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Maintenance

Editorial comment - June 2018

This is a trying time for engine manufacturers. Firstly, following the Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 incident on 17 April, the FAA issued a second AD on 2 May that fully adopted the inspections recommended in CFM’s Service Bulletin issued on 20 April, which EASA formerly adopted through issuance of its emergency AD on that same day
 

This is a trying time for engine manufacturers. Firstly, following the Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 incident on 17 April, the FAA issued a second AD on 2 May that fully adopted the inspections recommended in CFM’s Service Bulletin issued on 20 April, which EASA formerly adopted through issuance of its emergency AD on that same day.

This mandates the ultrasonic inspection and eddy current inspection of all CFM56-7B fan blades that have accumulated more than 20,000 cycles. These inspections are to be completed by 31 August 2018. The AD also mandates that airlines continue to perform these inspections every 3,000 cycles (1.5 to 2 years of operation). In addition, airlines are required to perform the inspections on fan blades as they reach the 20,000 cycle threshold, with the continued repetitive 3,000 cycle inspections.

CFM and Pratt & Whitney and their respective LEAP-1A and PW1100G powerplants continue to affect Airbus A320neo Family deliveries. CFM International is working to catch-up on the production delays it encountered while Pratt & Whitney has started to deliver engines with a knife edge seal fix.

CEO Tom Enders said at the announcement of the 1Q18 earnings that, based on the confidence expressed by the engine makers and their ability to deliver on commitments, the company’s full-year overall delivery objective of around 800 commercial aircraft could be confirmed. He added that this leaves a lot to do in the second half of 2018.

Over at Rolls-Royce, there is an accelerated inspection programme on the Trent 1000 Package C engine fleet, which is expected to be completed in mid-June. This is due to compressor durability problems. There are almost 400 affected engines, although there is no impact on Trent 1000 Package B engines or Trent 1000 TEN engines.


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