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Rolls Outlines Trent 900 Modification Plan
Aviation Week ^ | 12 November 2010 | Max Kingsley-Jones

Posted on 11/13/2010 7:24:55 AM PST by A.A. Cunningham

Rolls Outlines Trent 900 Modification Plan

By Max Kingsley-Jones

Rolls-Royce says that last week’s uncontained failure of a Trent 900 on a Qantas Airbus A380 was caused by the malfunction of “a specific component” in the turbine area, which will be addressed by a modification programme across the fleet.

Meanwhile Airbus boss Tom Enders has warned that the problem may impact A380 deliveries this year and next.

Rolls says that the investigation and Trent 900 engine inspections launched in the wake of the QF32 incident on Nov. 4 has led it to draw two key conclusions. It confirms that the issue is specific to the Trent 900 and has established that “the failure was confined to a specific component in the turbine area of the engine”. The engine maker says that the resulting oil fire led to “the release of the intermediate pressure turbine disc.”

Rolls says that the ongoing Trent 900 inspection process will be supplemented by a programme to replace the relevant module in the engine.

“These measures, undertaken in collaboration with Airbus, our Trent 900 customers and the regulators, have regrettably led to some reduction in aircraft availability,” says Rolls. “This programme will enable our customers progressively to bring the whole fleet back into service.”

There are currently 21 Trent-powered A380s in service, operated by Qantas (six), Lufthansa (four) and Singapore Airlines (11). The entire Qantas fleet remains grounded, while several engine changes at Singapore Airlines have forced temporarily remove some of its aircraft from service.

Speaking at an EADS financial briefing on Nov. 12, Airbus CEO Tom Enders warned that the limited supply of Trent 900 engines could hold up deliveries of Rolls-powered A380 deliveries in the near-term.

“With the inspection and modification programme to be further detailed now, we can’t rule out an impact on our A380 deliveries, in particular in 2011 since engines are not a commodity,” he says.

Airbus has delivered 16 A380s so far this year, against a target of 20 for the full year. Enders indicates that it could in fact surpass this figure, but the engine problem may prevent it: “We have six more aircraft ready for delivery this year but we will only see in the weeks to come whether these can be delivered or not,” he says.

Meanwhile in an interim management statement issued on Nov. 12, Rolls-Royce CEO Sir John Rose warned that the “[QF32] event and the consequent actions will have an impact on the Group’s financial performance this year.”

Updating the guidance issued in July when it expected underlying profits would grow by 4-5% this year, Rolls says underlying full-year profit growth will now be “slightly lower” than previously indicated because the Trent incident.

TOPICS: Australia/New Zealand; Extended News; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: a380; aerospace; airbus; qantas; rollsroyce; trent

1 posted on 11/13/2010 7:24:58 AM PST by A.A. Cunningham
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To: A.A. Cunningham

They have a fix and the Trent 900 equipped A380s should soon be back in service.

2 posted on 11/13/2010 7:28:24 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop
Maybe, maybe not.

Qantas A380 Investigation Goes Beyond Engines

3 posted on 11/13/2010 7:32:43 AM PST by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

GREAT link, thanks

4 posted on 11/13/2010 7:53:37 AM PST by Andyman (The truth shall make you FReep.)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

Trent could use a Lott of modification

5 posted on 11/13/2010 8:02:23 AM PST by NonValueAdded (Palin 2012)
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To: NonValueAdded

Try the veal and don’t forget to tip your waitress.

6 posted on 11/13/2010 8:27:32 AM PST by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

Engine #1 acted as designed and expected when it’s control signaling was lost. It’s supposed to keep doing what it was last told to do. It was normal for it to have to be shut down on the ground by “drowning” it.

It is far better for the engine to keep providing thrust than to shut down if it loses it’s signaling in flight.

This is an intentional design feature.

It’s unsafe to have anyone walk up to the engine to hit a button on the ground, and unsafe to try to drain the fuel off. So, you stand off and drown it.

7 posted on 11/13/2010 8:30:10 AM PST by ltc8k6
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To: ltc8k6

Interesting post. I wonder if any heads will roll at Rolls over this..sorry.

8 posted on 11/13/2010 9:03:28 AM PST by catbertz
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To: catbertz


9 posted on 11/13/2010 10:24:27 AM PST by Publius6961 ("In 1964 the War on Poverty Began --- Poverty won.")
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