Posts Tagged ‘Trent 900 failure’

Rolls Royce engine failure will eat up $80 million of Qantas profits

February 17, 2011

Qantas half-year profits have already been hit to the tune of $55 million by the failure of the Rolls Royce Trent 900 and the subsequent grounding of their A380 aircraft in November last year. They also stated that there would be a charge of $ 25 million for the second half-year which gives a total cost to Qantas – for this financial year – of at least $ 80 million.

BBC News:

Qantas Airways said its first half net profits had risen four-fold, but it added that last year’s explosion in one of its Rolls-Royce engines had wiped off $55m (£34.4m). The breakdown led to the grounding of its A380 aircraft last year.

The Australian airline predicted 2011 full year profits would be much higher than last year. But it warned that these would be held back by high fuel prices and the recent floods in Queensland.

Qantas said there would be another $25m charge in the second-half results from the A380 problems.

Rolls Royce has already announced  a hit on profits for direct costs of £56 million (about $89 million) for the engine explosion and related events for the year till December 2010. No doubt the losses suffered by Qantas will be part of their compensation claim against the engine maker.

With compensation claims due also from Airbus (EADS), Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa and with the additional costs spilling over into 2011, the total cost of the engine mishap will likely exceed my estimate of  $300 million.

Estimated costs for Rolls Royce:

  • Direct costs $130 million
  • Indirect (servicing) costs thru 2011 – $50 million
  • Qantas claim – $70 million
  • Airbus claims – $50 million
  • Singapore Airline claims – $25 million
  • Lufthansa claims – $10 million

What impact the loss of potential sales could have is anybody’s guess – but it would be interesting to see if Pratt & Whitney shows a better than expected order intake.

Qantas A380 flights to LA to restart on 17th January

January 5, 2011

While Qantas had restarted flying its A380 aircraft with Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines on  27th November after the engine failure on 4th November, its flights to Los Angeles remained grounded since the engines had not been cleared for operating at the higher thrust levels necessary for reaching LA.

Reuters reports that flights to LA could now resume on 17th January:

Qantas said on Wednesday it hoped to resume normal A380 operations from January 17 but it would still need the go-ahead from Australia’s aviation regulator before flying the superjumbo aircraft on the lucrative route……. Qantas said on Wednesday it expected to have eight A380 aircraft in the air by early February, up from five currently. The airline is scheduled to take delivery of a new A380 aircraft in mid-January and another new aircraft by early February. A third A380 currently grounded in Sydney was also due to be operating by mid-January……. Analysts estimate damages to Qantas could reach $60 million, although forecasts vary. The LA route is one of Qantas’ most profitable.

For Rolls Royce, getting Qantas back to full operation is critical to bringing this chapter to a close and to limiting at least one part of the inevitable claims that will come. They will also face claims from Airbus who announced a few days ago that they would only deliver 18 A380’s during 2010 and would not reach their already reduced target of 20 planes. This delay is put down to the extra inspections caused by the fault in Rolls Royce engines. No doubt Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa will also have claims on Rolls Royce. I still estimate that the total costs to Rolls Royce will reach $300 million.

“Critical safety issue” with Trent 900 could lead to “catastrophic failure”: Qantas to make further inspections

December 2, 2010

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has determined that there is a “critical safety issue” with the Rolls Royce Trent 900 used on the Qantas A380 aircraft which could lead to a “catastrophic failure”. Qantas has been ordered to carry out further inspections.

AFP reports:

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said a misaligned component had thinned the wall of an oil pipe in the exploded engine, causing “fatigue cracking” that prompted leakage and a fire “central to the engine failure”. “This condition could lead to an elevated risk of fatigue crack initiation and growth, oil leakage and potential catastrophic engine failure from a resulting oil fire,” the ATSB said, noting it was “understood to be related to the manufacturing process.”

The Bureau issued a directive urging Rolls-Royce to “address the safety issue and take actions necessary to ensure the safety of flight operations in transport aircraft equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent 900 series engines.” Qantas said it would immediately conduct further engine investigations as a result of the findings, but stressed it was just a precautionary measure and “there is no immediate risk to flight safety.”

“Qantas currently has two A380 aircraft in operational service, following the grounding of the fleet on 4 November. Both A380 aircraft will be inspected at the Qantas Jet Base in Sydney,” the airline said. “Inspections will commence this afternoon.”

