Flight International - 26 June 2018

(Jacob Rumans) #1

NEWS FOCUS


fiightglobal.com 26 June-2 July 2018 | Flight International | 17


Melrose maintains
GKN’s global focus
News Focus P

South America’s LATAM has 11 Dreamliners currently out of service

Boeing

J


apan’s All Nippon Airways is
the largest operator of Boeing
787s powered by the Rolls-Royce
Trent 1000 Package B engines
which have been newly included
in the UK manufacturer’s inspec-
tion regime to deal with durabili-
ty issues.
On 11 June, R-R disclosed that
intermediate pressure compres-
sor (IPC) blade cracking has been
found on a “small number of
high-life” Package B engines; pre-
vious statements and inspection
requirements were related solely
to the later Package C variant.
R-R says the Package B fleet
comprises 166 engines and has
been in service since 2012. Flight
Fleets Analyzer lists 61 in-service
787s and eight stored aircraft
with Package B engines. This
translates to 138 engines, but
does not include spare units.
The fleet leader is an eight-
year-old 787 that is being used by
Boeing as a test aircraft.


ESTABLISHED FLEET
ANA – which became the 787’s
launch operator in 2011 – has 64
Dreamliners. Half of that fleet is
equipped with Package B en-
gines, while the balance uses ei-
ther the Package C variant or
R-R’s latest standard model for
the 787, the Trent 1000-TEN.
The Japanese carrier’s Package


PROPULSION MICHAEL GUBISCH LONDON


Life less grand for Trent 1000 operators


Analysis of FlightGlobal data indicates that All Nippon Airways is carrier most exposed to latest Rolls-Royce safety checks


B-powered 787s were built be-
tween 2010 and 2014, and repre-
sent the oldest equipment in the
fleet under scrutiny.
While the technical status of
engines depends on a range of fac-
tors – including utilisation, opera-
tional environment and route de-
ployment – the equipment’s age is
nonetheless an indicator of the
powerplants’ maturity.
British Airways, LATAM Air-
lines, Norwegian, Polish flag car-
rier LOT and Royal Brunei Air-
lines are the next largest Package
B operators.
BA has eight Package B-pow-
ered 787s in its 27-strong Dream-
liner fleet, which were built in
2013 and 2014, Fleets Analyzer
records. LATAM and Norwegian
each have seven aircraft with the
engine variant within their re-

spective fleets of 24 and 29
Dreamliners; LATAM’s Package
B-powered 787s were manufac-
tured between 2012 and 2014,
while Norwegian’s aircraft are be-
tween four and five years old.
Six aircraft among LOT’s
10-strong 787 fleet are equipped
with Package B engines, and are,
on average, five years old.
Royal Brunei Airlines’ entire
787 fleet of four aircraft, built in
2013 and 2014, are powered by
B-variant engines. The remaining
fleet of Package B-powered 787s
spans singular aircraft at Air New
Zealand, Avianca, Thai Airways
and Saudi Arabia’s government,
according to Fleets Analyzer.
R-R says the mandated mainte-
nance action for Package B engines
covers one-off, on-wing inspec-
tions and will “further inform our

understanding” of the problem.
In April, the manufacturer di-
rected operators to expand IPC
inspections on Package C en-
gines, and said that Package B
equipment was not affected by
the issue. R-R is in the process of
designing new IPC blades, which
are scheduled to become availa-
ble later this year.
Redesigned parts will also be
available for the latest -TEN vari-
ant as a “precautionary measure”,
the engine maker says.

PARKED ASSETS
South American carrier LATAM
appears to be the airline with the
largest number of Trent
1000-powered 787s currently
parked, FlightGlobal research
suggests.
Combining data from Fleets
Analyzer with other public infor-
mation sources, FlightGlobal be-
lieves that, as of 15 June, a total of
44 Trent 1000-powered 787s
were not in operation.
Although there is no way of as-
certaining whether an individual
aircraft has been withdrawn from
service because of the durability
issue with the IPC blades in its
Trent 1000 engines or for routine
maintenance, the figure tallies
with the total of 44 aircraft affect-
ed that was disclosed by R-R.
The manufacturer also points
out that it sees the situation im-
proving.
According to FlightGlobal’s
data, LATAM currently has 11
787s out of service, or almost half
of its 24-strong fleet of the type.
ANA has the next largest batch
of parked Dreamliners (nine),
followed by Air China (four),
Ethiopian and Virgin Atlantic
(both three).
Other operators with parked
787s include Air Europa, Air
New Zealand, Avianca, BA, LOT,
Norwegian and Thai Airways. ■
Additional reporting by
Tony Best and Dominic Perry
in London

MAINTENANCE DAVID KAMINSKI-MORROW LONDON


R-R chief relieved as aircraft-on-ground numbers begin to fall


Rolls-Royce believes the number
of aircraft withdrawn from opera-
tions over Trent engine issues is
starting to decline, without reach-
ing the manufacturer’s peak
estimate of 50.
Chief executive Warren East
detailed the manufacturer’s pro-
gress on addressing the prob-
lems, focused on Trent 1000
blades for Boeing 787s, during an
investor briefing on 15 June.
“We’d anticipated a pretty
grim situation with aircraft on the


ground,” says East.
The company ramped up its
maintenance capacity in
response and trimmed the cycle
time for inspections and parts
replacement.
East says that the “bottleneck
has shifted” from MRO capacity
to logistics, given the time re-
quired for transporting large and
heavy items.
He stresses that the aircraft-on-
ground figure is “less than we
feared”, adding that it “never ac-

tually hit 50”, and he puts the cur-
rent level at 44 and falling.
R-R has completed the first
stage of initial inspections on the
Package C version of the Trent


  1. East says the failure rate on
    repetitive inspections has been
    better than forecast.
    East says turbine blade capac-
    ity is a “limiting factor” for the
    company, but that it is continuing
    to improve the situation. R-R has
    increased blade capacity by 50%
    since the beginning of the year. ■

Free download pdf