Boeing urges airlines to conduct retrofit for 777s


Boeing Co is urging airlines to conduct a major retrofit on more than 220 of its 777 jets in light of a series of incidents of overheating and chronic structural damage to some engine parts, the company said.

Boeing issued the service bulletin on Nov. 25, instructing airlines to install a new thermal protection system that will prevent thermal deterioration of the inner wall of the thrust reverser. A thrust reverser is a device attached to the engine that helps jets slow down after landing.

The service bulletin covers the company’s 777 jets with Rolls-Royce engines.

Boeing spokesperson said interim procedures put in place in 2008 were designed to minimize the risk of damage to the thrust reversers.

Experience and testing have “validated that the thrust reversers continue to function,” she said. And should damage occur, there is no safety hazard to the aircraft, she said.

Boeing did not say how much fixing the thrust reversers would cost or whether the airlines would pay the expense.

The carriers that are most affected include AMR Corp’s American Airlines and Delta Air Lines Inc.

Installation of the redesigned thermal-protection system, including new insulation blankets and other cooling features, is expected to start within weeks, Boeing said.