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04 April 2013
Trent XWB is the largest engine produced by Rolls-Royce, larger than the A380´s Trent900. A real-time digital X-ray system is used to improve the efficiency.
The engine is the largest yet produced by the UK manufacturer, with a 3m fan diameter. Although the Trent XWB's fan is only 51mm larger in diameter than that of the A380's Trent 900, Trent XWB chief engineer Chris Young pointed out that the smaller fan hub of the new engine means that each blade is 76mm longer and has 50% more surface area. "This is the biggest blade we've done by quite some amount," said Trent XWB programme director Chris Cholerton.
As part of the Trent XWB development effort, R-R has invested in what is thought to be the most powerful, real-time digital X-ray system in western Europe, which has enabled it to measure turbine blade tip movement relative to seal positions and identify oppportunities to boost efficiency.
Previously, using film-based X-ray systems "we used to get four images in a day and take a long time to analyse them", says Young. "Now, we get 4,000 images in the same time, which we can run into a film and instantly be able to look at the data.
A major focus for the Trent XWB programme is achieving production readiness, given the required fast ramp-up of the build rate.
Based on the article “R-R prepares to ramp up Trent XWB production” published in Flight Global