Oct 04, 2016: Lufthansa Cargo and Lufthansa Technik AG loaded a Trent XWB aircraft engine provided by Rolls-Royce was loaded into a Boeing 777F freighter under real-life conditions at Frankfurt airport.
This is crucial as it prepares for the entry into service of the Airbus A350 at Lufthansa.
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.”
When prepared for loading, the engine and its transport stand weigh 18 tonnes. The engine weighs 7 tonnes (dry weight) and is five metres long; the fan is three metres 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.