32 Boeing 787s are AOG due to Rolls-Royce Trent issues; number will climb

April 27, 2018 © Leeham Co.: There are 32 Boeing 787s grounded because of problems with the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000-C engines and the number will rise “a bit,” LNC has confirmed.

The US Federal Aviation Administration and Europe’s EASA this month issued Airworthiness Directives that limit ETOPS to 140 or even 60 minutes from the 330 minutes certified originally.

A Royal Brunei Boeing 787 sat engineless April 12 at Paine Field, awaiting Rolls-Royce powerplants. Photo by Jennifer Schuld.

Following the AD and inspections, the number of grounded aircraft rose from 15-20.

The limitations balloon costs on trans-ocean flights and render trans-polar flights impossible.

Software change

Rolls-Royce hopes that a software change will prevent the maximum continuous operating power of the engines from hitting a resonance level that leads to cracks in the compressor blades that led to either groundings or severely restricting ETOPS operations.

“There is a certain point of operations that by changing the software to limit the resonating frequency, it may avoid this [cracking],” a person with knowledge of the situation told LNC.

“Rolls may adjust the maximum operations” via a software limitation to enable airplanes to get back into the air or restore ETOPS. No timeline has been established for this possibility.

Getting AOG back in the air

Rolls-Royce doesn’t have an inventory of spare engines to send to the affected airlines to return the grounded 787s to flight. Air New Zealand and LatAm are the two most affected. British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Norwegian, LOT and Ethiopian are others with Aircraft on Ground (AOG).

The engine maker is trying to accelerate repairs through MRO shops, but these are backing up with work on the Trent 1000s and, with it, work on the Trent 700s powering Airbus A330s. Capacity at the usual MROs is being overwhelmed.

Rolls is undertaking what it calls “surgical strikes” to replace key parts, but this will take time.

All the affected engines won’t be completely made over until 2022, but the interim actions, such as the surgical strikes and software proposal, are geared toward restoring the fleet to unrestricted service.





110 Comments on “32 Boeing 787s are AOG due to Rolls-Royce Trent issues; number will climb

  1. I wish there was a way to get notified about new posts on this topic, without having to leave a comment myself.

    • Why am I reminded of the oft told tale of the Pepsi CEO who when asked what he would do if he saw his Coca Cola opposite number drowning in a swimming pool?

      His answer — from memory — was stick a hose down his throat and turn the tap full on.

      Why am I reminded of this story reading the comments on here?

      In other news there is the startling revelation that software fixes to problem ice crystals are all the rage …

      • I’m not sure I follow you there: both major manufacturers and their customers are having problems with engines [1], and I doubt either is attempting to talk down the other over that. As with the Samsung battery problem last year: Apple said nothing derogatory about Samsung since they were too busy thanking Gaia that it wasn’t their supplier that had created the problem.

        [1] and the Russians probably just aren’t saying anything if they do too

        • More concerned about some of the partisan comments being made.

          The attitude and the detail has to come from somewhere — off the record of course.

          • There seem to be hordes of rabid Astro Turfers around to the advantage of GE. I’ve already referenced the discussion over the GP7200 engine “disassembly” over Greenland that instantly turned into a bashing screed targeting RR. MAGA brings out the worst in some.

    • Good , point. Something else, I am not getting notifications anymore to confirm to follow, maybe I am in the dog box?

  2. From the report on 4/14, “…One airline tells LNC that Rolls-Royce warned it to expect a 40%-50% failure rate of the affected RR-powered 787 fleet.” (!!!)

    What does it mean to “fail” an inspection? Does it mean that the inspection found cracks, or that the inspection failed to prove no cracks existed, or was the inspection for something else?

    • You have to dig up the AD but what it means is there is a list of criteria (one or more) that are supposed to (heavy on supposed) to show that the issue is about to propagate. Sometimes a crack can be lived with. In this case I would not dream (pun) of operating an aircraft with any indicators of any type.

      In this case as there are ranges where a harmonic sets up that can push a non issue over the edge, that is severely nebulas.

      This is a case the entire fleet should be grounded until they can confirm that each aircraft has two good engines with proven corrections.

      Or replaced with a Trent 10.

      • Good thought.

        The AD mentions “[being] aware of several engine failures of Trent 1000 Package C engines due to failed compressor and turbine blades and seals,” then later, “we have been aware of numerous reports of engine inspection findings of cracked blades resulting in unscheduled engine removals.”

        The AD recommends modifying ETOPS, but I don’t see a requirement for inspections, nor do I see what conditions the airlines should look for.

        For instance, on 4/16 the Puget Sound Business Journal mentions corrosion but not cracks.

    • Yes, as I read the article RR are warning that cracks are expected in 40-50% of engines inspected.

      In general terms, to ‘fail’ an inspection means that something was found that makes the part, engine or anything else is no longer fit for service. A ‘passed’ inspection means that the aircraft or engine is fit for service.

      • Perhaps I wasn’t clear in my question.

        What are they looking for? Are you telling me 40% of RR Trent-1000 engines are expected have cracked blades – cracks large enough to find with ultrasonic inspection or eddy current? And that airlines will inspect every engine blade in every RR engine, at relatively short intervals?

        And where is that in the AD?

      • Those are not turbine blades as you would see them during an inspection! Those are the blades after something broke off and passed through the turbine.

        • Point taken. I had mis-read that. Thanks. So what, exactly is the boroscope inspection intended to see?

          • Keep in mind this is not one issue, its several.

            1. Corrosion (that is iffy, but saying that it was salt water that causes this, what major city is not close to the ocean and lets be real, the 787 is an over the ocean aircraft, not over land (vast majority)

            2. Separate harmonic that cracks blades which then will shuck out the end.

            3. Giving up on the fuel burn failure to meet specs and falling behind the GENx and coming outwith an all new engines to resolve it.

