11 November 2012

A380 Test bend with Trent XWB: stop-show-go for R-R staff at Derby

 The A380 test bend made a two-day break in their test schedule (on it´s way to get the certificate of airworthiness allowing it to be used on the A350 XWB) to allow Rolls-Royce staff to see the fruits of their labours up close. The event, specially organized by Rolls-Royce and Airbus to thank to 2,000 Rolls-Royce staff in Derby who have worked on the XWB engine program, took place in East Midlands Airport.

About 650 of those workers were taken to the airport to see the engine on the wing and have a tour of the A380 test plane.

Andy Knox, head of production readiness for the XWB said: "It was a proud moment for us and for Derby to see the A380 and the XWB at East Midlands Airport. We have a very busy production schedule ahead of us over the next few years. When production really ramps up we will be making one of these engines a day. The company has invested a lot of money in this engine. It has also spent large sums making sure the Derby site is ready for production. It's a great privilege to work on this project. We're absolutely delighted with the number of orders we have received so far and we are looking forward to the engine getting all of its certification and then getting on with the job of making them in big numbers."

A group of pupils from Gayton Junior School, in Littleover, had a tour to see the XWB engine and the A380.

Chris Orchard, a project development engineer for the XWB, said: "To actually see the engine on the wing, in the flesh, was quite an emotional experience. A lot of people have devoted years of their lives to this project. So, days like this are very special. The engine itself is amazing – and not just to look at. It is the most efficient large gas turbine engine ever built. That probably explains why so many customers have ordered them."

Peter Chandler, chief test pilot at Airbus said: "The XWB is performing well. Although the XWB is designed specifically for the A350 aircraft, it is possible to test the engine on an A380. The XWB produces around 10,000lbs more thrust that the Trent 900, so you can feel a bit more of a pull on one side but it something that can be managed. The XWB is being put through its paces in different environments. We were recently near Dubai carrying out hot-weather testing. It will soon be going to Siberia to do some cold weather testing. I haven't put my name down for that!" 
Based on the article "Touchdown for engine which will take R-R to new heights” published in Derby Telegraph.

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