10 JANUARY, 2019
Rolls-Royce has started installing a redesigned intermediate pressure compressor blade design on certain Trent 1000 engines, following approval from European and US regulators.
The new blades, for the Package C version of the Boeing 787 powerplant, have obtained European Aviation Safety Agency and US FAA certification.
Boeing and Rolls-Royce started issuing bulletins to customers last month, the engine manufacturer adds.
Redesign of the blades has been prompted by durability issues which have affected particular Trent 1000 models.
Package C engines are fitted to some 170 Boeing 787s.
Rolls-Royce says the first engine to receive the new blades is “currently being serviced” at the company’s overhaul facility in Derby.
It says the phasing-in of the redesigned blades will “help alleviate” the number of incidents of 787s being temporarily withdrawn from service while awaiting maintenance work on their engines.
Rolls-Royce adds that the certification gives the manufacturer “additional confidence” over the redesign of similar blades for Trent 1000 Package B engines as well as the Trent 1000-TEN.
It states that the certification programme has been “fast-paced” since it commenced in June last year, when initial redesigned blades were fitted to a test powerplant in Derby.
The blades have also been flown on an airborne testbed aircraft in Tucson.
“As testing proved the design, Rolls-Royce began making new sets of blades, ready for introduction, in anticipation of regulatory approval,” says the company.
It adds that the new blades are part of a programme of activity intended to minimise disruption to 787 operators.