Re: Trent 800 woes

Date:         07 Oct 97 14:10:18 
From:         Chuanga@cris.com (H Andrew Chuang)
Organization: Concentric Internet Services
References:   1 2 3
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In article <airliners.1997.2386@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
Exiled Expat  <lutsch@emirates.net.ae> wrote:

[snip]

>( but that is typical for PW, Just look at how many mods were
>made to the JT9D to bring it up to it's reliability ).

Your example reinforces what I'm trying to say: reliability is very
important.  The only application the JT9D did well was the early B747
market, in which the JT9D initially had the sole source.  After Boeing
started to offer the CF6 and the RB.211, P&W share of the B747 market
drastically fell.  P&W practically lost every major European B747
customer, such as, Lufthansa, KLM, Alitalia, BA, Air France, etc.

>The recent failure
>of our RR Trent is so far believed to have been induced by foreign object
>damage wich is difficult to fault the engine for.

The Trent 800, as well as its competitors, went through rigorous
birdstrike tests, including one with a 4-kg bird.  The purpose of the
test is to make sure engines can maintain certain level of thrust even
in an event of birdstrike.  (Furthermore, R-R has long claimed one of
the many advantages of wide-chord fans is foreign objects seldom get
into the core flow.)  Thus, even if the damage was due to a birdstrike,
the engine should not have had a catastrophic failure.  If there is any
truth to Flight's speculation (that metal chips from the bearing were
found), then I think R-R has a much more serious problem at hand.  R-R
claimed to have solved the Trent 700 bearing problem by putting the
Trent 800 bearing in the Trent 700.  Perhaps, R-R has not solved the
problem, yet.