Rolls-Royce Says 787 Engine Failed During Testing

21.8.2010 (Bloomberg)

Rolls Royce Group plc ¬†said a Trent 1000 engine built for Boeing Co.’s 787 Dreamliner
failed during testing and that a probe into the incident has begun.

Rolls doesn’t anticipate that the failure on a test bed at its main manufacturing
site in Derby, England, will have any impact on the development of the engine
or the 787’s entry into service, company spokesman Craig Taylor said in an e-mail.

"We are now investigating in detail and have made good progress in understanding
the issue," Taylor said. He declined to comment on the nature of the incident.

The engine failure hasn’t affected the Dreamliner flight- test program "to date,"
Lori Gunter, a spokeswoman for Chicago-based Boeing, said today in an e-mail. The company
is "actively participating" in the investigation, she said.

The Dreamliner’s debut has been pushed back more than two years because of parts
shortages, redesigns, problems with new materials and heavier reliance on suppliers,
and Boeing said on Aug. 11 that it’s re-inspecting flight-test and production
planes to ensure tail assemblies built by Finmeccanica SpA of Italy meet standards.
Service entry may slide into 2011 from late this year in part because of the flaws
with horizontal stabilizers that keep the 787 steady in flight, Boeing has said.

The Flight Global website said earlier that the engine failure at London-based
Rolls may have been
"uncontained," meaning that pieces would have been flung out at high speed, piercing the housing.

Rolls, the world’s second-biggest engine maker, said that "a modification is
already in place for later engines." Taylor said he wasn’t immediately able to
clarify whether that meant that the first batch of engines has had to be altered
or that the second is of a different design and therefore unaffected.

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Flight Global


Boeing 747-8F nears schedule slip as first 747-8I progresses

Despite strong schedule uncertainty with Boeing‘s 747-8 freighter, the airframer continues to press on with assembly of its first -8I
passenger aircraft.

Boeing now says a “very high probability” exists that first deliveries of the
new jumbo freighter to
Cargolux will slip into 2011, but an official shift in the schedule has yet to be announced.

The compounded effect of three issues have virtually eliminated any remaining
margin in the aircraft’s flight test schedule, with two of the three outstanding.

The first, now solved, was a “very apparent” vibration in the outboard landing
gear door when the aircraft’s flaps were at the 30 setting. The second and third,
an oscillation in the aircraft’s inboard aileron caused by an under-performing
actuator, as well as a structural flutter at mid-weight just below cruise, are
slowing the flight test campaign considerably.

Meanwhile, the 747-8F test fleet has completed 740 hours over more than 270 flights.
RC501, which just emerged from a week of planned maintenance following stability
and control testing, is now pressing forward with wing twist evaluations.

RC521 was ferried to Colorado Springs, Colorado on 20 August for high altitude
ground testing of the aircraft’s engines and auxiliary power unit.

RC522 is currently undergoing community noise testing in Glasgow, Montana while
RC503, the newest member of the flight test fleet, is performing High Intensity
Radiated Fields (HIRF) evaluations in Palmdale, California.

As these issues slow the certification of the freighter variant of the jumbo,
Boeing is continuing to press forward with assembly operations for its first 747-8I
flight test aircraft, RC001.

While Boeing achieved 100% design release for the 747-8I in late June, the airframer
intends to incorporate design changes honed on the -8F into the -8I during assembly,
including the revised outboard landing gear door and strengthened inboard aileron

Any changes developed for the 747-8F to resolve the structural vibration may
not be required for the -8I and its stretched upper deck, though early flight
tests will work to clear RC001 of any structural flutter.

The company is planning for a shorter flight test programme than the 1,600h campaign
being undertaken by the 747-8F, as aerodynamic data from the freighter is expected
to be carried over to the passenger variant.

Boeing aims to begin final body join on RC001 in late September or October, and
is currently joining the forward fuselage sections 41 and 42 that make up the
jumbo’s iconic hump, inside the 40-23 building at the company’s Everett, Washington

Additionally, the company is building up fuselage section 46, which abuts the
aircraft’s centre wing box and bonnet section 44. Boeing is also nearing the stub
join that will see the aircraft’s wings mated to the centre wing box.

Boeing expects to roll out RC001, the first of two flight test aircraft, in January
2011 with first flight to follow later in the first quarter. First delivery, which
will be in VIP configuration, is expected in the fourth quarter of 2011 when the
aircraft is handed over to a completion centre.
Lufthansa expects its first 747-8I in early 2012.

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