Rolls-Royce has received FAA and EASA certification for a redesigned intermediate pressure (IP) compressor blade designed to address durability issues on Trent 1000 Package C engines.
Rolls-Royce has received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification for a redesigned intermediate pressure (IP) compressor blade designed to address durability issues on Trent 1000 Package C engines.
The Trent 1000 is one of the two powerplant offerings, along with the GEnx, on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The Package C variant forms the largest part of the Trent 1000 fleet, powering a total of 170 aircraft out of 300 aircraft in service.
Operators of Trent-powered Boeing 787s have encountered a number of in-service issues with the engine, leading to operational restrictions and grounding of aircraft in some cases. The current redesign addresses the IP compressor rotor blade, some of which had experienced cracking due to vibration.
Earlier issues involved chemical corrosion (“sulphidation”) on intermediate pressure (IP) turbine blades and durability of high pressure (HP) turbine blade. New blade designs have been introduced in both cases. A small number of Trent 1000 engines also experienced cracking in the IP compressor rotor seal.
The first engine to receive the redesigned IP compressor rotor blades is currently being serviced at the Rolls-Royce Engine Overhaul Services facility in Derby, UK.
Introduction of the new blade, which will take place on a phased basis as production ramps up, is expected to help alleviate the number of Aircraft on Ground (AOG) events relating to Trent 1000-powered aircraft, while also relieving operator maintenance burden and flight operational restrictions.
The revised compressor blades were installed on a test engine at a dedicated facility in Derby and have also undergone testing on an engine on the Rolls-Royce Flying Test Bed aircraft in Tucson, Arizona, USA.
The UK firm says it expects the number of AOGs to reduce progressively through the course of 2019.