Amid growing signs that Boeing will officially give the double-stretched 787-10X the go-ahead at this month’s Paris air show, one of the leading launch candidates, Singapore Airlines (SIA), has selected the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 for a mix of up to 50 787-8s, -9s and -10Xs.
SIA’s engine decision consolidates a significant strategic effort by Rolls in Singapore where early last year it opened a manufacturing, research, testing and training facility at Seletar. The site is also the first Rolls facility outside of the U.K. to assemble Trent 900 and 1000s and manufacture the company’s hallmark hollow titanium wide chord fan blades.
Trent 900s power 19 Airbus A380s in service with SIA, and have been selected for five additional A380s ordered in January. Between them, SIA and its and no frills subsidiary Scoot currently operate a total of 88 Rolls-powered aircraft, with 88 more on order.
The Singapore announcement marks the third time that Rolls has been selected first for a new model of the 787 since All Nippon Airways launched the original 787-8 with Trent 1000s in 2004. The win is a valuable shot-in-the-arm for the U.K. engine maker, which has seen its share of the overall 787 market fall in recent years as competitor General Electric stepped up development of upgrades to the alternate GEnx-1B engine.
Until today’s announcement, Rolls had been selected for almost 240 787s on firm order against around 395 for GE. However engines for almost 260 787s on firm order have yet to be selected.
The 787-10X is stretched by 18 ft. over the 787-9 to 224 ft. in length. Aimed at the heart of the Airbus A330, A340 and Boeing 777-200 replacement market, the -10X is expected to be a 6,700-6,750 naut. mi. range aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of around 552,900 lb., just under 8,000 lb. heavier than the 787-9. The -10X will be configured with the 78,000 lb. performance improvement package II standard GEnx-1B or the Trent 1000 TEN (thrust efficiency new technology) version.
Rolls, which signed a memorandum of understanding with Boeing in 2012 to offer the Trent 1000 TEN on the stretch, is targeting introduction on the 787-8/9 in the first half of 2016.