Boeing resumed limited flights of its new 737 MAX jetliners over the weekend of May 13-14, after a possible engine issue had grounded the single-aisle test flight fleet.
Engine maker CFM International, a joint venture between General Electric and Safran, alerted Boeing late last week that there could have been a potential manufacturing quality problem with low-pressure turbine discs in its Leap engines which power the MAX fleet.
Boeing said that regulators have cleared the planes to fly if spare engines without the defective components are used. The grounding had forced Boeing to begin a rapid inspection of engines in order to enable the airframer to meet its delivery commitments to Indonesia’s Lion Mentari Airlines, the largest MAX customer. The Lion affiliate Malindo Airways received its first jet on May 16.
On Wednesday May 17, Boeing revealed the potential for a quality or manufacturing defect in early Leap 1-B model engines containing a part or parts from one particular manufacturer. No issues with the low pressure turbines were detected during 2,000+ hours of Boeing’s flight testing. Boeing also had a small stash of Leap engines on hand that were unaffected, said Boeing spokesman Doug Alder.
After inspection it was determined that discs from two other manufactures were being flown right now in the 737 MAX aircraft.
May 17, 2017