With flight tests of the Trent XWB-powered A350-900 progressing according to plan in France, Airbus is marching on schedule with Rolls-Royce to define a higher-thrust version of the XWB set to power the larger version of the advanced twinjet in mid-2016.
Despite benefiting from a high degree of similarity to the engine now in flight test, the challenge is far from straightforward. The XWB-97 is designed not only to generate over 15% more power for the stretched A350-1000, but it must do so within the same overall nacelle size as used on the A350-800/-900. And it must accomplish this without impacting the specific fuel consumption or on-wing life of the engine. To solve this conundrum, the larger engine incorporates a higher-flow-capacity fan to pump more air, a larger core to increase flow and higher-capability turbines to extract power for the fan.