Boeing says Rolls-Royce is confident of supporting 787 schedule

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Boeing continues to work through issues that caused an uncontained engine failure during ground testing on 2 August on a Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine that will power the 787.

Following the uncontained failure Boeing announced a delay of first delivery of the 787 to the middle of the first quarter of 2011. Lack of availability of Trent 100 engines for Airplane Nine was the main driver for the aircraft's latest slip in first delivery.

During a call to discuss Boeing's third quarter earnings company chief exeutive Jim McNerney said the Rolls-Royce engine is "something we're working on. Rolls is confident that they can support our schedule with a hardware and software fix. It is not going to require that they re-certify the engine, rather just submit some data to in essence sustain certification".

Pressed about specific issues causing the uncontained failure McNerney states: "I wasn't there. I don't want to characterise exactly what happened. The experts are dealing with it."

He says the issue "has been understood by Rolls" and now the engine manufacturer has to show regulators that the hardware and software modifications being made to the engine "address what happened".

Citing his experience in the engine business as the former head of GE Engines, McNerney says he understands "how these things happen, and if they [Rolls-Royce] say they're confident that they understand the root cause and have the fix in hand, then I believe them".