Boeing Says Rolls Has Remedy for 787 Engine Failure
Boeing Co. said Rolls-Royce Group Plc has a remedy for the August blowout of a jet engine for the 787 Dreamliner aircraft and the two companies will discuss it in meetings in Seattle this week.
A Rolls-Royce team will brief Boeing on a plan that supports the latest target for delivering the delayed Dreamliner at the beginning of next year, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President Jim Albaugh said.
“Rolls is stepping up, and we’ll take a hard look at the recovery plan tomorrow, and based on what they told us, I think we’ll be OK,” Albaugh said in an interview today.
Boeing delayed the 787’s first delivery last month for the sixth time, saying Rolls-Royce wasn’t going to be able to supply an engine needed to finish flight testing. A $17 million Trent 1000 blew up during testing on Aug. 2, forcing Rolls-Royce to close the plant for repairs to the Derby, England, site used to test engines for the 787 and the Airbus SAS A350.
“They knew that they had the potential for what happened, and they have the fixes in to address that,” Albaugh said.
Rolls-Royce competes with General Electric Co. to supply engines for the Dreamliner, which is running almost three years behind schedule because of problems with the materials and new manufacturing system being used. The 787 is the first airliner with a fuselage and wings made of composites instead of aluminum.
Boeing, based in Chicago with commercial headquarters in Seattle, parked one of its five Dreamliner test jets earlier this month to replace one of its two Rolls-Royce engines that had experienced a power surge before takeoff. Albaugh said a fix is already in place to address the issue, which Boeing has said was unrelated to the engine blowout.
Separately, a decision on a new engine for the 737 single- aisle jet, Boeing’s best-selling aircraft, may come next year instead of this year as planned, Albaugh said. Most customers don’t think the business case for a new engine makes sense and would prefer that Boeing instead develop a new airplane toward the end of this decade, he said.
“We’ll make a decision when we’re very comfortable with what the market wants,” Albaugh said. “If that’s this year, that’s fine, or if it’s next year -- we just want to make sure we get it right.”
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