New Delta Engine Shop Gets First Repair: Virgin Atlantic Trent 1000
Back in August, Delta cut the ribbon on an advanced engine repair shop at its Atlanta headquarters. As expected, its first engine induction – a Trent 1000 engine operated by Delta's joint venture partner Virgin Atlantic – occurred this week. The new shop enables Delta to perform maintenance on sophisticated engines. In particular, the next-generation power plants featured on Delta's Airbus A350s and forthcoming A330-900neo aircraft.
Back in 2015, Delta and Rolls-Royce signed a formal agreement for Delta TechOps to become an Authorized Maintenance Center for Rolls-Royce engines. Under the agreement, the airline will provide engine services for the latest generation Trent XWB, Trent 1000 and Trent 7000, in addition to the BR715, which had already been added to engine capabilities. The new capability also benefits the airline's Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) business as Delta will work on engines from other airlines and aircraft operators.
Of course, the Trent 1000 has seen its fair share of issues. In August 2017, Dreamliner engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce said that as many as 500 Trent 1000s would have to undergo maintenance earlier than anticipated, and in the months that followed, a number of airlines were forced to ground aircraft. Things do not seem to have improved very much, as just last week we learned that engine blades are deteriorating faster than expected. In fact, Virgin Atlantic had to ground several of its own planes last year, with partner Delta stepping in to fly some of its passengers to and from Europe.
To build the new engine shop, Delta "converted several large hangar bays at the airline's TechOps facility in Atlanta and created a workshop consisting of an engine assembly and disassembly area, a kitting parts area, engines work-in-progress area, shop materials and supplies (Kanban) area, life limited parts center of excellence and repair and support area." For AvGeeks flying through ATL, keep an eye out for the iconic Fly Delta Jets sign, as the new facility stands seven stories tall and can be seen just under the aforesaid sign.