Rolls-Royce is to carry out extra inspections on some of its Trent XWB engines which power the Airbus A350.

The engine manufacturer has said the inspections would not cause significant customer disruption or material cost and would only affect a small number of XWBs of a certain age. The company said the update on the Trent XWB-84 engine would be set to be subject to an Airworthiness Directive from regulator EASA because of wear on a small number of Intermediate Pressure Compressor blades found on a minority of engines which have been in service for four to five years.

A statement by Rolls-Royce said that during routine inspections as part of these scheduled shop visits, the company had identified indications of wear in the Intermediate Pressure Compressor (IPC) of a small number of engines that have been in service for four to five years and were approaching their first overhaul. The company added that none of the engines had experienced any abnormal in-flight operation, but all other Trent XWB-84 engines of a similar service life were being inspected as a precaution.

Majority of Trent XWB-84s inspected

More than 100 Trent XWB-84s have been in service for four to five years. The company has inspected the majority of them and found signs of wear on an average of only 1 or 2 IPC blades in a minority of those inspected. Rolls-Royce said the company also taken the precaution of sampling a number of younger Trent XWB-84 engines and have found no unexpected wear.

Chris Cholerton, President – Civil Aerospace, said: “The Trent XWB-84 has experienced the smoothest entry into service of any widebody engine we have developed. It is the most efficient in- service large civil aero-engine in the world, with unequalled on-wing reliability. Engines now coming in for overhaul have travelled the equivalent of 350 times around the world, with no unplanned maintenance. It is reassuring to see that our proactive inspection regime has enabled us to identify and swiftly address this issue and minimise any potential impact on our customers.”

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