Airbus and Rolls-Royce are to develop the A350-1000 with more powerful Trent XWB engines than originally specified and an increased take-off weight.
In doing so, says Airbus, the manufacturers responded to the market’s call to offer even more payload and range. To improve the performance of the A350-1000, however, Airbus has delayed the planned entry into service of the A350-1000 by 18 months from its originally planned late-2015 service launch.
The enhanced version of the Trent XWB engine will be fully optimized for the largest member of the Airbus A350 XWB family and will deliver up to 97,000lbs (431.48 kilonewtons) of thrust on take-off, making it the most powerful engine ever developed for an Airbus aircraft.
Entry into service of the A350-1000 is set for mid-2017. Originally Airbus and Rolls-Royce had planned to offer the aircraft with Trent XWB powerplants which each delivered 92,000lb (409.24kN) of thrust.
The decision to increase thrust to make the aircraft more capable has come after prompting by leading customers such as Emirates and Qatar Airways, which wanted more range from their A350-1000s than Airbus had originally planned.
“We are delighted to announce that together with our partner Rolls-Royce, we will develop and produce an enhanced A350-1000 aircraft with outstanding payload and long range, the best economics, and 25 per cent lower fuel burn and CO2 emissions than its nearest competitor,” says Fabrice Brégier, Airbus’ chief operating officer. “This will unequivocally assure the A350-1000’s position as the most efficient aircraft in its category.”
“Trent XWB engines currently on test are proving it to be the most advanced civil aero engine in the world today,” remarks Mark King, Rolls-Royce’s president, Civil Aerospace. “The higher-thrust variant of the Trent XWB optimized for the A350-1000 incorporates further innovations from our Advance 3 technology demonstrator programs. This has enabled us to offer our partner, Airbus, a new, higher thrust version of the engine with industry-leading levels of efficiency.”
Airbus says that, together with an increased aircraft takeoff weight capability of 308 tonnes, the extra thrust will enable airlines to fly the new A350-1000 approximately 400nm further than originally envisioned with a full load of 350 passengers, or carry around 4.5 extra tonnes of payload at a given range.
The manufacturer says the A350-1000’s payload-range capability will support the development of long haul-routes for emerging markets such as Shanghai-Boston or Paris-Santiago, as well as more traditional markets like Manchester-Los Angeles or Dubai-Melbourne, while burning 25 per cent less fuel than its nearest competitor.
The A350 XWB Family consists of three different-sized passenger versions (the A350-800, A350-900 and A350-1000), each of which will have very-long-range capability. The A350-1000 is the largest of the three versions and will typically accommodate 350 seats.
To date, four customers have ordered a total of 75 A350-1000s. Before the Paris Airshow, firm orders for the A350 XWB family had reached 574 aircraft.
Airbus forecasts a demand over the next 20 years for around 5,800 new twin-aisle, mid-size passenger aircraft.