Rolls-Royce is widening the scope of checks on the Trent 1000 family of engines after issues were found in other derivatives of the Boeing 787 engine.

Rolls-Royce is inspecting hundreds of Trent 1000 Package C engines over concerns about cracks found in the blades of the intermediate pressure (IP) compressor rotor, but it has subsequently discovered the issue has also impacted “a small number” of high-life Package B model engines, the company announced June 11.

The Package B model has been in service since 2012 and there are 166 engines in operation.

The company said it will now begin a “one-off inspection” of the Package B fleet to which the company said will inform its understanding of the potential issues.

Rolls-Royce said the inspections for the Package B engines will be supported by a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) airworthiness directive to be published in next few days. Engines will be inspected on-wing, the manufacturer added.

This new round of inspections will only add to the frustration of 787 operators, several of which have been forced to add more capacity or readjust their flight schedules to deal with the capacity shortfall.

Dozens of 787s are now sitting at airports around the world engineless while the engines are inspected and modified.

This week, several Qatar Airways Airbus A330s are being used by British Airways to cover for grounded 787-8s and -9s. Virgin Atlantic has been able to secure several former airberlin A330s for services affected by its own 787 shortages.

In May, the manufacturer said it was expediting the inspection process, and accelerating the development of a permanent fix to the issue with the aim of beginning testing this month [June]. The revised design compressor blade has been installed in a test engine. If the trials are successful, the company hopes to have the first parts available for engine overhauls by the end of the year, rather than in 2019 when the company originally planned.

With the issues found in the Package B engines, the company said it has taken the precautionary step of redesigning the relevant parts for both the Package B and the Trent 1000 TEN engines.

The company said it has not seen any durability issues in the latter.

“We are working closely with our customers to minimize any operational impact of these inspections and we deeply appreciate their continued cooperation,” Rolls-Royce president-civil aerospace Chris Cholerton said.

“We remain absolutely committed to eliminating this issue from the Trent 1000 fleet,” he added.

Tony Osborne