LONDON – It has emerged that engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce has discovered cracks in its Airbus A350 engines.

The Problem


Dubbed the Trent XWB, it is understood that the cracks have been seen in the compressor blades of the engine.

There are around 800 of the engine type in service, which includes spares.

The cracks are on engines that are older than four to five years old, which represents about 100 aircraft.

The issues were found during routine inspections on 20 engines earlier last month.

Rolls-Royce commented on this problem, reassuring investors that the financial aspect of it will be low.

“We do not expect this issue to create significant customer disruption or material annual cost.”

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Past Woes


Back in April 2018, the engine manufacturer announced problems with its Trent 1000 units.

These engines powered the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The first report of the excessive wear in the engines was made by ANA All Nippon Airways (NH) back in 2016.

Rolls-Royce stated for these particular engines that the cost would be around £2.4bn between 2017-2023 to replace them all.

In May 2018, Rolls-Royce then issued advisories to do with the engines and encouraged a continuation of operations.

Photo: Aviation Voice

Nothing to Worry About This Time?


Chris Cholerton, the Head of Rolls-Royce’s Aerospace Division was keen to reassure customers about these faults.

“Engines now coming in for overhaul have traveled the equivalent of 350 times around the world, with no unplanned maintenance.”

“It is reassuring to see that our proactive inspection regime has enabled us to identify and swiftly address this issue and minimize any potential impact on our customers.”

Since the Airbus A350 entered into service with the engine, a 99.9% dispatch reliability has been recorded.

In Cholerton’s view, it makes the Trent XWB the most successful engine ever launched by the company.

Photo: Aviation International News Online

What Comes Next?


Like what was seen with the Trent 1000 issues, an advisory will no doubt be unveiled by the firm in the coming weeks.

Rolls-Royce seems very confident this time around, and that is unsurprising given the statistics behind the engine.

Only time will tell to see whether airlines will choose to ground some aircraft, like what NH did with the 787.


Featured Image: A Trent XWB engine. Photo: AeroNewsX

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