Rolls-Royce develops inspection technique for Trent 1000 issue

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Åero-engine maker Rolls-Royce is to expand its testing capacity after a number of operational issues with its Trent 1000 engine.

Airlines operating Boeing 787 Dreamliners powered by Trent 1000 Package C engines have been forced to ground aircraft while checks are conducted after it was reported the compressor in the engine was not lasting as long as was expected.

An Airworthiness Directive that mandates additional inspections on the engines’ intermediate compressor was introduced in April 2018

The issue, which has been identified as occurring in the engine’s Intermediate Pressure Compressor rotor has forced the company to triple maintenance capacity for the affected engines.

It has developed a new on-wing inspection technique to meet the requirements of the Airworthiness Directives and is developing a permanent fix for the problem as quickly as possible, the company said in a statement.

The company has also opened new MRO lines to deal with the inspections in Singapore, Heathrow and Derby in the UK. A revised compressor blade has been installed in a test engine and will begin testing this month, with the new replacement parts planned to be available before the end of this year.

Chris Cholerton, president of civil aerospace at Rolls-Royce said, “We recognise the unacceptable levels of disruption our customers are facing. While we have made important progress in supporting our customers, there is clearly more to do and we will not rest until we have ensured the engine meets the high standards our customers rightly expect.

“Our teams remain focused on the task in hand and 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.”

June 4, 2018

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before eventually becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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