Rolls-Royce reportedly to develop new Trent version for A350

UK-based engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce is expected to provide Airbus with a more powerful version of its Trent XWB engine for the largest version of the new A350 XWB. An announcement is expected to be made at the upcoming Paris Air Show, although neither Airbus or Rolls-Royce have confirmed the reports.

Airbus is already facing intense speculation that the follow-on sub-types for the A350 will be at least six months later, and possibly much more, as Airbus nails down final design changes. Airbus has already admitted that some suppliers are struggling with deliveries and the quality requirements of the programme. Airbus is maintaining its late 2013 delivery timetable for the first aircraft, but freely admits it will be challenging to meet the commitment.

Increasing the thrust for the A350-1000 is expected to make it more of a competitor for Boeing's larger B777-300ER, increasing MTOW and range. However, it could potentially be very costly for Rolls-Royce and Airbus. Both companies had hopes to cover the A350 family with one engine type, but industry pressure has apparently forced them to reconsider their position.

In share movements yesterday, Rolls-Royce was down 0.2%, while Airbus parent EADS eased 0.3%.

In other engine-related new, Turkish Airlines has urged Boeing to consider installing new engines in its B737NG narrowbody family, instead of waiting a decade to deliver on an all new aircraft. The carrier, which operates 45 B737NGs in its 143 aircraft fleet, believes that the economics offered by the new engines make re-engining a reasonable proposition.

Selected Aerospace daily share price movements (% change): 06-Jun-2011