PARIS Feb 7 Europe's Airbus said it was on
track to carry out a maiden flight of its A350 airliner in the
summer as European safety authorities approved the aircraft's
twin Rolls-Royce engines.
The Trent XWB turbofans developed for Europe's latest
passenger plane are the largest commercial jet engines ever
built by the UK company, though its rival General Electric
holds the record for the world's largest engines, on the
Engine certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency
is a key step in the development of the mid-sized jetliner
designed in response to the 787 Dreamliner and puts Airbus on
course for a maiden flight in the summer, the planemaker said.
Airbus is designing three types of A350 with capacity for
270 to 350 passengers and incorporating a lightweight
carbon-fiber design similar to the Boeing Dreamliner.
The Trent XWB engine will power two of the three Airbus
versions, while Rolls-Royce is developing a more powerful
version for the largest of the series, the A350-1000.
Airbus plans to deliver the A350 in the second half of 2014.