In fuel efficiency race, Rolls unveils new engine variant for 787

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Published: July 10, 2012




XWB engine. Courtesy, Rolls-Royce

Airline obsession with sky high oil prices has prompted a sharpened rivalry among engine manufacturers that are eager to use Farnborough to showcase new products with better fuel efficiency.

Rolls-Royce on Tuesday announced it will develop the Trent 1000-TEN, an advanced version of the newest member of the Trent engine family, the Trent XWB.  The Trent 1000-TEN – the company says its stands for Thrust, Efficiency and New technology – is targeted at the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and will provide an improvement of up to 3% in specific fuel consumption compared with the Trent 1000s in service today, Rolls said.

The Trent 1000 competes with the GE Aviation’s GEnx on the 787 and powers Dreamliners operated by the aircraft’s launch customer, All Nippon Airways. The – TEN will be certified to 76,000 lb. of thrust, with the capability to deliver 78,000 lb., and will become the Rolls engine offering for the -8 and -9 from 2016 onward. It will also be offered on yet-to-be-launched the 787-10X when/if Boeing launches this variant.

The Trent XWB, from which the -TEN will be derived, is under development for the new Airbus A350 XWB, for which it is the exclusive engine.

GE, meanwhile, announced it will refine component efficiencies across its CF6-80E1 engine to provide up to a 1% improvement in fuel efficiency for Airbus’s enhanced A330 aircraft with a 240 tonne takeoff-weight capability and an extended nautical mile range. Deliveries of the newly enhanced CF6-80E1 are targeted for 2015.

On the competition to power new single-aisle aircraft, meanwhile, rivals CFM International, with its LEAP engine, and Pratt & Whitney, with its PW1100G geared turbofan, are keen to stress the fuel burn improvements of each. But Joe Ozimek, Boeing VP 737 MAX product marketing, told reporters at Farnborough that fuel efficiency is not all about the engine.  Revealing for the first time the extended range numbers of the LEAP-1B-powered Boeing 737 MAX, Ozimek said the MAX’s fuel burn would be 13% lower than current Next Generation 737s, on a per-seat basis, and 8% lower than the LEAP-1A-powered Airbus A320neo. He said this was because the LEAP-1A has a bigger fan, and is therefore heavier and has more drag, and the MAX has more seats.

“The physics work a little better in Seattle than in Toulouse,” Ozimek quipped. “It’s not just about the fan because when you put on a bigger fan, you also put on more weight on the airplane and weight is fuel burn. Airplanes are bodies, wings and engines.”

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