. Test engines are installed on the inboard pylon of the aircraft, which is equipped with instrumentation that allows advanced performance measurements to be collected from the engine in flight. Use of the Flying Test Bed ensures that the engine is mature and ready for intensive test operations on the aircraft it will power in service, the engine builder noted.
“We are proud to deliver the world’s best jet engines and this flight marks another milestone for the Trent 1000 TEN,” according to Gary Moore, Trent 1000 program director. “The Trent 1000 has real momentum in the marketplace and we know customers are looking forward to the outstanding performance and economics the Trent 1000 TEN will deliver.”