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Trent blade issues impact all RR-powered 787-9s, Boeing says

Boeing officials say they are working with Rolls-Royce on pervasive durability problems with a large subset of the Trent 1000 fleet that has grounded multiple 787-9s for long periods.

Concerns about the durability of the blades in the Trent 1000 Package C’s intermediate pressure turbine and intermediate pressure compressor extend well beyond the well-publicised flight disruptions suffered by Air New Zealand, says Boeing 787 chief engineer Bob Whittington.

“All of the Rolls-Royce operators across the fleet have seen some of the wear-out issues in the Rolls-Royce engine,” Whittington says.

As the engine manufacturer, R-R has taken responsibility for the blade cracking problems, but Boeing remains involved, he adds.

“They’re Boeing customers, Boeing airplanes and we’re deeply involved with R-R to get each of the operators back flying as soon as possible,” Whittington says.

R-R is designing a new IPC blade for Trent 1000 engines in the Package C configuration. The IPC blades came under scrutiny almost 15 months ago after an engine failure on board a Scoot 787-9. Singapore’s Transport Safety investigation Agency found that two other shutdowns on Scoot 787-9s were linked to IPC failures probably caused by material fatigue.

Since 2016, R-R also has been replacing the blades in the IPT module of the Trent 1000 after All Nippon Airways reported a series of engine failures. R-R traced the cause of that problem back to suphidation corrosion cracking.

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