Rolls-Royce accelerates Trent 1000 TEN inspection programme

Lauren Eldershaw
By Lauren Eldershaw April 10, 2019 10:48

Rolls-Royce accelerates Trent 1000 TEN inspection programme

Rolls-Royce has announced that it will accelerate an inspection regime of High Pressure Turbine (HPT) blade deterioration identified in a small population of Trent 1000 TEN engines. An EASA Airworthiness Directive has been issued to this effect today in addition to a Rolls-Royce Service Bulletin.

The engine manufacturer states that it has been working closely with regulatory authorities to establish a plan for inspecting the remaining fleet, which is now being executed.

Following sampling of a population of Trent 1000 TEN engines that have experienced a higher frequency of flights at the upper end of their operating range, a small number of these engines have needed to have their HPT blades replaced earlier than scheduled. This new accelerated inspection regime is designed to allow Rolls-Royce to confirm the health of the Trent 1000 TEN fleet over the next few months.

The Trent 1000 TEN engine has been in service since November 2017, and there are currently more than 180 of this type of engine in service. Earlier this month, Singapore Airlines reported “premature blade deterioration” on some of its Trent TEN engines on its 787 aircraft (see story here).

Since the entry into service of the Trent 1000 TEN, Rolls-Royce states that it has already communicated to airlines that the HPT blades in these engines would have a reduced life. As a result, its engineers have already been developing, and are currently testing, an enhanced version of this blade. “We expect to start incorporating enhanced blades into the Trent 1000 TEN fleet in early 2020,” the OEM says in an announcement.

Rolls-Royce says that its guidance for in-service cash costs on the Trent 1000 in 2019 and 2020, as published with the 2018 Full Year Results on 28 February 2019, remains unchanged.

“We sincerely regret the disruption this accelerated inspection regime will cause and we are doing everything we can to support our customers,” says Chris Cholerton, Rolls-Royce, President – Civil Aerospace. “These inspections will allow us to confirm the health of the Trent 1000 TEN fleet and to improve our understanding of the High Pressure Turbine blade deterioration that we have seen in a small number of engines. This blade deterioration is a known issue but it is occurring faster than we expected in some engines. We started development of an enhanced blade last year, which we are now testing. We expect to start incorporating enhanced blades into the Trent 1000 TEN fleet in early 2020.”

Rolls-Royce states that this new inspection regime will have no impact on its ongoing proactive maintenance programmes for the Trent 1000 Package B or Package C engines.

Lauren Eldershaw
By Lauren Eldershaw April 10, 2019 10:48