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ANA to Replace Rolls-Royce Dreamliner Engines

Shift will affect all 50 Dreamliners in fleet after multiple engine failures.

After experiencing multiple engine problems, All Nippon Airways will go through the process of replacing all 100 Rolls-Royce engines aboard their fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Reuters reports that the airline announced their decision on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 after three engines experienced failures due to turbine blade damage.

According to Bloomberg, the latest incident forcing an ANA Dreamliner to return after takeoff took place on Tuesday, August 30. The flight, departing from Tokyo Narita Airport (NRT) and heading to Mumbai, was forced back to the gate after one of the engines reported problems. The exact source of the engine problems has not yet been identified.

On other flights, the engine problems have been traced to corrosion and cracking on turbine blades in the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines. The engine constructor is working with ANA to build a new, more durable blade that will replace those on all 100 engines by the end of the year.

Although executives at Rolls-Royce say mitigating the engines is a “manageable issue,” ANA told Reuters in a statement the airline would replace the engines “…for enhanced safety measures.” Currently, the Japanese airline has four Dreamliners grounded, while 18 domestic flights have been canceled through the middle of September. If ANA goes through with refitting engines, the most likely candidate for replacement would be the General Electric-built GEnx engine.

The engine situation is the latest in a long line of problems for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner since its introduction in 2013, with many situations revolving around lithium batteries aboard the aircraft. It is unknown if other Dreamliners outfitted with Rolls Royce engines are experiencing similar problems.

[Photo: Boeing]

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