As the exclusive engine provider for the newly-launched Airbus A330neo with the Trent 7000, Rolls-Royce has embarked on a fast-tracked test and development program to support the big twin’s entry-into-service target of late 2017.

Although most new engine development programs take an average of around six years to come to market, Rolls is halving the time by basing the Trent 7000 on the Trent 1000-TEN, the latest version of the engine family currently under development for the Boeing 787. The new A330 variant will run for the first time in 2015, and be flight tested on Rolls’ 747 flying testbed in 2016. A decision on whether further flight tests will take place at Airbus before mounting on the A330neo is yet “to be determined” says Rolls-Royce Customer Marketing vice president Richard Goodhead. The engine, rated at between 68,000 lb and 72,000 lb. thrust, will power both new variants which will be called the A330-800neo and -900neo.

The Trent 7000 is “a relatively low risk program” says Goodhead, who adds engine certification is targeted for the first quarter of 2017. Although weighing considerably more than the Trent 700, Rolls says the performance benefits of the newer technology Trent 1000-derivative will easily exceed the penalties of the larger engine’s drag and mass.  The engine will be cantilevered further forward and higher on the wing pylon to ensure adequate ground clearance and load distribution Goodhead adds.  Compared to the 97.5 in. fan diameter and 5:1 bypass ratio of the current Trent 772, the Trent 7000 will have the same 112 in. fan diameter and 10:1 bypass ratio of the newest 787 engine.

Advances in the core design give the new engine an overall pressure ratio of 50:1 compared to 36:1 on the Trent 700. Combined with the higher bypass ratio, the Trent 7000 specific fuel consumption is 10% lower than that of the baseline engine. “When that’s integrated with the airframe changes of the A330-800/900neo it will result in a 14% lower fuel burn per seat,” says Goodhead. The bigger fan will also significantly cut noise, enabling the A330-800/900neo to meet stiffer London airport ‘quota count’ (QC) noise regulations of QC1/0.25 for departure and arrivals respectively, compared to the QC 2/0.5 capabilities of the current aircraft.

The Trent 7000 version of the ‘TEN’ will also be adapted to power the A330’s pneumatic and electric systems with the addition of bleed offtakes and a different power gearbox.  The changes will be based on standard three-shaft offtake systems such as that used in the Trent 900 engine for the A380 which takes bleed air for environmental control and wing anti-icing from ports in both the intermediate and high pressure spools, depending on demand level and flight phase. Other adaptations related to the bleed system will include modifications to the front bearing housing assembly to prevent the potential for oil-related vapor from entering the air system.