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Rolls-Royce confident over A330neo and A350 engine blades

Rolls-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 expressed caution during an investor briefing on 15 June, admitting that ruling out the possibility of occurrence 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, pointing out that a different "design flow" and more modern tools were used during its development.

The A350 fleet is expanding – 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 afflicting the Trent 1000.

Rolls-Royce is also optimistic that the Trent 7000, which is derived from the Trent 1000, will be similarly unaffected.

East says that the company is "not seeing a potential" for the same issues to arise on the Trent 7000, but will be "making very certain" that any improvements to the Trent 1000 are incorporated into the A330neo's engine.

TAP Portugal is set to be the first carrier to operate the A330neo. East puts the entry into service date "towards the end" of the third quarter.

He acknowledges that the A330neo will begin operations before a final fix on the Trent 1000 is available, but says that the volume of Trent 7000 engines produced in the interim will be "very small".

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