Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways has chosen Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Aero Engines to perform mandated retrofits of intermediate-pressure compressor (IPC) modules on its fleet of Trent 1000 engines.
The IPC has been at the heart of several durability issues to hit the Trent 1000 family over the past few years, with chemical corrosion of intermediate-pressure turbine blades one of the first to be noted.
Rolls-Royce says that more than three-quarters of the affected Trent 1000 fleet has now been fitted with redesigned turbine blades, but other problems now require attention too.
For example, undue vibration of IPC rotor blades can lead to cracking, thus requiring another retrofit.
“We are now progressing with the installation of a modified intermediate-pressure compressor blade for Pack C engines, which represent about half the Trent 1000 family's installed base,” states Rolls-Royce.
The British OEM says that a redesign of IPC blades for Package B and -TEN variant Trent 1000s is under way, with new baldes for the -TEN available from next year.
The impact of these issues and others has been to severely constrain inspection and retrofit capacity for the Trent 1000 in the aftermarket, but Mitsubishi hopes to work around this by performing its ANA retrofits at Tohmei Industries, rather than at its main MRO shop in Nagoya.
The ANA contract involves engine disassembly followed by an IPC module swap.
Mitsubishi returned the first retrofitted Trent 1000 to ANA on Sept. 11.
It says the contract with ANA is an important step in its plan to develop MRO as one of its “core growth pillars."