After many years of embarrassing durability problems with a series of Trent 1000 engines, the model’s newest iteration, The Trent 1000 TEN, was supposed to mark a clean break with mistakes of the past.
Unfortunately for the manufacturer, that is no longer the case, as Rolls-Royce has just announced an accelerated inspection program for high-pressure turbine (HPT) blades on the TEN.
This follows an earlier communication to airlines that their HPT blades would not last as long as advertised.
“We sincerely regret the disruption this accelerated inspection regime will cause and we are doing everything we can to support our customers,” said Chis Cholerton, Rolls-Royce’s president, civil aerospace, in an apology issued to Boeing 787 operators.
“This blade deterioration is a known issue but it is occurring faster than we expected in some engines,” he added.
Rolls-Royce is now testing an enhanced blade that should resolve the issues, although that will not be available to airlines until early 2020.
The Trent 1000 TEN engine has been in service since November 2017, and there are currently more than 180 of the engine type in service.
Rolls-Royce says that tests of TEN engines operating at high flight frequencies revealed that “a small number of these engines have needed to have their HPT blades replaced earlier than scheduled”.
As part of the accelerated inspection program, an airworthiness directive will be issued by EASA in addition to a Rolls-Royce service bulletin.
The OEM says that the new inspection regime will not affect its ongoing maintenance programs for the Trent 1000 Package B or Package C engines.
It also does not expect any change to its previously forecast in-service cash costs for the Trent 1000 in 2019 and 2020.