In flight failure of RB 211-524 engine

WA Today reports:

Air safety investigators have found extensive turbine damage in the jet engine that exploded on a Qantas jumbo at 25,000 feet near San Francisco in August this year. Engine parts that were flung outwards tore not only a gaping hole on the far side of the engine cover but also peppered the near-side with holes, air safety investigators have revealed. As the engine vibrated, debris ejected through the engine hole hit the underside of the wing, puncturing the wing flaps, investigators have found.


A Qantas jet was forced to turn back to San Francisco after a hole was blown in the shell of the engine.

Flight QF74 failure of RB211-524 engine:Photo: Channel Ten


The findings are contained in a preliminary report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) into the explosion on flight QF74, carrying 213 passengers and 18 crew, on August 30. The incident occurred 15 minutes after take-off.

The pilots shut down the engine, sought landing clearance, dumped fuel and landed safely at San Francisco, where the plane was met by fire crew, inspected and allowed to taxi to the terminal. This was an exceptionally rare event and the first time Qantas has experienced this type of engine failure,” a Qantas spokesman said.

All of the engine’s turbine blades had either fractured or broken away, investigators said. There was also damage of other engine internals including vanes, bearings, speed probes and a turbine shaft. Further testing of engine components will be undertaken by Rolls-Royce, overseen by UK air safety investigators. The Rolls-Royce RB211-524 engine was removed from the aircraft and taken to Hong Kong for examination. The investigation is continuing.


Turbofan engine operation: Wikimedia



RB 211-524:


The RB 211 family is a high bypass turbofan engine originally designed for the Lockheed Tristar. The 211-524 engine was developed with increased thrust and efficiency for the Boeing 747-200 and further improvements led to the 211-524 G and 211-524H for the Boeing 747-400 and for the 767. The 211 family has led to the Trent engines and some features of the Trent could be retrofitted to create the 211-524G-T and the 211-524H-T. A newer version of the same family the 211-535 series is used in Boeing 727’s and 757’s.

An industrial version of the RB211 is used for power generation and another inter-cooled version is used in marine applications.

The Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engine designed for Boeing’s Dreamliner has had some initial testing setbacks which seem to be fixed but which has caused some of the delays to the Dreamliner.

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7 Responses to “In flight failure of RB 211-524 engine”

  1. Qantas A 380 suffers in-flight RR Trent 900 engine failure « The k2p blog Says:

    […] In a recent similar incident, an engine exploded on a Qantas flight to San Francisco on August 30, with debris tearing holes in the engine cover. […]

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    […] Qantas Boeing 747-400′s are usually equipped with 4 Rolls-Royce RB211-524G-T engines of the type which suffered an in-flight failure in August this year. […]

  5. Is it Rolls Royce or is it the RR / Qantas combination? « The k2p blog Says:

    […] August 30th QF 74, Boeing 747-400, RR RB211-524 engines, returned to San Francisco after one engine… […]

  6. Rolls Royce faces 3 different engine issues as Singapore Airlines changes engines on 3 A 380s « The k2p blog Says:

    […] been fixed, there remains the issue of whether the Trent based improvements when introduced into the RB211-524 engine also creates a “dangerous” operating […]

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