Rolls-Royce offers technology to Boeing

Posted on 23 Jun 2011 by The Manufacturer

As well as announcing that it will provide its new aeroengine technology to Airbus, the British engineering group wants to provide similar engines to US aerospace giant, Boeing.

While it was announced yesterday (June 22nd) that Rolls-Royce has agreed to supply Airbus with a more technologically capable and updated Trent XWB engine, it was also announced that Rolls is making engines for Boeing’s new long-range model, the 787 Dreamliner.

The Trent 1000 engine will be on the first 787s delivered to All Nippon Airways Co. Ltd, planned for later this year. Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, has received certification from Japan’s aviation authority for its Trent 1000 engine, confirming its readiness to power the Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s entry into service with All Nippon Airways (ANA).
Rolls-Royce is the sole engine supplier on all versions of the A350. The Trent XWB upgrades will improve areas such as aerodynamics and the lightness and quality of materials used in the manufacturing of the engines.

“What we’re doing with the Trent XWB gives us options for the Trent 1000,” said Mark King, president of civil aerospace at Rolls-Royce. “We have an opportunity here to roll the technologies into the Trent 1000,” he added.

Trent 1000 programme director Simon Carlisle said last week that he and his team were confident that they had a mature product that’s had a lot of engineering work and issues fixed, and a lot of flight-test experience too. “”Clearly the [787] programme has gone much slower than we would have liked, and the engine would have been ready back in 2007. I guess we’ll never know what that would have meant,” he said.

Chief engineer of the Trent 1000 project, Andy Geer, said: “I don’t think it’s any secret that both engine companies on the 787 programme adopted a very similar style of LPT – high lift, short, low weight, and both of us have had some challenges in getting full aerodynamic efficiency out of that. So we’ve both done an iteration of the design. Package B gets us back within 1% of [fuel burn] specification.”

Those behind Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner have not said which company they want to provide their engines. Rolls-Royce is in competition for the deal with General Electric Co. Randy Tinseth, Boeing’s vice president for marketing at its commercial airplane division said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal yesterday that he and those at Boeing were simply interested in the best product on the market: “When we find things that will improve our products, we’ll engage,” he explained. It seems Rolls-Royce will have to try hard to show why it is the best option for Boeing with regards to engines.

Mr. King hopes that Rolls-Royce will find out more about Boeing’s plans for the 787-10 in the coming months. Once this is clear, Rolls-Royce can begin to assess how to adapt the new developments to the Dreamliner’s engine. “There’s a big opportunity there,” Mr. King said.