Rolls-Royce Dreamliner Engine Blades Deteriorating Faster Than Expected

Sep 29, 2018

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It’s no secret that the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines equipped on some Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft have had their fair share of issues, including causing airlines to ground their aircraft in order to get inspections taken care of. And as it turns out, the problems are worse than originally thought.

Bloomberg is reporting that faulty Rolls-Royce engine blades are deteriorating faster than expected. What does that mean? Additional groundings of Dreamliners equipped with those engines for repairs.

The issue of early deterioration affects about 120 of the company’s Trent 1000 turbines — or 8% of the global fleet. Currently, there are fewer than 40 Dreamliners grounded for immediate attention. Regulators are expected to publish formal requirements for the necessary repairs in the coming weeks.

As one might expect, airlines that operate affected Dreamliners are not especially thrilled with the finding of more problems. Air New Zealand’s CEO Christopher Luxon told shareholders on Sept. 26 that the engine problem is the “biggest operational challenge” for the airline and its customers. Engine problems are expected to cost the carrier as much as NZ$40 million ($26 million).

ANA, which has 65 Dreamliners with the affected engines, said that it hasn’t yet heard from Rolls-Royce about the latest findings. However, it’s still working through the initial repairs, which have forced the carrier to cancel more than 1,000 flights between July and October.

The engine difficulties have forced Rolls-Royce to record 1.3 billion pounds ($1.5 billion) in charges. And, as one might expect, it’s not an especially good look for the engine manufacturer to have such large problems on one of Boeing’s most advanced aircraft.

Featured image by by Laurent Fievet / AFP / Getty Images.

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