German engine specialist MTU expects that a final fix for the power gearbox issues on the Airbus A400M’s Europrop International (EPI) TP400-D6 engines will be installed from September.
At a press briefing in Munich on 23 February, MTU programme chief Michael Schreyogg said the modification comprised a “handful” of changes to the gearbox, which were designed when EPI’s shareholders met with the component’s supplier, General Electric-owned Avio Aero, in 2016. Alongside MTU, EPI’s members include Safran, Rolls-Royce and the latter’s Spanish subsidiary ITP.
Schreyogg says development work for the modified gearbox continues, but that rig tests have been completed.
While the gearbox can be retrofitted to existing engines, he says the intention is to install it on new powerplants only, because it is “not necessary” to modify engines that received an interim fix introduced last year.
That solution, says Schreyogg, fulfils the engine’s specifications and will allow an increase of the gearbox’s service life to more than 1,000 flight hours. When the interim fix was introduced, the component was limited to 650h of operation.
The objective for the final fix is that the gearbox will perform in line with the engine’s other components, without causing premature overhauls.