Rolls-Royce Dreamliner Engines Need Additional Checks for Flaw

Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc’s Trent 1000 engines powering Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliners will temporarily require additional inspections to probe a component flaw in the powerplant, European safety regulators said.

The European regulator is concerned about degradation of seals on the Trent 1000’s intermediate pressure turbine section, and the engines will have to be removed in certain circumstances, the Cologne, Germany-based European Aviation Safety Agency said today in an airworthiness directive that takes effect May 2.

“This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to an in-flight shut-down resulting in reduced control of the airplane,” EASA said.

Rolls-Royce is one of two engine suppliers on Boeing’s twin-engines 787, which has been grounded by U.S. regulators since Jan. 16 owing to malfunctions with the electrical system. Boeing is in talks with the Federal Aviation Administration to restore the airliner to regular service.

“We have, as a matter of good practice, recommended that Trent 1000 operators make a routine engine inspection at a time convenient to their operations to check for the presence of a small component piece to ensure optimum engine performance is maintained,” Rolls-Royce spokesman Richard Hedges said. “All the checks currently required by this recommendation have now been completed.”

New engines can be used on up to 450 flights before being checked and thereafter would need to be examined at least every 200 flights, EASA said. A long-term fix to remove the need for repeat inspections should be in place in several months, it said.