Rolls-Royce's Revamp of Faulty 787 Engine Running Ahead of Plan

(Bloomberg) -- Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc is accelerating the redesign of a faulty engine part at the center of an engineering crisis that’s led safety regulators to place operating limits on Boeing Co.’s 787.

The fix for the Trent 1000 turbine’s compressor rotor blades should be ready by the end of this year rather than in the first quarter of 2019, Chief Executive Officer Warren East said Thursday.

About 380 of 500 engines that Rolls has built for the 787 are afflicted by the glitch, which causes faster-than-anticipated wear. That’s caused regulators to order emergency shop visits and a higher frequency of regular inspections, while curbing the jet’s permitted range beyond diversionary airports.

About two-thirds of the so-called Package C engines have completed the initial testing, with the remainder due to be examined before June 9, Rolls-Royce said Thursday ahead of its annual general meeting in Derby, England.

Intermediate turbine blades suffering from a separate issue have already been redesigned and new high-pressure blades, which have also suffered deterioration, are due in July.

East said that U.S. restructuring consultants Alvarez & Marsal, hired in March, were brought on board to “rewire” Rolls’s structure and should produce initial results of a study into the London-based company next month. The plan will aim to deliver savings over the next three years as it moves toward a medium-term goal of 1 billion pounds ($1.4 billion) in free cash flow by 2020.

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