Rolls-Royce’S Trent 500 aeroengine, which has already won orders worth more than $5bn (£3.3bn), flew this week for the first time on a specially adapted Airbus A340-300 aircraft.
The engine has already been selected as the power plant for the new, long-range versions of the Airbus Industrie A340 airliner. The A340 is due to enter service with Virgin Atlantic in 2002.
The single 56,000lb thrust Trent, installed alongside the Airbus’s three smaller engines, completed a two-and-a-half-hour test flight.
This followed over 1,500 hours of ground testing involving a total of seven Trent 500 development engines.
Test pilot Ed Strongman said: `It was a perfect first flight. We have worked in the simulator and on ground runs but it was really pleasing to see that the engine responded in just the way we predicted it would.’
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