FRANKFURT- Lufthansa (LH) Cargo has achieved a significant milestone by transporting a Airbus A350 Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine on the main deck of a Boeing 777F for the first time in its history. This accomplishment marks a notable increase in the cargo-carrying capacity of the airline.
In the past, Lufthansa Cargo collaborated with Lufthansa Technik, conducting a ground test in 2016 to transport a Trent XWB engine, which played a crucial role in making this historic achievement possible.
Lufthansa Carry XWB Engine
The process involves carefully guiding the transport stand, which holds the massive engine module, through the cargo door of the Boeing 777F.
The clearance between the tightly packed fan module and the cargo bay ceiling is only a few centimeters but holds great significance for Lufthansa Cargo.
In collaboration with Lufthansa Technik, Lufthansa Cargo has successfully tested a new transport stand provided by Rolls-Royce, the manufacturer of the Trent XWB engines used in the Airbus A350.
This groundbreaking achievement involved transporting one of these large engine modules, which are dismantled into individual modules, within a Boeing 777F aircraft.
This seemingly small piece of the puzzle is strategically important for Lufthansa. The Airbus A350 has become a beacon of hope for passenger airlines worldwide due to its impressive range and efficiency. Lufthansa Cargo is poised to offer essential service infrastructure for this aircraft on a global scale.
In its assembled state, each Trent XWB engine weighs seven tons, boasting a fan diameter, height, and width of three meters, along with an overall length of five meters.
To accommodate these dimensions and weight, a transport stand is always required, making it too large to fit through the largest freight door of Lufthansa Cargo’s Boeing 777F aircraft.
Three Steps Process
Consequently, the engine can only be transported using specialized freighters like the Antonov An-124, Airbus Beluga, or Boeing C-17. This limitation poses a significant drawback, especially when dealing with Aircraft on Ground (AOG) situations resulting from engine issues.
To put it simply, the substantial revenue losses and expenses quickly accumulate, necessitating swift corrective measures. Such circumstances require the prompt delivery of a replacement engine to any location worldwide.
To facilitate such a mission on the Boeing 777, a series of three steps was undertaken. First, Rolls-Royce developed a novel transport stand designed to store and divide the engine into two large modules, allowing it to fit within the Boeing 777F.
In the second step, a collaborative team composed of employees from Lufthansa Cargo, Lufthansa Technik, and Lufthansa Technik Logistik Services conducted load testing using an actual engine provided by Rolls-Royce for this specific purpose.
In this process, the team initially separated the fan component from the core engine and removed the spinner and fan blades. This enabled them to independently transport and load the two modules onto the fan case stand and the core split engine stand.
The third step involved a comprehensive review and approval of the lashing procedure for securing the transport stand within the cargo area of the Boeing 777F.
These supplementary procedures are outlined in the Weight & Balance Manual of the B777F and are designed to address the specific challenge of securing large-sized cargo items that cannot be accommodated using the existing strapping system.
Similar to the established procedures for securing GE90 engines of the Boeing 777, which share comparable dimensions with the Trent XWB engines, Lufthansa Cargo employs its own customized loading and lashing plan.
This plan specifies the required number of straps and the precise locations within the cargo area where they should be positioned to secure both transport stands.
Despite its substantial dimensions, the Trent XWB engine can be accommodated within the Lufthansa Cargo Boeing 777F. Interestingly, it is a Boeing freighter that plays a pivotal role in ensuring the success of the Airbus A350.
With a loading concept specifically tailored to freight and freighter operations, Lufthansa Cargo is now fully prepared for the A350 era.
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