Lufthansa Airbus A350-900: Successful Cargo Test Loading of a Trent XWB Engine
• Joint action of Lufthansa Technik, Lufthansa Cargo and Rolls-Royce
Lufthansa Technik AG, together with Lufthansa Cargo, has reached another important milestone in its preparations for the entry into service of the Airbus A350 at Lufthansa. In a test carried out under real-life conditions at Frankfurt airport, a Trent XWB aircraft engine provided by Rolls-Royce was loaded into a Boeing 777F freighter. The successful loading trial means that the seamless logistics of providing spare engines via air freight are now assured for the bulky Trent XWBs of the A350.
“Over the last four months, we developed a detailed loading and rigging plan based on our experience with other capital goods that are similarly sensitive and yet difficult to handle,” says Harald Mueller, who is responsible at Lufthansa Cargo for Aircraft Handling Competence & Quality Assurance. “It’s great to see that it works in practice exactly the way we envisioned it.”
“We’re very proud that we can now approve this important step on the way to the entry into service of the A350,” said Dean Raineri, Project Director New Aircraft and Infrastructure Development Aircraft Maintenance at Lufthansa Technik.
When prepared for loading, the engine and its transport stand weigh 18 tons. The engine weighs seven tons (dry weight) and is five meters long; the fan is three meters in diameter. As a result, the engine could until now only be transported with ultra-large freighter aircraft like the Antonov An-124, an Airbus Beluga or a Boeing C-17. As an alternative, Rolls-Royce developed a completely new type of transport stand, which makes possible the loading into a classic freighter aircraft. The engines are divided into two large modules in order to place them on the stand.
On this split engine stand, the large-volume fan can be separated from the rest of the engine within a single day. The individual modules are then optimally prepared for transport together with the other tools required for engine replacement, and can be loaded. The unit that results from this approach can be transported in Boeing 747 and 777 freighter aircraft.
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