            More critical is can the borocsope see the cracks show up before they manifest?

            We had boilers that they claimed could not crack the way they did, well they did.

            In the end we replaced them with a crack resistant design as no one could come up with an explanations (yes it was there, but the cost for find out exceed the cost of ne2w boilers and we the solution probably was still new boilers!)

            Kind of like a twin aircraft though the consequences are only a froze up building.

            One is down for repairs and the other one starts leakings. Trouble in River City.

            That is why people like OV-O99 don’t get it, they have not been on the pointy end of the equipment spear when something is broke and you are pulling rabbits out of the hat to eeek it by.

            Sometimes the hat is rabbit free and the you know what hits the fan.

            This is is as bad as it gets engine wise.

      • Good Lord… I had no idea they were that bad. This is the ‘post-event’ engine right (what happens when a crack/corrosion spreads or sheds metal?).


        • Thing get really quiet on one side of the aircraft and the pilots are praying.

    • Hello Stan and TransWorld,

      Regarding : Inspections for 787’s with Trent 1000 engines.

      Below are links to AD’s issued for 787’s with Trent 1000’s by EASA and the FAA. The EASA AD was issued on 4-13-18, the FAA AD was issued on 4-17-18.



      The EASA AD set forth a list of recurring inspections that must be done, if the inspections find “any crack indication” in an engine, the engine must be removed form service. See excerpt below from page 5 of the AD.

      “If, during any inspection as required by this AD, any crack indication is found, before next flight, remove the engine from service, contact RR for approved corrective action instructions and, before release to service of the engine, accomplish those instructions accordingly.

      A single ferry flight (up to 3 FC, non-ETOPS, no passengers) may be accomplished to a location where the engine can be removed from service.”

      By my reading the FAA AD says nothing about inspections. It calls only for amending the aircraft flight manual to restrict ETOPS operations to 60 minutes or 140 minutes, depending on aircraft weight, when the aircraft is equipped with listed Trent 1000 engine versions that have 300 or more cycles. The AD says that this is being done because at thrust settings that would be required for single engine operation at high weights, there is a resonance condition that could cause engine failure during extended single engine flight. See excerpts below from the FAA AD. Can anyone point out to me anywhere in this AD where it is stated that passing some inspection can remove the ETOPS restrictions?

      “AD Requirements
      This AD requires revising the AFM to limit ETOPS operation.

      Interim Action
      This AD is interim action. The manufacturer is currently developing a modification that will address the unsafe condition identified in this AD. Once this modification is developed, approved, and available, we might consider additional rulemaking.”

      “c) Applicability
      This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 787-8 and 787-9 airplanes, certificated in any category, powered by Rolls-Royce plc (RR) Trent 1000-A2, Trent 1000-AE2, Trent 1000-C2, Trent 1000-CE2, Trent 1000-D2, Trent 1000-E2, Trent 1000-G2, Trent 1000-H2, Trent 1000-J2, Trent 1000-K2, and Trent 1000-L2 turbofan engines.”

      “(g) Revision of Limitations Chapter in Airplane Flight Manual (AFM)
      Within 3 days after the effective date of this AD, revise the Certificate Limitations chapter of the applicable Boeing AFM Engine Appendix by incorporating the information in figure 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD.”

      Over the past year, we have been aware of several engine failures of Trent 1000 Package C engines due to failed compressor and turbine blades and seals. Package C engines are Rolls-Royce plc (RR) Trent 1000-A2, Trent 1000-AE2, Trent 1000-C2, Trent 1000-CE2, Trent 1000-D2, Trent 1000-E2, Trent 1000-G2, Trent 1000-H2, Trent 1000-J2, Trent 1000-K2, and Trent 1000-L2 turbofan engines. During that same period, under the management programs for those engine issues, we have been aware of numerous reports of engine inspection findings of cracked blades resulting in unscheduled engine removals. Boeing reported to the FAA that the engine manufacturer recently determined that intermediate pressure compressor (IPC) stage 2 blades have a resonant frequency that is excited by the airflow conditions existing in the engine during operation at high thrust settings under certain temperature and altitude conditions. The resultant blade vibration can result in cumulative fatigue damage that can cause blade failure and consequent engine shutdown. In the event of a single engine in-flight shutdown during the cruise phase of flight, thrust on the remaining engine is normally increased to maximum continuous thrust (MCT). During a diversion following a single engine shutdown under an ETOPS flight, the remaining engine may operate at MCT for a prolonged period, under which the IPC stage 2 blades would be exposed to the resonant frequency condition. Therefore, an ETOPS diversion will put the remaining engine at an operating condition that would significantly increase the likelihood of failure of the remaining engine. In addition, if the remaining engine already had cracked IPC stage 2 blades, the likelihood of the remaining engine failing will further increase before a diversion can be safely completed.”

      “FAA’s Justification and Determination of the Effective Date
      An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to adoption. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because unrecoverable thrust loss on both engines could lead to a forced landing. Therefore, we find good cause that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable. In addition, for the reasons stated above, we find that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.”

      • I just realized that the EASA AD is a Trent 1000 engine AD from the original certification authority for the Trent 1000, while the FAA AD is a Boeing 787 aircraft AD from the original certifying authority for the Boeing 787.

        The EASA engine AD sets forth inspection requirements for engines and directs that the engines be taken out of service if the inspections are not passed, it says nothing about ETOPS restrictions for any particular model of aircraft, except allowing for non ETOPS ferry flights to be made to an engine service center, without passengers, before removing a failed engine from service.

