Rolls-Royce Engine with 3D Printed Housing Completes First Test Flight

9th November 2015

Trent XWB-97, the most powerful version of the Trent XWB engine which will power the longer range A350-1000 aircraft, has taken to the skies for the first time. The engine powered an Airbus A380 flying testbed aircraft, which flew with one of its four Trent 900 engines replaced by a Trent XWB-97, at Toulouse, France.

It also marked the first flight of the world’s largest 3D printed aero engine structure – the engine’s front bearing housing has aerofoils made by the Additive Layer Manufacturing technique. Rolls-Royce is developing the technology, which has potential to improve manufacturing and product functionality in terms of design optimisation, cost and speed.

The Trent XWB, the world’s most efficient civil aircraft engine, is also the fastest-selling wide-body engine with more than 1,500 engines sold to 41 customers.

 

The engine’s front bearing housing has aerofoils made by the Additive Layer Manufacturing technique
The engine’s front bearing housing has aerofoils made by Additive Layer Manufacturing

 

Gareth Davies, Rolls-Royce, Trent XWB Programme Director, said: “It’s a great moment to see the latest version of the Trent XWB take to the air for the first time. Today’s flight is the product of years of work and marks another programme delivery milestone.”

The Trent XWB-84 successfully entered service at the start of this year and is now in operation with three customers.

 

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