Before the Airbus A350 XWB can lift off for its maiden flight later this year, the platform's Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine must first undergo build up and podding -- the transition from bare engine to propulsion system -- as well as instrumentation. This process is now underway at Aerostructures' Toulouse site, following delivery of the first flight test program engine to the French facility on 16/Jan.
The engine received a lot of tender loving care upon arrival. It was delivered from Derby UK to Toulouse France on a special trailer resting on a separate transport berth that kept the engine extremely well protected. Special handling supervised by Aerostructures and Rolls-Royce engineering and quality personnel was required to unload the unit from its berth.
Once unloaded, the 9-ton engine was positioned on four pedestals. Under the pedestal bases were rollers allowing the special tooling to be positioned anywhere in the shop. Once in place on the pedestals, the mere weight of the engine pushes the rollers inside the bases, providing full stability and safety while enabling excellent access to all sections of the engine.
Waiting for the engine were all of its nacelle components Goodrich:
- The fan cowls came from Aerostructures' Riverside facility.
-The thrust reversers, made in Chula Vista, stopped first at the Rolls-Royce facility in Derby UK before traveling on to Toulouse.
-The exhaust nozzle assemblies, meanwhile, shipped from the San Marcos, Texas site (also passing through Derby first).
-The inlet cowls arrived from the Airbus plant in Saint-Nazaire, France.
The delivery date for the completed propulsion system for the first flight test aircraft is scheduled for early March.
Based on the article “Trent XWB engine arrives in Toulouse” published in Skylines Aerostructures