Airbus Had Complained About R-R's Single-Engine Strategy For
All A350 Models
Reports coming from the IATA conference in Singapore indicate
that Rolls-Royce is set to build a new engine for the Airbus A350,
a move said to be brought on by pressure from the European plane
maker to make its composite-construction airliner competitive with
Boeing's Dreamliner And 777-300ER.
A350 Computer Rendering
Reuters reports that Airbus wanted more powerful engines for its
largest version of the A350, the -1000. They told the engine
company that the same engine on all three versions of the new
airplane would leave the largest of them at a competitive
disadvantage with Boeing's long-haul aircraft. The -1000 is
designed to take some of the market share from the B777-300ER. Two
smaller models of the A350 are intended to take aim at the
The wire service says that an an executive with an unnamed major
A350 customer said at the IATA meeting in Singapore that his
understanding was that Rolls-Royce would "build a new engine." The
development process on a new powerplant generally runs in the $2
Aircraft leasing entrepreneur Steven Udvar-Hazy said the move
could lead to delays of the A350-1000. Airbus says it is on track
for entry into service of the A350-900 by 2013.
But re-designing the engine will present some unique challenges
to Rolls-Royce and Airbus engineers. The fan on the engine for the
-1000 is said to be as large in diameter as the fuselage of the
Concorde ... and to make it larger for the -1000 could mean
alterations to the design of the largest of the A350 family.
Airbus also hopes that competition for the B777-300 could force
Boeing to expend resources updating that aircraft, which would mean
less going into a replacement to the workhorse 737.