Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 Fan Blade Testing To Start Soon
Rolls-Royce is introducing a new inspection technique and has added maintenance capacity to overcome the backlog in fixing durability problems on some Trent 1000 engines powering the Boeing 787.
The UK-based engineer said it had tripled its maintenance capacity to service Trent 1000 Package C engines affected by the increased wear on compressor blades.
An airworthiness directive in April required 787 operators to perform additional inspections of an intermediate pressure compressor blade on Package C engines at certain flight cycles. The increased inspections don’t apply to Trent 1000 Package B or Trent 1000 TEN engines.
The company’s president of its civil aerospace division Chris Cholerton said he recognised the disruptions to airline customers and said they are “drawing on the full resources of Rolls-Royce to address the issue.”
In addition to ramping up its engine repair capacity, Rolls said it had accelerated the development of a permanent fix and a revised compressor blade has been installed in a test engine. Testing of the new part is expected to start in early June.
Rolls is aiming to have the redesigned blades available in late 2018, earlier than the 2019 date it originally expected.
“While we have made important progress in supporting our customers, there is clearly more to do… While we expect the number of aircraft affected to rise in the short term, as the deadline for the completion of initial inspections approaches, we are confident that we have the right building blocks in place to tackle the additional workload this will create,” Cholerton said.