Lufthansa successfully loads A350 engine onto freighter

Lufthansa Cargo loading Rolls-Royce Trent engine onto Boeing 777F

Lufthansa Technik and Lufthansa Cargo have reached the important milestone of preparing for the entry of the Airbus A350 XWB by loading a Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine into a Boeing 777 Freighter.

The test took place under real-life conditions at Frankfurt Airport and means Lufthansa is confident it can provide spare Trent XWB engines for the A350 via airfreight. The engine weighs seven tonnes and is five metres long, and the fan is three metres in diameter, and with the stand Rolls-Royce developed, the two units weigh 18 tonnes.

Lufthansa Cargo aircraft handling competence & quality assurance manager, Harald Mueller says: “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. It’s great to see that it works in practice exactly the way we envisioned it.”

Lufthansa Technik project director new aircraft and infrastructure development aircraft maintenance, Dean Raineri adds: “We’re very proud that we can now approve this important step on the way to the entry into service of the A350.”

Lufthansa says that previously the engine could only be transported on an ultra large aircraft such as an Antonov AN-124, Airbus Beluga or Boeing C-17 but the new transport developed by Rolls-Royce meant it could be loaded into the 777F.

It says the large volume fan can be separated from the rest of the engine within a single day on the spilt engine stand and the individual modules are then prepared for transportation with the tools required for engine replacement before being loaded.