Rolls-Royce plans to carry out additional inspections on particular Trent 1000 engines, it has announced. The company warned that this would lead to further disruption for its customers, such as Boeing.

Rolls-Royce said the increased inspection frequency is driven by its further understanding of the durability of the Trent 1000 Package C compressor, a condition highlighted earlier this year. The inspections will be supported by service management and flight operations guidance to airlines to be issued by the airworthiness authorities.

“This will unfortunately lead to additional disruption for our customers,” a statement said.

There are 380 Package C engines currently in-service with airlines.

“This new regime does not impact Trent 1000 Package B engines or Trent 1000-TEN engines,” the statement explained.

Managing disruption

Warren East, CEO, Rolls-Royce, said: “Our focus is on supporting our customers and doing all we can to minimise any impact on their operations. We sincerely regret the disruption this will cause to our customers and our team of technical experts and service engineers is working around the clock to ensure we return them to full service as soon as possible.”

He added: “We will be working closely with Boeing and affected airlines to minimise disruption wherever possible.”

Chris Cholerton, President, Civil Aerospace said: “Our focus in civil aerospace is on supporting our customers by inspecting engines as quickly as possible, undertaking any maintenance work that is needed so that they can return to their normal flight schedules and progressing with the long-term solution to this issue. By doing all this we can minimise the disruption we cause to customers.”

In order to manage the increase in the number of inspections of engines and to undertake any maintenance required, Rolls-Royce says it has increased its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) capacity by more than 300% over the past two years; mobilised its on-wing services teams to support engine inspections for customers; and increased turbine and compressor part production to be able to replace parts in engines that have failed inspection.

Boeing reacts

A statement from Boeing said: “About 25% of the 787 Dreamliner fleet is powered by this Rolls-Royce engine variant. This issue does not affect current production 787s, the Trent 1000 Package B, Trent 1000 TEN or GEnx-1B engines.

“An existing EASA Airworthiness Directive for the Package C engine requires inspections of an intermediate pressure compressor blade at certain flight cycles. If a durability issue is found, the blade will be replaced. This is a known issue and we will continue to work with Rolls-Royce, our customers and the regulators to fully resolve it. Boeing is deploying support teams to mitigate service disruption.”

The statement added: “Safety is our highest priority. The 787 has safely flown more than 3.2 billion miles since entering commercial service in 2011.”

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