        The FAA AD sets forth new ETOPS restrictions for Boeing 787’s when they are equipped with certain engines, it says nothing about engine inspections.

        If you are an Airline, such as Air New Zealand, outside both the EASA countries and the US, you must still adopt both the Trent 1000 engine inspections called for by the EASA, and the Boeing 787 aircraft operating restrictions called for by the FAA.

        • The excerpt below, from the FlightGlobal article at the link after the excerpt, reports that even those Air New Zealand 787’s that are still flying by virtue of having passed the engine inspections called for by the EASA Trent 1000 engine AD, still have had their operation restricted by the FAA aircraft AD that restricts ETOPS operation for Boeing 787’s equipped with certain models of Trent 1000 engines.

          “Weight restrictions included in an FAA directive issued last week mean some Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner flights to Asian destinations will be required to make refueling stops,” says the carrier.

          Routes affected include Los Angeles and Houston, services to Tokyo Haneda, and some trans-Tsasman and Pacific island flights.

          “Depending on en-route weather conditions, some flights may not be able to depart with all the fuel they require, prompting the need for the fuel stop. Over the weekend, 787-9 flights made fuel stops at Sydney, Cairns, Darwin and Guam.”


          • After an initial inspection, the EASA engine AD calls for repeat inspections of rotor 2 every 80 flight cycles. For aircraft involved in ETOPS operations, an initial inspection of engines with more than 300 cycles was required before the next ETOPS flight.

            “Repetitive Inspections of affected Rotor 2 parts:
            (3) Within the compliance time specified in Table 2 of this AD, as applicable, and, thereafter, at intervals not to exceed 80 FC, accomplish an inspection of the affected Rotor 2 parts in accordance with the instructions of the NMSB.”

            The EASA AD is not limited to engines installed on Boeing 787’s.

            Trent 1000-A2, Trent 1000-AE2, Trent 1000-C2, Trent 1000-CE2, Trent 1000-D2, Trent 1000-E2, Trent 1000-G2, Trent 1000-H2, Trent 1000-J2, Trent 1000-K2 and Trent 1000-L2 engines, all serial numbers.

            These engines are known to be installed on, but not limited to, Boeing 787 series aeroplanes.”

      • The FAA has issued a new AD for Boeing 787-8 and 787-9 aircraft equipped with certain models of Trent 1000 engines. The new AD, issued 4-26-18 (AD 2018-09-05) sets restrictions, like the previous 4-17-18 AD (AD 2018-03), on ETOPS operation based on aircraft weight and air temperature for 787’s with certain Trent 1000 engines. As in the previous AD maximum allowed ETOPS time is 140 minutes, and ETOPS operation is only allowed below certain weights.

        The old AD exempted aircraft on which both engines had less than 300 flight cycles, the new AD also exempts aircraft on which both engines have fewer than 300 cycles since refurbishment “in accordance with the instructions of parts B, C, D or E in RR NMSB TRENT 1000 72-J871 Original Issue, Revision 1, Revision 2, or Revision 3″.

        As far as I could see from a quick read through, the new AD has reduced some weights in the tables of weights below which ETOPS operations are allowed, and added more detail to the ETOPS diversion procedure in the amended aircraft flight manual pages. For instance, for aircraft with Trent 1000-CE2 engines maximum weight for ETOPS operation at ISA temperature and below, without forecast icing, has been reduced from 525,100 pounds to 502,500 pounds. According to Wikipedia, maximum takeoff weights for the 787-8 and 787-9 are 502,500 ponds and 560,000 ponds, respectively. Based on these figures, it would seem that for this particular engine model and temperature, 787-8’s would be allowed 140 minutes ETOPS, even if they were loaded to maximum takeoff weight; however, 787-9’s might have to restrict their takeoff weight in order for ETOPS to be allowed. Elsewhere in the AD it is stated that the weight criteria is to be applied at the ETOPS entry point using the maximum forecast temperature at FL200.

        Below are some excerpts from the AD, and after the excerpts, a link to the full AD.

        SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for The Boeing Company Model 787-8 and 787-9 airplanes powered by Rolls-Royce plc (RR) Trent 1000-A2, Trent 1000-AE2, Trent 1000-C2, Trent 1000-CE2, Trent 1000-D2, Trent 1000-E2, Trent 1000-G2, Trent 1000-H2, Trent 1000-J2, Trent 1000-K2, and Trent 1000-L2 turbofan engines. This AD requires revising the airplane flight manual (AFM) to limit extended operations (ETOPS). This AD was prompted by a report from the engine manufacturer indicating that after an engine failure, prolonged operation at high thrust settings on the remaining engine during an ETOPS diversion may result in failure of the remaining engine before the diversion can be safely completed. We have determined that updated AFM limitations are needed to minimize the potential for intermediate pressure compressor (IPC) blade failures under certain conditions. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

        DATES: This AD is effective April 26, 2018.
        We must receive comments on this AD by June 11, 2018.”

        “Actions Since AD 2018-08-03 Was Issued.
        Based on further review of the AFM limitations, Boeing has updated the information reflected within the figures of AD 2018-08-03. The FAA has determined it is necessary to update the AFM limitations accordingly to minimize the potential for IPC blade failures under certain conditions.
        The FAA has determined that operation under AD 2018-08-03 is acceptable for safe operation until the new AD limitations are mandated.”

        “AD Requirements.
        This AD requires revising the AFM to limit ETOPS, using the updated information referenced in figure 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD and figure 2 to paragraph (h) of this AD. Accomplishment of the AFM revisions required by this AD terminates all requirements of AD 2018-08-03.

        Interim Action.
        This AD is interim action. The manufacturer is currently developing a modification that will address the unsafe condition identified in this AD. Once this modification is developed, approved, and available, we might consider additional rulemaking.”


