Aircraft Reliability – Aircraft Engine Considerations

The engines fitted to an aircraft can often be one of the single most valuable assets and they are alsoone of the most complex.
It is important that the engines are maintained and monitored; the conditions the engines operate in means that while we can try to preserve life with actions such as reduced thrust take off’s where possible, there is also items we can not control such as the weather or animals in the air.

It is there for important that the engine is monitored for changes and general wear also. The engine parameter readings such as EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature) or equivalent metric along with Core speeds can be used as internal performance monitors.
For example, an EGT shift (sudden increase or decrease) could indicate wear or damage internally. As an engine gets more flight hours and cycles it will “wear” internally and performance decreases so by watching these parameters we can see any trends that cause concern for us. We can use approved data such as EM (Engine Manuals) & AMM (Aircraft Maintenance Manuals) for operating limits.

We can then produce ongoing trend reports that will indicate changes in the engine operating performance. There are multiple sensors on modern engines so we can crate a clear picture of what is happening and where in the engine; for example, consider looking at the core speeds of the rotors, compared to the vibration or EGT, we can then consider factors like altitude, flight phase, power setting, air temperature and many more. We can not only use the monitoring for trends of concern, but also to see the results of some actions such as engine washing, fan blade balancing or multiple other concerns we might have.

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