The latest and most powerful variant of the Rolls-Royce Trent engine has taken to the air for the first time. Billed as the "world’s most efficient civil aircraft engine," the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 replaced one of the four Trent 900 engines on an Airbus A380 flying testbed aircraft.

Last week's flight over Toulouse, France, was also the first outing for the world’s largest 3D-printed aero engine structure. The aerofoils on the front bearing housing of the Trent XWB-97 were created using additive layer manufacturing, which the company is developing as a way to speed up design and prototyping at lower cost.

According to Rolls-Royce, the Trent XWB-97 punches out 50,000 bhp for a takeoff thrust of up to 430 kN (96.6 lb) as 1,440 kg (3,170 lb) of air flows through the engine every second.

The new engine is destined for installation on the longer range Airbus A350-1000 aircraft.

Source: Rolls Royce

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