  3. This is RR Waterloo like failure.

    I can’t remember an aircraft engine that has failed this spectacularly (jet) ever. No wonder they want exclusives.

    Snecma with the Silver Crest debacle is as close as I can think of.

    A failure of Biblical Proportion in the engine world.

    And only now getting to the source of the second issue? Phew.

    Probably cheaper to just replace them all with Trent 10s and hope that is a good engine.

    • Thats because the GP7000 on the Air France A380, the PW4000 on United 777 and the GE90 on the British Airways 777, all catastrophic failures are all in the ‘too hard basket’ currently.
      Remember back in the late 1980s, it took 2 x737 fuselage failures ( 1 on a Taiwan airliner another Aloha) before they realised ‘we have a problem’.
      No Trent 1000 have had a catastrophic failure.

      • We have had in flight shutdowns.

        They had been flying long over water routes where if called on, the running engine would have been pushed hard to maintain altitude.

        Notice the “drift down” aspect?

        I believe that is they loose altitude on the way to destination at a steady rate to be gentle on the engine. That also means lower than desired and no options (of course over water there may be none anyway)

        What is new is an ALL NEW engine to solve this once and for all.

        That is unheard of. Yes they will try to fix existing 1000s, but never build a 1000 again.

        They may wind up replacing all the 1000s in the fleet over time.

        Its truly one of those Black Swan events.

        • Black Swan event like the sinking of the Titanic and the
          Chernobyl nuclear disaster?

          Your lengthy ramblings are starting to sound a lot like number 45’s unhinged call to ‘Fox & Friends’ yesterday morning.

          • Number 45’s election was a Black Swan event, as was Brexit.

        • And other engine makers are having to deal with catastrophic failures that have had unfortunately all too human results.

          I do appreciate that the badge on the failure might not fit a particular narrative but a little bit of circumspection would go a long way.

          • Raising the ‘drift down’ as an issue is ridiculous. The longest actual ETOPS diversion was a United 777 with PW4090 engine when it went for 190 min over the Pacific till landing in Hawaii ( technically it exceeded the 180min Etops it was dispatched under)

      • Well that is what comes from someone who does not understand mechanics.

        A bit different that photo chopping airplanes that are also not based on real world reality.

        note: that was short enough to read vs rambling on and on.

        • Not sure if constant repetition helps to get across the message that is being peddled?

          Aero engines looks to me — Big Auto background — as a very tough gig where focus has to be more than complete and every step forward has to be earned.

          RR has their challenges at the moment but the upside is that their recent fat and happy — aka lazy — mindset has been blown out the water and now they have to get their thinking caps on and do real work to sort it all out.

          Interesting to understand how the engine has matured — what issues were in focus when and how did the solutions turn out?

          Might be a case that a little less efficiency will generate a much needed increase in durability.

          Finally there would appear to be a whiff of “diesel” about some of these issues and how the regulators are responding — possibly to quick to believe the hype so that economic and political interests could progress.

    • Agree with @TW.

      Sleepless nights for sure @RR when your flagship engine is now *systemically* of deadly potential. GenX will win any new competition: Boards will lot let you buy them even if you are ‘locked’ in their ‘total care’ (big pun) ecosystem.

      That’s a huge vote too for no 797 with RR Triebwerk. PW+CFM instead?
      Dump RR stock (or what’s left of it).

      And since the (dis)UK voted out of the EU, should AB cast’em off too? MTU’d be happy. Who’d trust their ultrafan kit now?
      Watch the FR+DE launching the next EU combat plane. (dis)UK seems purposely out… and MTU is chomping on the bit to be an alternate engine maker to Snecma, trying to raise their game.

      Again, sleepless nights over the channel indeed… 🙁

      • Airbus isnt an EU only business , a lot of their suppliers are in US , Korea etc. Italy of course is better aligned with Boeing as thats where a part of fuselage section comes from (Alenia).

        You are talking rubbish about MTU (aero), they are aligned with Pratt And Whitney not Rolls. Rolls has its own company in Germany, RR Deutschland as well as the ex Allison in the USA. Their other partners are in Spain and Japan.

        Oh dear, so much wrong

        • Reread the post 🙂

          MTU’s reference is Brexit and all this non-sense is giving them the opportunity to get closer to the French with the new combat aircraft family on the horizon. Perhaps even be a fully fledged design partner. Via collaboration with Snecma (Safran) on that MTU has a way to expand their envelop that they would not have otherwise.

          Britain will lose their ability to do indigenous combat aircraft engines now that the the F35 will replace the (quite sub-par) eurofighter — note: they could only sell abroad the later via massive corruption: Saudi, Austria (read any of the recent news there?), etc.

          MTU has a chance to get in a larger game. Military engine design gives you also key insights that flow to commercial.

    • If you go back 15-25year these failures were not so rare and engines were put into shops for inspections and modifications.
      The early 747 engines like JT9D-3 and JT9D-7A’s did not stay on wing less than a 1000hrs before shop visit.
      But today the costs, the production volumes and the RR locked up few MRO shops make it much worse than it needed to be.
      Engineering wise what can RR do besides brand new blades or mount a 2 stage blisk. Some of the old solutions might be sufficient. The most common was removing a top corner of the blades in one stage mainly if the corner was prone to brake off from vibrations. In this case it lowers the mass of the blade tip and can move the harmonics up in frequency away from the fan blade wakes induced vibrations, that in combination to lower fan rpm 1-3% at max continious thrust might be enough. It also changes the pressure distribution in the blade attachement a bit. You can maybe do it on wing as a special on-wing borescope port blending operation.

    • Desperately hoping. Will have to see.

