June 19, 2013
Rolls-Royce is testing a second performance-enhancement package for the Trent 900 turbofan powering the Airbus A380, as it continues its strategy of rolling technology from its new engines back into the fleet.
The EP2 upgrade, which entered test about a month ago and is scheduled to enter service with Singapore Airlines in mid-2014, is expected to reduce fuel burn by up to 0.8%.
Trent 900s have been delivered with the EP Block 1 improvements since 2012, and together with EP2 the upgrades will reduce fuel-burn on the Rolls-powered A380 by up to 1.8%.
The competing General Electric/Pratt & Whitney Engine Alliance “says the GP7000 is $1 million a year ahead of us on fuel burn. EP and EP2 will cancel almost of all that, and our engine deteriorates less,” says Peter Johnston, head of marketing for large civil engines.
The Trent 900 EP2 is the latest in a series of upgrades to in-service engines as Rolls fields technology from its newer engines, including the latest Trent 1000 and Trent XWB, back into the fleet.
EP2, for example, includes a modulated active clearance-control system developed for the XWB powering the Airbus A350 and also planned for the 1000-TEN that will power the newly launched Boeing 787-10.
Rolls has already updated Trent 700s powering the A330 to EP standard, which includes elliptical leading edges on blades in the intermediate- and high-pressure compressors. This and other improvements reduce fuel burn by 1.1%, and operators of about half the 1,100-plus Trent 700s in service have committed to retrofit the upgrade, says Johnston.
Engineering analysis of the next step, EP2 for the Trent 700, is complete and the upgrade will be ready for 2015, he says. EP2 will reduce fuel burn by another 1%, and includes elliptical leading edge on compressor stators, improved aerodynamics and build-tolerance improvements (also part of the Trent 900 EP2).