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Rolls-Royce delays 787 engine upgrade to 2017

Rolls-Royce confirms that an upgraded version of the Trent 1000 engine for the Boeing 787 fleet will be delayed one year before entering service and reducing fuel burn levels to the originally promised standard.

The UK-based manufacturer had planned to certificate the Trent 1000-TEN upgrade by the end of 2015, with deliveries beginning in 2016 for the 787-8 and 787-9.

But now certification is pushed to mid-year and entry into service is delayed to 2017, R-R tells Flightglobal, saying the manufacturer has “flexibility” with the schedule.

“Our customers are aware and understand this change,” R-R says in a statement. “This allows us to ensure we have an engine with even better maturity, robustness and durability.”

R-R did not provide specific reasons for the delay of the Trent 1000-TEN version, the third planned upgrade of the engine family that entered service with the 787-8 in late 2011.

R-R launched the Trent 1000-TEN programme at the Farnborough air show in 2012. Though sometimes confused as exclusive to the 787-10, the Trent 1000-TEN is intended to be available for the 787-8 and 787-9 first. It is expected to become available on the 787-10 when the type enters service in 2018.

The Trent 1000-TEN packages two different types of improvements. For all three variants, the new engine improves fuel efficiency by a further 2%, according to R-R, by leveraging new technology developed for the Trent XWB engine and the Advance3 technology demonstrator. The Trent XWB powers the Airbus A350 family.

For the 787-10 alone, the Trent 1000-TEN also raises power levels to 76,000lb-thrust initially, with the capability to rise to 78,000lb-thrust if required.

The Trent 1000 entered service on the 787-8 with a 70,000lb-thrust rating but missing Boeing’s fuel specification target. The Package B version of the engine arrived in 2012, reducing fuel burn by 1%. Two years later, R-R delivered the 74,000lb-thrust Package C version of the engine.

But the Trent 1000-TEN is needed both to reach Boeing’s fuel burn target as well as match the thrust requirement for the 787-10 model.

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