      Very likely customers will demand a Ten (and desperately hope it has no issues)

      Not having heard any puffed up stuff on the Trent 900 we don’t know how its doing.

      XWB so far so good (as the man who jumped off the 100 story building told the guy inside as he went by the 50th floor)

  4. Somebody explain to me how these proposed software changes (to protect against resonance) will work if you’re forced to go single engine on an ETOPS flight, say at least 60 minutes out from destination or designated ETOPS alternate? Or, if you’re emergency single engine, and need to do a “max power” go-around?

    • Note the drift down. Powered glider and you hope you can get there soon enough you don’t have to crank on power.

      • Thanks TW, but I have a real hard time accepting that the regulatory authorities are “fine” with this proposed “software solution”, and this probable result, as you’ve described! And, a needed go-around? SOL?

        • MO:

          The regularity agencies play Russian roulette with out lives all the time.

          I can give you a real world example. And its a tough world, because those decisions can drive someone out of business.

          My brother owned a piston aircraft that had a problem with the oil pump rotor. Keeping out of nic noid details, it had to be replaced at 1500 hours.

          Overhual on the engine could be extended to 2700 hours at the time. The engine was new overhaul. So it was going to have to be torn down at half its life (oil pumps require complete tear down on that type of engine. ) So he loses half the cost of an overhaul as at that point, you are going to have to do it all again and a bit part of the overhaul is disassembly and assembly of the engine . Overhaul costs for that type run into the $15,000 range.

          So how did they determine 1500 hours? Someone had an oil pump fail (which meant a non engine landing)

          What hours unknown, they looked at it, the process the oil pump was built to, did some assessment and extrapolation , spun the roulette wheel and came up with 1500 hours.

          As it was a new problem, they had little data, so its a guess.

          All aircraft have issues. They assess it and spin the wheel as to how often this needs to be fixed.

          Airlines squawk, its removes revenue. People pull stings and get it higher. Maybe that oil pump wold go the 2700 hours. People want to save that $7000, or 7 million or 70 million.

          Note that S.W was lobbying for much longer checks on their CFMs until the last incident and now they are just inspecting them all with the most likely failure type first.

    • They reprogram the EEC/FADEC to give a lower fan rpm in “normal mode” for max continuous thrust. You loose a little thrust but you might not need it in real life as you have burned off fuel getting away from the departure airport.

      • So, just hope and pray you don’t lose an engine 2.5 to 3.5 hours out on an ETOPS flight. And start doing some complex range vs. fuel dump calc’s on you way to the ETOPS alternate. Gotcha. Seems pretty “Rube Goldberg”, but helps explain a 60 minute ETOPS “max”. Might be giving new meaning to coming in “.on a wing and a prayer”. And it’s “…lose a little thrust…”.

        • Well. It is forcing functions, stresses, life and statistics to determine what is acceptable. Very few have access to those data and can make comments based on hard facts. Still options what RR/Boeing/EASA/FAA can and cannot do and historically have done can be fun to read.

          • In this case until the fix is in place, you have to restrict ETOPS and drift down on your ETOPS to stay out of those bands.

            You are trading Altitude for range and being “easy” on the engine.

            Even with the fix you have limits as you can’t maintain altitude on one engine without MCT.

            Yep, Rube Goldberg.

            Why did Boeing notify the FAA of this when RR should have been working with them all the time?

            Clearly they have seen the issue and new it was there and had no explanation and should have been acing on restrictions sooner.

            Spin the Roulette Wheel.

          • I think the reason why it pop’ed up now was not a rash of IPC stg 2 blade failures (other parts fail more often in the T1000 C-package Engine) but careful FEM analysis by RR that showed the fan blade passing frequency and the harmonics matched at max continious thrust used at one Engine out ETOPS flights and RR notified EASA/Boeing (as per G. Norris Aw Week article)

  5. Trans world, [edited as violation of Reader Comment rules].
    All civil large aircraft will ‘drift down’ to a lower altitude if one engine fails. The remaining engine(s) do not have enough thrust to maintain the maximum cruise altitude.
    They drift down to a lower altitude and perform the remainder of the flight to destination or diversion as appropriate.

    • I stand corrected. I was ignorant of that.

      It has an impact in range though as not being able to maintain thrust levels your drift down has to be sooner.

      Thank you for that correction.

  6. So which engine manufacturer doesn’t have reliability issues at the moment? GE?

    • @Fazel: GEnx still has technical (icing) issues to this day on 787 and 747-8.

      • Haven’t they made the needed engine software changes on these Genxs to deal with certain altitude icing issues, Scott? And, what other technical issues are they having? Thanks.

        • They have offered a software fix to the issue — only time will tell if it is a complete solution.

          They haven’t fixed the root cause — the ice issue is still there — just a case that the engine control knows about it and works the engine around the “vale of tears”.

          Engine mapping — comes in handy when the base engineering comes up short!

          So said the VW emissions bloke in 2006 as he Coded up his alternate universe — to be used on special occasions when the bonnet was up, the engine was running and the rear wheels weren’t moving.

          • True.

            Its an avoidance patch as it were. I have not heard how well its working.

            Knowing its there and even reducing it so there is no impact may be enough.

            The worst was GENx on a 747-8F that affected all 4 and they were in serious trouble.

            With the “avoidance” features, that may be enough to make it a non issue.

            note that RR has a similar issue with the Trent 800 on the 777. The fix was to clear the heat exchanger of possible ice at specified times with an up thrust.

            Not elegant but if it works 100% of the time livable.

  7. I don’t know how many times I have read that the engine supplier was pushed to develop its engine in too short a time. It seems to be a frequent refrain over the history of aviation. As an example the T1000 was vulnerable to this as it had very little gestation time to meet the original B787 timetable.

