Rolls-Royce Is Paying a Huge Price for the 787 Engine Problem

Mar 9, 2018

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Rolls-Royce builds jet engines for a wide variety of aircraft, including both Boeing and Airbus widebodies such as the A350 and Boeing 787.

Most Boeing 787s are powered by the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine, which has been receiving lots of attention after some serious problems: the turbine blades inside the engines were corroding and cracking at a quick rate. And now, the company is paying for the faulty equipment in a big way.

In 2016, ANA announced it would be replacing all 100 Rolls-Royce engines on its entire 787 fleet after three engines failed because of the corrosion. British Airways cancelled a handful of its 787 flights last year due to the same issue. Air New Zealand, Norwegian and Virgin Atlantic’s Dreamliners have fallen victim, too.

Rolls-Royce reported yesterday that it’s paying $315 million for the repairs on the Trent 1000 and Trent 900. The BBC reports the costs could lead to job losses at the engine manufacturer, in addition to other structural changes at the company.

“These issues have required urgent short-term support, including both on-wing and shop visit intervention, which has resulted in increased disruption for some of our customers,” Rolls-Royce said in a news release. The company said it is, “making solid progress with longer-term solutions, largely through re-designing affected parts.”

Both the Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency called for increased inspections of the engines after studies found that during an aircraft’s takeoff and ascent, extreme vibrations caused the engine blades to crack.

Rolls-Royce said that affected Trent 1000s — up to 500 of them — will be taken out of service and repaired through 2022. The company also recently introduced an enhanced version of the troubled engine, the Trent 1000 TEN.

H/T: The Seattle Times

Featured image by Stephen Brashear  / Getty Images.

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