Rolls-Royce faces what it calls “early stage production ramp up challenges” of its Trent 7000 program, causing more aggravation for executives still feeling the sting of blade erosion problems in the Trent 1000 Package C and B engines.
The British engine manufacturer said Friday that it expects to deliver fewer Trent 7000 engines than originally planned for the fourth quarter of this year, confirming a report from Bloomberg that revealed that it will deliver only 10 Trent 7000 engines by the end of October. The output falls far below the 30 engines needed for Airbus to hand over 15 A330neos to airlines by year-end.
The Trent 7000 is the exclusive engine choice for the A330neo, the first version of which—the A330-900—Airbus expects to enter commercial service with TAP Air Portugal.
The Portuguese carrier told AIN recently it hoped to operate three examples in December, though it could not confirm initial routes because the Etops and FAA type certification hadn’t concluded. EASA granted the A330-900 a type certificate on September 26 and the Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engine won approval from the Cologne-based European aviation safety authority on July 20.
Rolls-Royce stressed that production problems in the early stages of a new engine program “are not uncommon in our industry” and said it is working “very closely” with Airbus and its customers on the details of the delivery schedule. “As we move into 2019 we are confident that Trent 7000 production and delivery volumes will increase significantly to meet our customer commitments,” it said.
The company asserted it would likely miss its prior engine delivery projection of some 550 large engine deliveries for 2018 owing to the Trent 7000 ramp-up issues, though it did not downgrade its profit outlook for the year. It now expects to deliver approximately 500 engines.
Rolls delivered 259 widebody engines in the first six months and collected order for 185, including 106 Trent XWB engines and 46 Trent 7000 engines.