    So the engine was undercooked with poor efficiency. Then it got three PIPs to drag it towards parity with the GenX. To me the question is how long did RR know this was a chronic problem and critically why were they not more proactive in a solution. It suggests a fundamental senior management failure as suggested by FBOT.

    Regarding the wider slating of RR, that is becoming old, I can’t believe some of you believe what you are saying but instead enjoy an agenda. The Trent family has been the most successful large engine range over the past 20 years. Can we have some balance and perspective please.

    • This won’t do — sense, balance, perspective in a post Trump world?

      RR have always had their issues.
      Just a case that they started to believe their own hype.

      As noted above the Trent family has been very successful use of parametric design / variation all geometry to produce a wide range of variants and power levels in a short period of time and without breaking the bank investment wise.

      Just a case that the basic underlying tech stagnated and others pressed on with the detail so that at some point it ended up being uncompetitive and something had to be done.

      They had time and price on their side but not quality as in tech quality and the rest as they say is history.

      RR needs to get their mojo back.

      They are talking the talk at the moment big style hopefully they have the cattle as well as the hat.

      However the MoM’ster might be a lifeline.
      Great product space to launch the fightback.
      They seem to have a shed full of plans and brochure wear for various types of mini Trent.

      • Even the RR Trents have had some Engine types not taking the market by storm, the T500 is one that was a bit of an expensive overkill for the A340-600. Airbus and initial operators were not that impressed by the first CFM56-5C A340-200/300 Engine and the A340’s rose “like a DC-7”, the CFM56-5C4 was a bit more thrust with amazing reliability.
        When Airbus developed the 4 Engine A340-600 at LH urging (those days they were 4 Engine focused on widebodies) they wanted a high Power Engine with growth margin and they got it…
        But the fuel consumption and cost of operation killed it when the 777-300ER came along.

    • @Sowerbob: Ok, “balance and perspective”. What other jet turbine manufacturer has had/is having (in recent years) a customer (LATAM) fly its 787-8 subfleet—all 6 of them—6,000 miles to Victorville, Ca from home base (Santiago), only to put them into storage for eventual repair, with no publically-revealed return to service date? There’s at least some “perspective” on RR customer service! On “balance”, at least LATAM’s not going to let these RR problems force their customers to consider their odds on an “unwanted swim” using these RR engines.

      • Remember the 787 battery issue, wasnt that a full grounding, a first since the DC10 in 1979.

        And get this MontanaOsprey LAN Chile, LATAM predecessor had 3 AOG 787s during the battery crisis

        • Has the main man at LATAM driven over a black cat on his way to work in the dim and distant past — they don’t seem to be having much luck lately?

          • He might have (probably now cursing the day they went with RR, LOL). But not to worry, with the U.S nexus (Victorville) now established, it opens the door for his LATAM lawyers to have early and sumptuous Thanksgiving And Christmas dinners, feasting on the RR carcass!

          • Montana have you never heard of compulsory arbitration for dispute resolution ? This is why these sorts of problems almost never make it to court.

            Where did LATAM park its 787s and how much moolah did it get during its earlier dreamliner groundings with the battery problems.

            Or are you only interested when its a RR problem? of course GE and CFM only get slapped with restrictive ADs ( well delayed)when parts of their engines fall from the sky or burn the plane on the runway.
            No news about the GP7000 that didnt just lose a front fan blade but the whole front fan unit, cant rush to judgement and pull planes from service

        • 5 year old, off topic response. The subject is RR Trent 1000s, the woes they cause, and how RR is dealing with its Trent customers, in this case: LATAM.

          • The issue is a RR technical issue and the level of regulatory response it is now receiving in the context of current societal norms and similar past and present aviation events.

            Consequently any discussion regarding double standards, individual hypocrisy plus corporate and national economic leverage is well within the boundaries of this particular issue.

            I am no fan of past and present RR corporate behaviour but I can spot a loaded deck at 3000 miles.

            I look forward to all aviation products being given this level of scrutiny regarding comprehensive and imaginative risk assessments in the future — both at an amateur, AstroTurf, professional and regulatory level.

          • As do I.

            I am on record that the FAA allowed Boeing to dither on the Battery Issue before the grounding as well.

            To me all it took was the first battery fire and it was, this is not a miner issue. It can take an aircraft out of the air.

            Ditto P&W. I went on record as starting immediately I supported India fully when they grounded the fleet.

            I believe in Air Safety, I have seen far to many die as a result of stupid decisions. DC-10 being the least of them and the Disk on those GE engine is still an issue that should be stamped out once and for all.

            What really is shocking is that its taken as Parochial. Of the two countries I admire the most in the world, GB is one.

            Not because they are perfect, but because they have been good allies through thick and thin including some of our worst foreign policy decisions.

            This is not only a mistake, its a huge one. Its been going on for some time and RR has kept it hidden while blades cracked and that was during the corrosion issue with was separate.

            I have been annoyed at snoot and RR had that in spades with the vaunted 3 spool deigns. AS I have stated, Caterpillar has that same attitude and has had some serious engine failures as well (having worked on them, they are more complex and take more special tools and they work no better than a Cummins, MTU, Perkins etc..

            The 3 spool is a more complex engine and unless it returns that in fuel burn (which the last couple have not) then its just a more costly engine overall as the maint and overhaul on them are higher.

            I am told I don’t know what I am talking about but the GP engine was chosen by all the ME on the A380 based on what they saw with RR vs GE. Its proven to be correct.

            Right now RR has serious management issue and they have product issues. Thats a fact.

            And not talked about, consequences to the A330NEO? Same engine (bleed air aside). Do you allow it to be put it into service with cracking fan blades?

