Flight International - 26 June 2018

(Jacob Rumans) #1

THIS WEEK


fiightglobal.com 26 June-2 July 2018 | Flight International | 9

Hiring spree
will propel
Skunk Works
News Focus P

Manufacturer says it updated processes when producing the XWB

Rolls-Royce

R


olls-Royce remains confident
that the blade durability
problems affecting its Trent 1000
engine will not be replicated in
its Trent XWB or Trent 7000
powerplants.
The Trent XWB is fitted to the
Airbus A350 family, while the
Trent 7000 has been developed
for the A330neo.
Chief executive Warren East
sounded a note of caution
during an investor briefing on 15
June, admitting that ruling out
the possibility of the problem
occurring on the XWB before
some 20-30 engines had entered
their first shop visit would be
“foolhardy”.
But he stresses that there is
“no evidence” of similar turbine
issues affecting the XWB, point-

PROPULSION DAVID KAMINSKI-MORROW LONDON

R-R assured reliability issue is contained


Chief executive cautiously optimistic latest powerplants will not be affected by blade cracking problem on Trent 1000

ing out that a different “design
flow” and that more modern
tools were used during its devel-

opment. The A350 fleet is ex-
panding – a total of 174 had been
delivered by the beginning of

June – and East says that more
inspections of XWBs were being
carried out.
But he is confident that the
manufacturer is “not seeing”
early signs of the problems af-
flicting the Trent 1000.
R-R is also optimistic that the
Trent 7000, which is derived
from the Trent 1000, will be sim-
ilarly unaffected.
East explains that the compa-
ny is “not seeing a potential” for
the same issues to arise on the
Trent 7000, but will be “making
very certain” that any improve-
ments to the Trent 1000 are
incorporated into the A330neo’s
engine.
Airbus has yet to see any is-
sues with the Trent 7000 engine
during certification testing of the
A330neo.
Programme manager Odile
Jubecourt, speaking to Flight-
Global in Toulouse, insists the
Trent 7000 is a “different” pow-
erplant to the Trent 1000.
“We’re very confident about
the engines,” she says, but adds
that the company is still co-oper-
ating closely with R-R.
East acknowledges that the
A330neo will commence opera-
tions before a final fix on the
Trent 1000 becomes available,
but he points out that the vol-
ume of Trent 7000 engines pro-
duced in the interim will be
“very small”. ■

ENGINEERING
Test stand development puts positive spin on engine troubles

One unexpected effect of the
Trent 1000 situation has been to
spur innovation at Rolls-Royce,
says chief executive Warren East.
A new engine test-stand required
for the Trent 1000 fix has been
rapidly produced by the com-
pany, East discloses.
He says the stand was devel-
oped, approved and manufac-
tured “in a matter of tens of days,
six weeks”, at relatively low cost.
East compares the test stand to

flat-pack furniture, rather than
bespoke equipment, pointing out
that it could be shipped easily
overseas to airlines’ hubs,
enabling them to perform on-
wing activity.
“That would not have hap-
pened without the Trent 1000 is-
sue that we’re dealing with now,”
he says. “It’s a lesson we can build
into our normal activity.”
However, the manufacturer
believes that newly discovered

problems on the Package B ver-
sion of the Trent 1000 could cre-
ate additional cash costs of £
million ($132 million) this year.
But the manufacturer says it
expects to be able to offset these
extra costs through short-term
actions.
These costs will be on top of
the £170 million disclosed earlier
this year, related to the Package C
model, as well as the Trent 900 for
the Airbus A380. ■

FLEET
Indian first as Jet takes leased Max 8

Indian carrier Jet Airways has taken delivery of its first Boeing 737
Max 8 on lease from GECAS. The lessor notes that the narrow-
body is also the first of the type to enter service in India. Flight
Fleets Analyzer shows that Jet has another 130 Max aircraft on
order, including five more -8s to come from GECAS. “Partnering
with GECAS has enabled us to introduce these modern, fuel-effi-
cient aircraft into our fleet,” states the airline’s chief executive
Vinay Dube. Jackson Square Aviation and Jet recently struck a
sale-and-leaseback deal covering six new 737-8s set to be deliv-
ered next year.
Boeing
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