Rolls Royce has announced the first flight of the A380 Trent 900 engine on a A340-300 flying test bed.
There are some nice photos & a 2 minute video of the flight at their website.
Their Press release is as follows:
Rolls-Royce announced today (17 May) that the Trent 900, which will be the first engine into commercial service on the Airbus A380, had successfully completed its first flight.
The Airbus A340-300 flying test bed on which the Trent 900 was installed was airborne for 3 hours and 20 minutes during which it reached an altitude of 35,000 ft and speeds up to MACH .86.
Airbus Test Pilot Peter Chandler said the engine had more than met expectations on this, its first flight test. He added: "The flight really is a great success. The engine performed very well during the flight and we have been able to complete the preparation for our follow-on flights."
The aircraft will now undertake a programme of approximately 50 flying hours through to August, enabling the engine, nacelle and aircraft interfaces to be fully evaluated before the start of flight testing of the 555-seat A380 in early 2005.
Ian Crawford, Director Airbus Programmes, Rolls-Royce, said: "We're delighted to see the Trent 900 successfully complete its first flight. We've been pleased with the results from the testing already completed and these have given us confidence for the rest of the programme.
"There's no doubt that our low-risk approach of blending new technology with Trent in-service experience means a high level of predictability in development - but it's still a great moment to see the engine take to the air."
Environmental testing has shown the Trent 900 to be the world's cleanest large turbofan engine measured by emissions per pound of thrust. Its significantly lower noise levels also mean it is on target to be the quietest engine on the A380. Future programme milestones include engine certification in October this year and while the engine will only require a rating of 70,000lb thrust at entry into service, it will be cleared for 81,000lb at certification. It has already run successfully at 88,000lb thrust in test.