            Put a Trent 10 on it now?

            This is not going away and the spiraling affect is going to continue.

          • TW are you concerned about all the ‘2 spool failures been happening’ ? eg the GP7000 that lost the complete front fan section including huib not just a blade. That should never happen and the fleet should be grounded until the cause is established , but wont because…
            Just because Rolls Royce has stationary/vehicle engine units( Rolls Royce -MTU) you got to hear a presentation which included the aero engine ‘points of difference’
            Pratt doesnt do diesel engines and GE only for generators, locomotives and marine use.

            In general the ‘diesel engine design’ is light years away from the tech used in high power aero turbo fans

  8. Quick question: Are the GE option engines on the 787 “plug and play,” or would it be more complicated than that, or impossible, for airlines to switch suppliers?

    • Boeing said initially that the 787 could swap engine types but today I think it becomes the whole powerplant including nacelle and thrust reversers. Maybe even som parts of the pylon are effected.
      In theory Boeing could issue a mega Service Bulletine to convert a 787-9 with RR power to a GE powered one.
      It would mimic the modifications RR and GE does installing a new engine type onto their 747 testflight aircrafts or the Trent XWB onto the A380 test aircraft.

      • No spare GENX engines to do so. GE is making engines based on their wins on wing, some spares for their fleet but not a few hundred laying around loose.

        It would take 2 years to get a major increase and they have other things on their plate right now.

        They will do it as they can, but they are not going to drop their other commitments.

  9. Sure that there are A340-300 and A330-200’s that could be wet leased that BA and/or RR should pay for until there are are fixes?!

    • RR should be paying this bill, not BA. In the case of the battery grounding, you (customer) didn’t have a choice of battery. In the case of engines, you had the choice to go with GE or RR. If you chose RR, you messed up and RR’s got you by the ball bearings. GE will happily come in to bid on your next 787 order, should you smarten up and compete the engines.

    • @neutron73: Agreed. Ah, presumably English common and commercial law look to who committed the torts. @Anton: “RR, stand in the dock”! LOL

    • A340-600’s that LH parked and maybe Virgin need to awake a few?

      • How long does it take to bet a parked A340 back into service? What about crew to fly them?

        • If RR forced the operators to pay full power by the hour rates and kept the engines i top shape the aircrafts should be ready in a week or 2if not due for a heavy check. Crew can be harder as conversion train flight crew from a 787 to A340 can take time.
          There are parked 777-200/-300 around (like with early PW power) that flight crew can be qualified to but the arcraft and engines might need some heavy maintenance before going into service and that can easily be 2-3months. The leasing companies and trades know whrer they are (the 777’s are visible from space).

          • Outfits like Prime Air in hours.

            You pay through the nose though.

            Longer term a week or two. You may have to swap off if other dates come in they would fly with or to.

            Frankly that is why airport backlogs are a crock.

            Charter a 747 and clear it out. Cost big bucks and they want to use their birds and you get to wait. Were so sorrry……….

  10. On Friday morning, news that Boeing had delivered RR 787-9s to Virgin Atlantic and Gulf Air did not go down well in Air New Zealand headquarters. As their long haul network is brought to its knees, the airline has not been impressed by Boeing’s handling of the situation.

    • Well, it seems that Boeing is in a “Kobayashi Maru” situation – which customer(s) will they annoy? Because some customer are going to be annoyed, the only question is which.

      • There is no ambiguity in my mind. Pratt, AB and BBD got this right. You support the customers with aircraft in service and routes depending on them. You divert engines from new deliveries if need be.

        • Thats a facile comment.

          The engine problem with T1000’s mostly affects earlier batch numbers. The newer ones going on planes coming out the assembly line may be different again ( say T1000-ten) or other models.

          The Cs100 and A320 Neo engine problems are all recent models so are interchangeable with brand new engines.

          RR powered Dreamliners have been flying since 2012 and its now 2018.

    • I don’t see how or why Air New Zealand is upset at Boeing for this. If anything, they should be howling at RR for delivering allegedly good engines to Boeing for Virgin and Gulf Air. Boeing had a contract to deliver jets, and Air New Zealand can’t be upset that Boeing is complying with the terms of their contracts.

      ANZ should be beating RR’s doors down, along with all the other operators of the Trent 1000. RR screwed them.

      • Who choose RR for their birds?

        Interesting that NZ, Qantas, BA all go RR.

        You buys your engines and you takes your chances.

        NA and all have to be happy that the 777s done’ have them I get though!

        • As I understand it the Trent had emerged as the no1 choice on B777s until GE paid megabucks for exclusivity on the W. But hey don’t let facts get in the way of prejudice.

          These engines are a thing to marvel over, the T1000 has issues but those issues ain’t killed anyone yet. The fundamental concern is the manner in which RR responded or didn’t to the understanding of the scope of the problem.

          It has been brewing for a while and looking back at the earlier comments on this, ANA (I think), they could and should have been more proactive.

          • As I understand it during 2016 GE had the misfortune to have 4 uncontained failures (3 x 777, 1 x 767). This does not seem to be discussed too much in spite of 3 evacuation and one complete hull loss.

    • Air NZ has 15 777’s of various types, so hasnt been bought to its knees. I read that on some long haul to Asia ( where the 787s are mostly used) they are refueling 787s in Guam or Darwin to allow for weight restrictions on what would have been non stops.

  11. All sorts of leases to be had.

    The cost? Yep, so RR compensates them and leases the aircraft and still has to come up with engine fix and pay for that as well.

    And all that for an engine that is no longer made?

    How soon can you ramp up the Ten and just replace them.

    You can use the spare parts on the Trent 7000 (if you can get it worked out) . Happy A330NEO owners?

