Further woes for Rolls-Royce as cracks found in Trent XWB engines

While the British engine manufacturer struggles to deal with the financial consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company’s Trent XWB engine has been hit with technical problems.

Having incurred costs approaching £2.4 billion (US$3.1 billion) as a consequence of problematic turbine blades fitted to its Trent 1000 engine which powers the Boeing 787, this is seen as only a small-scale problem. By that, Rolls-Royce estimates the costs to put right the cracking issue in the XWB engine, which powers the Airbus A350 jet, to be in the low-to-mid-tens of millions of pounds.

Rolls-Royce is currently struggling to deal with the financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic as with so many planes stopping flying, the company’s revenues it receives from flying hours has diminished dramatically. Rolls-Royce pre-emptively issued a statement concerning the problem with the XWB engine, having found wear in one or two blades of the Intermediate Pressure Compressor in a few engines which had been in service for between four and five years.

Currently there are believed to be approximately 100 of the Trent XWB engines in service, none of which had reported any flight abnormalities prior to this fault being discovered. Rolls-Royce said wear on the Trent XWB-84 engine will be subject to an Airworthiness Directive from regulator EASA.

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