Airbus A350: Lufthansa Technik and Lufthansa Cargo test loading of Trent XWB

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed October 4, 2016 10:00

Airbus A350: Lufthansa Technik and Lufthansa Cargo test loading of Trent XWB

Together with Lufthansa Cargo, Lufthansa Technik has carried out a test in Frankfurt under real-life conditions of a Trent XWB aircraft engine, provided by Rolls-Royce, which was loaded into a Boeing 777F. This successful loading trial means that now the seamless logistics of providing spare engines via air freight are assured.

When prepared for loading, the engine and its transport stand weigh eighteen 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 only be transported via special flight with an Antonov An-124, an Airbus Beluga or a Boeing C-17. As an alternative, Rolls-Royce developed a completely new type of transport stand upon which the engine can be placed and divided into two large modules.
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 also be transported in freighters from the Boeing 747 and 777 aircraft families.

Lufthansa Cargo currently has five Boeing 777 freighters in its fleet. As part of the test, the company had to demonstrate that the transport conditions required by Boeing could actually be met in practice.

“Months of planning preceded the test,” explains Ralf Henker, responsible for Supply Chain Management in Aircraft Maintenance at Lufthansa Technik. “Without the partnership and cooperation of our colleagues at Rolls-Royce and Lufthansa Cargo, we would not currently be able to ensure that we can supply every destination airport of the new fleet with a replacement engine if necessary. Every move we make has to fit, and every wheel of the logistics chain needs to mesh optimally with all the others.”

“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. “We’re right on schedule in other areas as well, such as the training of our employees and the procurement of tools and spare parts.”

Engine Test Lufthansa Technik

Airbus A350: Lufthansa Technik and Lufthansa Cargo test loading of Trent XWB

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed October 4, 2016 10:00