    • Technically how easy is it to replace T1000’s with TEN’s, software etc?

      …and How many T1000 powered 787 are flying?

      With the PW1100G problems PW/Airbus priority is getting grounded planes back in the air, with the 787 T1000 problem BA/RR seems more interested in delivering new aircraft (TEN powered) and make money?

    • That is the price of the aircraft business. If all goes dandy then you earn megabucks but an issue like this or the B787 costs a few billion to sort out. No one killed, no one injured, airlines inconvenienced, this is a operational and financial calamity but no more. I don’t see RR T1000 equipped aircraft burning on the apron unlike other manufacturers.

      • We are having in flight failures, we could easily have had a major loss.

        Note the go on one engine and wreck the other one?

        For ETOPS there is a badly broken system that allows this to get there.

        It assume the engine mfg is supplying a good engine and the issue is maint. Obviously that is wrong as we have seen on two cases recently.

        Side tracking it to, “well they had an engine fire” is how this sort of thing propagates.

        One is a rare event and a cause to be (747-8F ANA)

        The other is Russian roulette (or should that be RR roulette now?) with 3 loaded cylinders in a 6 shooter.

        • Correction 4 uncontained failures and fires in 2016 alone on GE large fans alone. Not sidetracking but looking at balance in reporting. Result structurally damaged aircraft, injured people, Hull loss. None of which have arisen with the T1000.

          I am guessing they don’t have ETOPS implications as they threaten to immolate the passengers and crew within a couple of minutes flying time of the airport but nonetheless a major risk issue on a particular make of engine. One may suggest that if it were RR then considerably more would be made of it.

          • Even the GP7200 failure on the A380 should have more information available by now but France is keeping that under a blanket. Destruction of the entire fan module is unprecendented.
            GP7200 work share
            GE 30%
            PW 30%
            MTU 22.5%
            SAFRAN 17.5%

            “The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an emergency airworthiness directive requiring owners and operators of Engine Alliance (EA) Model GP7200 series engines to visually inspect the engines and remove the fan hub if defects are found.”

            Who would even heard about this outside the industry and airlines affected, when its RR its on every aviation news site.

  12. Off Topic: BBD has build up the Q400 backlog a lot now.


    Its been noted by others that in place like Inida and Ethiopia that the performance superiority of the Q400 allows more options for safe flying that the ATR does not have (has to avoid areas, run safer route)

    Also throttled back the fuel burn is close.

    Be good to see it keep selling well. Its a good aircraft and I don’t think it had the right BBD support and sales staff that sold it the way it should have been.

    Nothing beats power when you need it. Nothing makes more power if its not there in the first place.

    • I’m looking forward to when I can get a flight on the Q400. I quite like the design and wish it had more market penetration (at least so I have a better chance to fly in one)

      • Frankly its nothing special other than the git up and go which any pilot loves .

        A wash on width with ATR, pretty cramped (not that its aircraft fault)

        Somewhat noisy as are all Tubro Props.

        But if you are behind schedule they can make up time.

    • The Q400’s are nice aircraft, just the landing gear. I have been on two flights where the (right) landing gear collapsed on landing.

      • One of those if not correctly maintained they can have issues.

        Probably less with the shorter gear on the ATR.

        That said, horsepower when needed can’t be bought, it has to be there installed on the wing.

  13. ETOPS: This giving ETOPS certification on delivery (even if its lower) looks to me like a bad move.

    As the Trent 1000 issue has been going on for some time (if you look at the timeline it was not far into the mfg of it before they started in on the Ten)

    So why was RR not reporting directly to the AIJs and this was being addressed much much sooner?

    ETOPS (long ones) are granted supposed by meeting certain standards.

    If the standards of reliability are proven to be wrong the ETOPS should be taken away until proven to be met.

  14. I think you will find there is massive reticence to stop ETOPS on any aircraft/ engine combination. To offer it out of the box has always seemed mad to me. I liked the earlier manner in which airlines, aircraft and engines ‘earned it’.

    Regulation has ended up being a negotiation with all parties and has relied on historical data which often is not wholly relevant to the current position. Take the icing issue on the GenX as another example, the possibility of losing all engines in one go, this could happen a long way from a divert.

    Is regulation being used for national gain? That is a scary thought but there does seem to be some justification for this hypothesis

    • Agreed. All of it should be earned and the engine mfg should be in full touch with the authorities, not pass through Boeing or Airbus (or anyone else)

      The GENx should have been rescinded until they had the fix in place. I didn’t think avoidance of the condition was a good move (that does get iffy in how reliable was/is the detection of the phenomena? which I do not know)

      Clearly the battery issue on the 787 alone should have been an immediate response, not to mention it should never have occurred in the fist place.

      NTSB can’t investigate unless there is a major issue. I don’t think any of the affected aircraft are in the jurisdiction for them to take on.

      This is one that cries out for a who knew what when and why did the system fail?

  15. Shares up today and haven’t really been much affected. The city dosnt care about long-term value,but all of this is out in the open and they can’t be that stupid, can they?

    • Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.

      And I have made my share of mistakes that looking back you had to say “what was I thinking”

      I have also avoided a great many.

      Its eating me up that no word on the 1000 for the A330.

      I think it may well be dropped and replaced with the Ten variation. But that puts the production back into adding more gliders.

      If not, I can just see Boeing, uh guys, why would you buy an aircraft with an engine they quit making for us?

      • AGM today ,city and RR both intensely relaxed.So why do they need to cut investment?

  16. Flight global reports the NZ failure (on takeoff and then you cob the so called good engine) were the result of wrong modeling.

    In short they though they could get away with the corroded blades longer.

    Back to mis handling of the situation.

    They should never let it get to that point.

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