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Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Rolls-Royce in costly A350 engine redesign - sources

June 6, 2011
Rolls-Royce is set to bow to airline pressure by building a new engine for the Airbus A350, a costly rethink of strategy for Europe's newest airliner, aviation industry sources said on Monday.
The plan would involve a major overhaul of Rolls-Royce's largest civil jet engine and give the Airbus A350 some missing muscle to compete with Boeing's popular long-range 777-300ER.

Two smaller versions of the A350 will broadly compete with Boeing's revolutionary new 787 Dreamliner from 2013 onwards.

But airlines have criticized a one-size-fits-all policy that they say would leave the third and largest model, the A350-1000, unable to reach its goal of competing with the popular Boeing 777-300ER mini-jumbo because it is saddled with the same engine.

"My understanding is that Rolls-Royce has agreed to build a new engine," the chief executive of a major A350 customer told Reuters at an IATA airlines industry event on Monday.

Airbus and Rolls-Royce declined comment.

A new engine typically costs up to $2 billion (1.22 billion pounds) to develop, according to engine industry executives.
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