The Trent 7000, the engine powering Uganda Airlines A330-800, is the seventh iteration of Rolls Royce’s Trent series. The Trent has a storied history. A derivative of the Trent 700, the first Rolls-Royce engine to an Airbus aircraft, the Trent 7000 consumes less fuel than the first-generation Trent engines. It is also much quieter making for a pleasant travel experience and a good neighbour to communities living near airports.
The series which marked 25 years this year, has given Rolls-Royce global dominance on widebody aircraft because of its unique characteristics and Rolls-Royce unique selling model. Embedded with hundreds of sensors, the engine is intelligent and reports on the health of critical components allowing the operator to know exactly when a replacement will be needed. This aspect of the engine gave Rolls-Royce the confidence to launch a unique selling model where the customer does not buy the powerplant but pays for the time it is flying.
If for some reason the engine breaks down, the customer does not suffer financial loss because under Rolls-Royce TotalCare package, it is the company that will instead pay the airline for any losses emanating engine downtime. That at the same time incentivizes Rolls-Royce, to build engines it is sure will be reliable. To minimize its own exposure, Rolls-Royce keeps spare engines at customer premises so that a replacement will be mounted on the aircraft instead of waiting for a visit to a repair shop.
That arrangement has made the Trent the most popular widebody engine flying today, powering half of the world’s western manufactured commercial widebody aircraft fleet. All thanks to the outstanding performance of this engine which holds the world record of running for 50,000 hours on wing without an overhaul. This record was set in June 2019, when a Trent flying on an aircraft that went into service with Russian carrier Aeroflot logged 50,000 hours without an overhaul.
More than 400 airlines and leasing companies in 150 countries fly Rolls-Royce engines.
Hong Kong based carrier Cathy Pacific was the first airline to buy the Trent engine in 1989, when it placed an order for ten A330’s, the new widebody the Airbus had launched two years earlier. Defunct US based carrier Trans World Airlines followed with an order for two dozen Trent powered A330’s.
The engine went into commercial service on an A330 in March 1995 and several variants later, went on to top the charts of widebody aircraft propulsion. Just like the A350, the A330neo is exclusively powered by Rolls Royce. The Trent 7000 on the A350 is a variant of the Trent XWB that powers the A350. The Trent 1000 powers the Boeing 787.
Customers in Africa include among others, Ethiopian, SAA, Air Mauritius, EgyptAir, Air Senegal, Uganda Airlines, Rwandair and Air Tanzania. Rolls-Royce sees big opportunities in Africa which is projected to require another 1000 aircraft over the next 20 years to facilitate its rapid economic growth. Currently, African airlines only serve roughly 20percenmt of African air traffic, something expected to change as the continent’s skies open up under the Single African Air Transport Market SAATM, which was launched in January 2018.