Rolls-Royce Parts Shortage to Delay 787 Engine Fix

Posted on July 11, 2018 Josh Parker Aviation Manufacturer

Recently, Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc has been battling a shortage of parts required for hundreds of repairs of damaged engines that give power to Boeing’s 787 wide-body jets. This shortage has further delayed an already tight schedule. The repair for worn out Trent 1000 turbines has taken three days longer than the projected timetable. In some cases, this is due to a shortage of stock of compressor blades.

While Rolls Royce powered 787s are on the ground for repairs, airlines are being forced to lease replacement planes. This can sometimes be fore months. In the month of June so far, the number of airplanes on ground have reached 43. The struggle on aircraft component suppliers could become even worse, as it was recently revealed that durability problems extend to an early version of the engine. Rolls Royce has allocated around $1.3 billion in cash to tackle the engine issues.

The faster than expected downfall of the Trent 1000’s blades first came to notice in 2016. As several airlines continued to report damage to a batch of engines regarded as “Package C” last year, regulators intervened in April by ordering emergency shop visits for almost 400 suspect turbines. They also limited the number of flights for the 787s holding these engines to 2 hours and 20 minutes from the nearest spot for landing.

Rolls Royce manufacturers their turbine blades at a number of different global site, which includes their new factory in Rotherham, England. The Rotherham facility was dubbed as the most advanced facility when it opened in 2015. Techjet Aerofoils Ltd. Is Rolls’s only supplier for titanium compressor blades, although the company has supposed plans to source more producers. Rolls Royce has taken measures to certify an inspection method that will allow for work to be done with the engines still attached to the plane wing. This method will ease the burden maintenance shops face during repairs.

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