Rolls-Royce’s Trent 900 engine has been selected by Lufthansa to power the airline’s new fleet of high-capacity Airbus A380s. The engine business, for 15 aircraft on firm order, is worth $750 million to Rolls-Royce.
The Trent 900 is being developed specifically for the A380, which will carry over 550 passengers, and will be available at thrusts from 68,000lb to 76,500lb on both passenger and freighter versions of the aircraft.
Component production has begun and the first Trent 900 is scheduled to run in March 2003, leading to engine certification at a rating of 81,500lb thrust in the summer of 2004. Lufthansa will take its first A380 in 2007 following the aircraft’s entry into service with launch customer Singapore Airlines in March 2006.
In addition to Lufthansa, the Trent 900 has been selected by Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Virgin Atlantic and International Lease Finance Corporation for an announced total of 64 firm and option aircraft, giving it a share of 58% of A380 engine orders.
The Trent 900 is the second member of the Trent series to be selected by Lufthansa. The airline was one of the launch customers for the four-engined A340-600 airliner, ordering 10 firm aircraft plus 10 options in 1997. The Rolls-Royce Trent 500 is the sole powerplant for the A340-600 and the longer range A340-500. The airline is scheduled to receive its first aircraft in mid-2003.
As well as Lufthansa, five other members of the Star Alliance group – Air Canada, bmi British Midland, SAS, Singapore Airlines and Thai International – are Rolls-Royce Trent customers.