The flagship carrier said it would determine whether further action would need to be taken after inspections were complete and it had consulted both Rolls-Royce and regulators. “Qantas does not anticipate at this stage that the inspections will have an impact on international services. However contingency arrangements will be in place, if needed,” it said.

The findings come just five days after Qantas resumed A380 flights, though the carrier has barred the superjumbo from trans-Pacific trips to Los Angeles due to the extra engine thrust required. It had grounded all six of its Airbus superjumbos after the November 4 blast over the Indonesian island of Batam, which forced an A380 to return to Singapore airport trailing smoke.

Checks revealed problems with 16 of the total 24 Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines powering Qantas’s A380s — four per plane — meaning the turbines would have to be replaced or modified.

Qantas chief Alan Joyce on Saturday said he was “100 percent comfortable” with the A380s’ operation.

As reported by the WSJ, Qantas has already said that they will be claiming compensation from Rolls Royce.

Rolls Royce to announce “solution” to Trent 900 problem later today

November 12, 2010

Rolls Royce are due to make a Trading Report today. They have informed their customer airlines and Airbus that they will announce that they have found the cause of the Trent 900 engine failure on the Qantas A 380 and have a planned solution. But Airbus expects that implementing the solution will take some time and will not be a quick fix.

Qantas Airbus A380 after making emergency landing at Singapore's Changi airport

Uncontained failure of the QF 32 RR Trent 900

Sydney Morning Herald:

British jet engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce will announce this afternoon that it has found a solution to the engine failure that caused a Qantas A380 to make an emergency landing in Singapore last week. Rolls-Royce is due to release a statement at 6pm AEST revealing that it has identified the problem with the Trent 900 engines and will make changes to their software.

This is aimed at enabling the engines to be shut down before they reach a stage at which they are about to disintegrate. Airbus’s chief operating officer, John Leahy, said in Sydney today that he had been informed that Rolls-Royce would issue a statement late today stating that they had found the cause of the engine explosion last week.

“They know they have found a solution to what caused the problem. They know how to fix that now but it will take some time,” he said.

Mr Leahy said he did not know how long it would take to make the changes.

Rolls-Royce’s investigation into the midair incident involving QF32 on November 4 had focused on an oil fire which had caused the failure of the number two engine’s intermediate turbine disc.

Rolls Royce investors will be watching closely:

RR one month share price

Battle lines are being drawn: EADS + Airlines versus Rolls Royce

November 5, 2010

After yesterdays midair failure of a Trent 900 engine on a Qantas Airways A 380 flight the German press today are unanimous in blaming Rolls Royce (and thereby protecting Lufthansa and EADS). Qantas is also positioning itself and questioning Rolls Royce’s engine design.

Der Spiegel writes:

‘Airbus and Qantas Are Victims’ of A380 Engine Problem

While the incident may be damaging to Airbus, German editorialists argue that the Rolls-Royce engine is to blame.

But I think the airlines (Qantas, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines) and the manufacturer of the Airbus A380 (EADS) cannot so easily paint themselves as victims and absolve themselves of all responsibility. It is the airlines who pressurise the engine makers and the aircraft manufacturers for never ending improvements in fuel efficiency. EADS can ill-afford to market a plane which does not have more than one engine supplier.

Der Spiegel continues:

Qantas Airways CEO Alan Joyce said on Friday that it did not seem to be a maintenance problem. “This is an engine issue and the engines have been maintained by Rolls-Royce since they were installed on the aircraft,” he told a news conference in Sydney. Joyce confirmed that the engine failure had caused damage to the plane’s wing. “That was part of what made this a significant engine failure,” he said.

The center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes:

“The problem is not that one of the Airbus A380’s engines failed. … What makes the emergency landing such a serious incident is that parts of the debris damaged the wing. … Rolls-Royce, the manufacturer of the engines, now has to ensure that such a thing never happens again, even if this means that the A380 is grounded for a time.”

“Airplane manufacturer Airbus, as well as the airline Qantas, are the victims here. Yet the failed engine will not do their image much good, following the dramatic images of the damaged aircraft that were seen around the world on Thursday.”

“The A380 was two years late coming to the market. The delay cost the company billions, caused an internal revolution and undermined confidence. … Yet, despite all the criticism, one must not forget that the airlines and passengers praise the aircraft: A380 flights, despite somewhat higher ticket prices, are always full.”

