Problems with Rolls-Royce engines used in Boeing 787 wide-body jets may also be an issue in the competing Airbus A330neo jet.
Rolls-Royce’s Trent 7000 turbine engine, which exclusively powers the Airbus A330neo jet, shares the durability problems afflicting the Trent 1000, from which it was developed. Rolls-Royce has confirmed that the upgraded version of the Trent 1000—the Trent 1000 TEN—which the British company is offering as a replacement for the original turbine, is also affected.
The earlier Trent 1000 snag has led to unscheduled shop visits for dozens of 787s, costing the engine manufacturer more than hundred of million pounds ($310 million) last year.
Parts of the A330neo engine are being redesigned, although most fixes won’t be available until about six months after the delivery of the first plane this summer. A redesigned turbine blade that is being rolled out with the 787 will also be used on the Trent 7000 and should be ready in time for the first delivery of the A330neo. The turbine blades have caused the most problems for Rolls and have become very costly.
While the A330neo hasn’t yet entered service, this glitch with the Trent 7000 should concern Airbus, as it may deter potential buyers.