Rolls Royce has had to absorb a public caning — as well as a heavy blow to its reputation as a world leader in its field — over troubles with its Trent engines powering the Air NZ Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. It took a further hit when Air NZ chose the GEnx for its new 787-10 fleet.
Point of Order understand a solution is near for the problem with the Trent. Air NZ’s flight operations and engineers are working to manage power levels used by pilots at various stages of the flight.
The problems affect the high pressure turbine sections of the engine and what engineers call “sulphidation” – corrosion of turbine blades caused by various combinations of airborne pollutants.
Rolls Royce is not alone. Air NZ has also experienced problems with the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G geared turbofan engines on its new A321NEO (new engine option). One has had to have an engine change after only 20 flights while another has had oil contamination issues.
All engines have received gearbox modifications including one on arrival after its delivery flight. Pratt & Whitney are working hard to resolve the issues, we are told, mindful of the public furore suffered by rival Rolls.