Rolls Royce Delays Timeline On Solving Boeing 787 Trent 1000 Issues

Rolls Royce has delayed its timeline on solving the Trent 1000 engine crisis. The engine manufacturer has had issues with its Trent 1000 line of engines, which are used to power some Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

Rolls Royce, Trent 1000, Boeing 787
The Rolls Royce Trent 1000 is an engine option for the Boeing 787. Photo: Boeing

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner has two engine options. It is sold with either the Rolls Royce Trent 1000 or the General Electric GEnx. The Rolls Royce Trent 1000 has been particularly problematic for airlines that have chosen this option. Double-digit numbers of Boeing 787s are currently grounded while awaiting remedial work to their engines. This is an issue which Rolls Royce’s Chief Customer Officer of Civil Aerospace, Dominic Horwood, called “unacceptable” back in May.

What’s gone wrong?

The issues with the Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engine are all down to parts not lasting as long as expected. First, the intermediate pressure turbine blades suffered from a type of chemical corrosion. This is known as sulfidation.

However, another issue arose. High-pressure turbine blades began to break down faster than Rolls Royce had anticipated. As a result, a number of aircraft have been grounded while Rolls Royce works on remedying the issues identified. Rolls Royce doesn’t specify the number of aircraft on the ground as a result of the issues. However, the engine manufacturer does state “the number of aircraft on ground (AOG) remains at a high level”.

Rolls Royce, Trent 1000, Boeing 787
A Boeing 787 Dreamliner awaits its engines. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

A number of airlines have been affected by the issue. Earlier this year Virgin Atlantic had some aircraft on the ground at Heathrow awaiting engines, Meanwhile, competitor British Airways has been wet-leasing Airbus A340s from Air Belgium to cover for grounded Dreamliners. Norwegian has also frequently been leasing Hi Fly’s Airbus A380 to cope with a fall in capacity.

Timeline delayed

It seems as though the timeline for implementing all of the Trent 1000 fixes has slipped. Back in February, Rolls Royce said that 35 Boeing 787s with Trent 1000 engines were grounded. The company hoped that this number will fall to 10 by the end of the year.

However, this has now been pushed by half a year. When contacted by Simple Flying, Rolls Royce told us,

“On 6 August 2019, with our Half Year Results, we cautioned that the rate of recovery in Trent 1000 Aircraft On Ground (AOG) this year was likely to be slower than our original plans.”

Rolls Royce, Trent 1000, Boeing 787
Rolls Royce hopes to return to single digits of AOG aircraft in Q2 of 2020. Photo: Boeing

They went on to add: “these challenges mean that we now expect the return to single-digit level of AOGs on the Trent 1000 to be delayed until Q2 2020. We deeply regret the additional disruption that this will cause our customers and we continue to work closely with them to minimise the impact on their operations.”

What do you make of the delay to the Trent 1000 Engine timeline? Let us know in the comments.