Inside the factory where Rolls-Royce produces one of the greenest jet engines ever made

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British car and engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce lifted the lid on its shiny new factory for jet engines this week.

The Trent XWB engine will be used in Airbus’ A350 XWB aircraft, and it’s one of the quietest and fuel efficient jet engines ever produced.

Rolls-Royce invited company executives, German officials, journalists, and photographers to the plant just outside Berlin for the unveiling and a tour of the facility. Here’s a look at how the efficient engines take shape:


The first thing you notice about the Trent XWB engine: it’s big. Really big. Just two of these will power a 240 ton plane into the sky with 84,000 pounds of thrust each.

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Specifically, they’ll be powering Airbus A350X WB (extra wide body), one of the French plane maker’s most in-demand models.

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Here’s what the engine looks like up close when installed under the wing.

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Before it’s attached to any plane, though, the $20 million engines are sent through a litany of tests and inspections to ensure they’re absolutely perfect shape.

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Parts arrive in massive containers full of even more smaller metal boxes that can be lifted with a forklift.

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The engines are so big that it takes movable stairs (not unlike the ones you would use to board an aircraft on the tarmac) in order to see the entire 10 foot turbofan.

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Dollies like this help workers and engineers easily move the eight ton engines through the assembly line.

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They’re even bigger when turned on end. Here you can see the compressor and fuel lines that will be hidden once the engine is installed.

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German Economy and Energy Minister Brigitte Zypries posed with Rolls-Royce production introduction manager Uwe Rudolf at the event.

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It looks like all the politicians had a great time. Here she is again with Brandenburg’s prime minister Dieter Woidke.

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Not only is it one of the most efficient engines ever produced, its also one of the quietest. Something to be thankful for as you try to nap in a cramped coach-class seat.

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The engines entered service in 2015, and Airbus already has orders from Virgin Atlantic, Delta, British Airways for more planes. Look for the new engines on your next flight!

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Adam Berry/Getty Images