Jet Engine Maintenance and You
It’s nice to be able to understand how a component of our lives work in more detail, as it gives us greater appreciation for its design, and gives us the autonomy of control over the things we own. While D.I.Y. is fairly niche, at the end of the day being more informed about something you use often is always a good thing! Here at Miami Jet, we’ll outline some questions some may have regarding Jet Maintenance and explain why exactly it’s important. Since Jet Engines tend to have fewer moving parts than other counterpart engines, there are still fundamentals that cause wear.
When it comes to business jet engines, the aspects that affect them the most is how much it’s exposed to variables such as aircraft vibration, friction, extremely high engine-interior temperatures, corrosion, and physical damage by accidental ingestion of debris. There is also metal fatigue, which would mostly affect the rotary parts of the engine, such as the compressor or turbine blades, which can lead to cracking or even part failure. Therefore, for rotating parts specifically, the terminology is coined as life limited parts, as there are mandatory periods of replacement after a certain point.
Some may wonder how the “life limited parts” are measured, and it greatly depends on the manufacturer and their process of engine certification. Typically, lifespan is measured with the expression of “thousands of hours of operation”, but it may also be categorized as “thousands of take-off, climb, cruise, descent and landing cycles.” Which makes inspections happen frequently and overhauling the jet engine parts vital to ensuring flight safety. There is also a secondary reason for periodic maintenances, and that is to ensure each engine’s vibration levels are minimized to ensure the comfort of the occupants during flight. Depending on the certificate, there are certain vibration levels accommodated by the engine, and if it’s mismatched then not only will the occupants feel the difference, but increased vibration wastes more fuel and reduces fuel efficiency overall.
There is also identifying the difference in priorities for mandated Times Between Overhauls, so if you ever were curious as to why Turboprops and etc are shorter, it’s due to different designated mission priority depending on the aircraft. For instance, smaller business jets have TBOs of 5,000 hours or less, and most modern business jets require 6,000 hours or more. This is due to business jets accumulating less than 500 hours of flying time annually, so operators don’t feel the need to schedule full engine overhauls in 12-year time periods. If you have an older turbofan engine, they’re usually subjected to mandated Major Periodic Inspections (MPI) and Hot Section Inspections (HSI) which are also known as compressor/core zone inspection (CZI) intervals. These have to be taken care of after a specific amount of flying hours, but MPI/CZI can be extended by having engine maintenance do a modification using supplemental type certificates (STCs) covering each model.
While there are other things to consider, such as ‘on condition’ maintenance programs, jet engine cost and how it would lead to longer lead times, and the best place to get your jet maintained, these are the fundamentals. For the rest, it would vastly depend on your jet, and of course if you’d like a new jet, or want one period, contact us here in Miami Jet! We make things extremely simple and straightforward for you, while making sure you keep up to date with the latest aviation news! Let’s see what jet we can find for you.