Rolls Royce Engines Powered Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner Historic Flight





Rolls Royce Engines Powered Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner Historic Flight

By Mike Mitchell
Rolls Royce Engines Powered Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner Historic Flight 

December 20, 2009 - Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner historic first flight was powered by Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines, the latest generation in the successful Trent family. The Trent 1000 is the latest member of the Rolls-Royce Trent family to take to the skies. Trent engine technology has accumulated more than 37 million flying hours since the first Trent entered service in 1995. At take off each Trent 1000 engine generated as much power as 1,000 family cars. 

Rolls-Royce has a long track record of reducing the environmental impact of its products and developing new low emission products, while maintaining exceptional operating performance. The Trent 1000 is playing a key role in enabling the Dreamliner to reach its environmental targets. Engine development has involved more than 10,000 cycles of testing over 5,500 hours. In November Rolls-Royce announced the successful completion of 3,000 cycle ETOPS (Extended Range Twin Operations) testing on the engine. 


Mark King, Rolls-Royce President - Civil Aerospace, said: “Everyone at Rolls-Royce offers their warmest congratulations to Boeing on achieving this significant milestone. This is an excellent result for the Boeing 787 and Trent 1000, further developing our long-term partnership with Boeing. This engine is another example of our ability to incorporate new technologies and set new standards on operational efficiency and environmental performance.”  

At 10:27 am Pacific Time (18:27 GMT), on the 15th December 2009 the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner eased effortlessly into the skies powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines. This marked the debut of the quietest, cleanest and most fuel efficient airframe and engine partnership flying today.  

Boeing selected the Trent 1000 in 2004 as launch engine for all variants of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The first test bed run of the Trent 1000 took place in 2006, followed by certification, on August 7, 2008. First on-wing ground testing took place in May 2009 as part of the gauntlet test program ahead of the first flight.  The Boeing 787 is the first “more electric” aircraft, using engine electrical power to pressurize and air condition the cabin rather than using bleed air from the engine - this arrangement will improve cabin air quality for passengers 


The Trent 1000 is optimized specifically for the Boeing 787, which is due to enter service in 2010. The first two customers for the aircraft, Air New Zealand and ANA, selected the Trent 1000 to power their aircraft making it the launch engine. The Trent 1000 is launch engine for all current 787 variants. The three-shaft architecture that inspired the Trent family evolutionary concept reduces the risks associated with entry into service.

Particular attention has been dedicated to reducing all areas of life cycle cost for the Trent 1000; especially to increase component life, facilitate ease of maintenance and significantly reduce through life fuel burn.  Rolls-Royce is fully committed to reducing environmental impact of its products. The slower fan speed and low jet velocity of the Trent 1000 reduce noise. Continued development of the tiled combustor, inherited from the Trent 900, which achieves the lowest levels of emissions of any large turbofan engine, ensures the Trent 1000 will meet all current and proposed environmental legislation. 

To improve component life the Trent 1000 features new technology such as soluble core High Pressure (HP) turbine blades, new manufacturing methods produce more effective cooling for longer-life blades and improved fuel burn.  Improved materials also increase lives of discs and shafts. The Trent 1000 is a bleedless engine to suit the requirements of the More Electric Boeing 787. This offers reductions in fuel burn and weight for the overall aircraft and enables increased levels of electrical energy to be transferred to the aircraft via the Intermediate Pressure (IP) spool power offtake. In addition, this unique three-shaft technology improves engine operability.  

With the introduction of new service packages from Rolls-Royce, maintenance is increasingly focused. Predictive Engine Health Monitoring has been further developed from the Trent 900 and can pinpoint maintenance needs before they disrupt operations. The first Trent 1000 engines will enter service with Boeing 787 Dreamliner launch customer All Nippon Airways. 

Rolls-Royce, a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air, has established a strong position in global markets - civil aerospace, defense aerospace, marine and energy. As a result of this strategy, Rolls-Royce today has a broad customer base comprising more than 600 airlines, 4,000 corporate and utility aircraft and helicopter operators, 160 armed forces, more than 2,000 marine customers, including 70 navies, and energy customers in nearly 120 countries, with an installed base of 54,000 gas turbines.  

Rolls-Royce employs over 38,000 skilled people in offices, manufacturing and service facilities in 50 countries. The Group has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment, and to further developing employee skills. 

Sixty per cent of research and development investment and 40 per cent of new product development spending over the past five years has been outside the UK, with particularly strong relationships with the 27 universities worldwide where there are Rolls-Royce University Technology Centres. In 2008, Rolls-Royce invested £885 million on research and development, two thirds of which had the objective of further improving the environmental aspects of its products, in particular the reduction of emissions. 

Annual underlying revenues were £9.1 billion in 2008, of which 52 per cent came from services revenues. The firm and announced order book stood at £57.5 billion at 30 June 2009, providing visibility of future levels of activity.

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