Something amiss with the Qantas version of the Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines

Singapore Airlines has just announced, according to Reuters, that it had completed engine inspections on all its Airbus A380 aircraft and did not find any issues of concern.

“We have completed the engine inspections on all our A380 aircraft and did not find anything of concern,” SIA spokesman Nicholas Ionides said on Monday.

“The findings of the inspections have been reviewed with Rolls-Royce. Any further checks that may be recommended by the manufacturers will of course be done, and in the meantime we continue with our regular routine checks.”

Meanwhile,

Australia’s Qantas said on Monday it would keep its A380 fleet grounded for at least another 72 hours after discovering problems on three more of the superjumbo’s engines.

Singapore has 11 A 380s powered by Rolls Royce Trent engines while Qantas has 6 Airbus A 380s. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Qantas Airways Ltd. on Monday said its engineers found oil leaks in Rolls-Royce Group Ltd. engines on three of its grounded fleet of A380 jetliners, amid an investigation into the blowout of a turbine that forced one of its double-deck superjumbos to make an emergency landing in Singapore last week. “These engines are not performing to the parameters you would expect,” said Alan Joyce, chief executive of Qantas, in a press conference in Sydney. “The oil leaks were beyond normal tolerances.”

Mr. Joyce added that the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines that Qantas operates on its fleet of A380s are designed to provide more thrust and torque, and that this version of the turbine could be at fault. Engineers have identified oil leaks on engines from three separate Qantas A380s, one currently grounded in Sydney and two other aircraft in Los Angeles, he said.

Mr. Joyce said that Qantas uses a different design of Trent engine than those used by Singapore Airlines and Deutsche Lufthansa AG on its A380s.

The problem seems to be narrowing down to either the particular version of the Rolls Royce Trent 900 engine used by Qantas or the particular maintenance regime or procedures applying to the Qantas engines. In either case it should be of some cheer to Rolls Royce that the problem may not – on the surface – be a generic design fault with the Trent engines but something restricted to the engines as used by Qantas.

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3 Responses to “Something amiss with the Qantas version of the Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines”

  1. Rolls Royce honing in on problem: share price slide halted « The k2p blog Says:

    […] are honing in on the A380 problem which seems to be specific to the Trent 900 engine (and perhaps just the Qantas Trent 900 engines) and unconnected with the earlier test bed incident on a Trent 1000. The share sell-off which […]

  2. Qantas pushes its Trent 900 engines harder than other airlines « The k2p blog Says:

    […] other airlines By ktwop It would seem that while there may well be a fundamental issue with the Trent 900 as used by Qantas, the manner in which Qantas operates the engines may be a significant contributing factor. Sources […]

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

    […] is certainly a very complicated picture is that there are certain operating conditions at which the Trent 900 is subject to oil leaks (possibly because some oil carrying pipes are susceptible to vibration based cracks). These […]

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