Already the most reliable engine on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the Trent 1000 will set the performance bar even higher as the engine’s TEN (thrust, efficiency and new technology) development programme moves into its final test stages.
The production version of the new engine will be rated up to 78,000lbs of thrust and will be available for all three variants of the Boeing 787: the -8; -9 and future -10.
The TEN programme is not an improvement package, it is a step change in design and performance. It embodies a combination of latest design architectures in key areas drawn from the highly successful Trent XWB engine and features new technologies designed and developed for the Trent 1000.
“This is not a roll-up of other package improvements. The TEN is around a 70-75 per cent part change from the package ‘C’ version in service today. The LP system turbomachinery is largely unaffected but it is basically a new core and new associated systems,” says Gareth Jones, Chief Engineer Trent 1000.
“Each time we have introduced a marque of engine we have addressed the aircraft requirements and also progressively improved fuel burn – this has been an evolving story. The TEN engine is a development created to meet the needs of the future 787-10, but it has also given us a chance to use some of the best technologies and understandings of the Trent XWB programme and feed these into the Trent 1000 to substantially improve fuel burn whilst retaining our Best In Class reliability.
“Airlines need a machine that can deliver on low fuel consumption and that is completely reliable and robust. It is a balance of attributes and that is what we are going to deliver.”
Going back to the early days of the Trent 1000 it’s worth remembering that this was the only engine designed specifically to power the 787. It has now reached over a million flying hours since entry into service. Currently in service with 11 customers, the engine continues to demonstrate excellent reliability and robustness despite demanding operational requirements, with an average dispatch reliability of 99.9 per cent since entry into service.
The single biggest contributor to improved fuel burn in the TEN comes from the new compressor system. It employs a scaled version of the IP and HP compressors from the Trent XWB-84. The HP turbine architecture is shared with the Trent XWB-97 and will provide better component life results for the Trent 1000 in service.
Unique to the TEN is its modulated air system which optimises the secondary air flow within the engine. Historically an engine’s secondary air system has had to be designed to cope with the most demanding point in the flight cycle (take-off) but of course that means the system has a larger air flow circulating during the rest of the flight regime than is really required.
With the new modulating technology, the engine can regulate the amount of air it needs on demand and then when in cruise or idle, a novel valve arrangement uses air vortices (not moving parts) to regulate the amount of air flowing through the system and this helps further reduce fuel consumption.
External systems for the engine have been improved and re-designed with a greater use of composites, there is a new external gearbox and a latest generation engine control system using new-generation advanced processor technology.
“We are seeing customers recognise the benefits of a robust engine like ours. It is a powerful attribute. Unlike the competition, we don’t have any operational constraints in service due to high altitude icing. I think the industry looks to the Trent 1000 as a great weather vane for judging Rolls-Royce as there are not many large airframes now where there is direct engine competition. Our excellent engineering and reliability of performance is translating into great momentum in the marketplace.” says Gary Moore, Director Trent 1000.
“Of course, customers want lower fuel burn, but they really want reliability coupled with the ability to fly their aircraft where they want to, when they want to and how they want to. The Trent 1000 allows them to do just that.”