The Financial Times Deutschland writes:

“The engine blow-out on the Airbus A380 that forced the Qantas flight to conduct an emergency landing on Thursday is above all a problem for the engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce.”

“The disaster highlights the dilemma that the entire industry faces. … The necessary and correct demand to make modern aircraft with lower emissions is taking its toll.”

“No one would imply that the testing was consciously sloppy. However, it is obvious that when it comes to a flagship aircraft like the A380 there is immense pressure to get it on the runway as soon as possible. Those who demand more tests do not make any friends. The close call shows, however, how much is at stake.”

In the meantime Singapore Airlines has resumed A380 flights following checks of the aircraft’s engines, despite the head of Qantas saying a design fault may be to blame for yesterday’s engine failure on one of the Australian carrier’s A380s.

Shares of Rolls-Royce Group PLC continued to get battered by the market, losing another 2.7% over fallout from the midair failure of one of its engines on a Qantas Airways flight. They lost 3.3% in value yesterday.

Qantas grounds all A 380 flights following in flight failure of RR Trent 900

November 4, 2010


Qantas Airways suspended flights of its Airbus A380s on Thursday after one of the aircraft was forced to land in Singapore with engine trouble, one of the most serious incidents for the world’s largest passenger plane in its three years of commercial flight.

Qantas, which operates six A380s, said it was grounding the aircraft pending a full investigation. “We will suspend all A380 takeoffs until we are fully confident we have sufficient information about (flight) QF32,” Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce told reporters in Sydney.


Main Image

Indonesian police examine fallen debris from a Qantas jet collected from several areas on Batam island, an Indonesian territory near Singapore November 4, 2010. :Credit Reuters/Stringer


Singapore Airlines also uses Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines in its A 380s.

Related posts on Rolls Royce engine failures:

Qantas A 380 suffers in-flight RR Trent 900 engine failure

November 4, 2010


Sydney Morning Herald

A Qantas A380 has been forced to return to Singapore’s Changi Airport after pilots were forced to shut down one of its four engines. QF32 was bound for Sydney with 443 passengers and 26 crew on board when the engine failed. “Qantas flight QF32 was en route from Singapore to Sydney, the number two engine has shut down, so as a precautionary measure we are taking it back to Singapore,” a Qantas spokeswoman said.


The wrecked engine after the plane landed in Singapore.

The wrecked engine after the plane landed in Singapore.Photo: AFP


Indonesian authorities said there had been some sort of explosion over the island of Batam, just south of Singapore. Elfhinta radio quoted a police officer in Batam, Eryana, saying parts of the plane had been found. “We are still collecting debris,” he said.

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.

The Qantas A 380’s have 4 Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines.

The RR Trent 1000 destined for Boeing’s Dreamliner has had some problems during testing.

A month ago on 28th September, a Singapore Airlines A380 also suffered a failure of one of it’s 4 Trent 900 engines.

An engine problem on a Singapore Airlines A380 superjumbo airliner was a “non-event” in technical terms, the chief executive of the company that built it said yesterday. Singapore Airlines said the plane carrying 444 passengers from Paris to Singapore was forced to return to the French capital on Sunday when the as-yet unspecified problem was detected two and a half hours into the flight.

The A380 is the world’s largest passenger airliner and Singapore Airlines (SIA) is the first to take delivery of it, having ordered 19 with an option for six more. Speaking in Paris, Louis Gallois, chief executive of Airbus manufacturer EADS, called the incident “a complete non-event”.

“Engine failure on a four-engine aircraft does happen and nobody should think of it as a drama,” Gallois told journalists. “In technical terms, it is not an event.”

Background: (Wikipedia)

The A380 can be fitted with two types of engines: A380-841, A380-842 and A380-843F with Rolls-Royce Trent 900, and the A380-861 and A380-863F with Engine Alliance GP7000 turbofans. The Trent 900 is a derivative of the Trent 800, and the GP7000 has roots from the GE90 and PW4000. The Trent 900 core is a scaled version of the Trent 500, but incorporates the swept fan technology of the stillborn Trent 8104. The GP7200 has a GE90-derived core and PW4090-derived fan and low-pressure turbo-machinery. Only two of the four engines are fitted with thrust reversers.

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