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3 Key Benefits of Oil Analysis Technology

This article originally appeared on the P&WC Airtime Blog.

Recently added to the ESP™ plan, our (Pratt & Whitney Canada’s) Oil Analysis Technology is a powerful diagnostic and prognostic tool that helps customers avoid unscheduled events. We outline some key benefits below.

1. A SIMPLE, USER-FRIENDLY SAMPLING PROCEDURE

Taking routine oil samples from your engine and sending them for analysis is a fast, simple process that gives detailed insights into engine health that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.

This technology enables operators like Germany’s Arcus Air, an airline that offers chartered cargo and corporate flights, to plan maintenance in advance, thereby minimizing the risk of unscheduled events and maximizing engine availability.

Pratt & Whitney’s Oil Analysis Technology is a powerful tool that helps us better understand the health of our engines. We receive clear and concise data that allow for a quick overview but also for deep insights. Daniel Bürcky, Chief of Maintenance, Arcus Air

The sampling procedure is designed to be as user-friendly as possible. We provide customers with a kit that contains everything they need, from a syringe and tube or O-rings for collecting the oil to a pre-paid envelope with all the necessary paperwork for sending the sample to the lab in Canada.

Customers simply need to collect a sample during scheduled engine maintenance, then have the package picked up by FedEx. In return, they’ll receive a report outlining the results, along with recommended follow-up actions.

The sampling interval is typically from 200 to 300 hours, meaning that for a typical business jet or general aviation operator, samples only need to be taken once or twice a year, notes Frédérique Richard, Senior Manager, Oil Analysis Technology.

2. EXPERT INSIGHTS THAT ENHANCE OPERATIONAL CONFIDENCE

Oil analysis technology is used to monitor trace particles in oil-wetted components such as carbon seals, gears and bearings. It compares their current condition with the signature of other healthy engines in the fleet. Once a component deteriorates past a certain threshold, our team will provide specific maintenance recommendations.

It’s like going to the doctor to have a blood sample taken, explains Frédérique. If the doctor analyzes your blood and sees that you have a health issue, like slightly high cholesterol, she’ll suggest doing something like changing your diet or exercising more. Our Oil Analysis Technology works in a similar way.

We look at the data and if anything needs to be done, we help customers figure out the right next steps. We give them a tailored ‘prescription’ – a specific maintenance recommendation to address the matter before it becomes an issue. Frédérique Richard, Senior Manager, Oil Analysis Technology

The insights gained from this technology therefore give customers greater operational confidence by letting them know when they should keep a closer eye on specific components or take action to repair or replace them.

One example is carbon seals. If these components are left to deteriorate, it could eventually lead to unplanned maintenance events, which may entail unexpected costs like hangar rental, spare engine shipment or cancelled revenue flights.

All of that could be avoided with our Oil Analysis Technology.

“In some cases, we can tell hundreds of flight hours in advance if a carbon seal is deteriorating,” says Frédérique. “Once we see that, we’ll issue a recommendation to monitor its condition more frequently. When action is required, we’ll advise the operator to proactively remove the engine at the next scheduled maintenance and send it to the shop for replacement.”

Thanks to this technology, we’ve been able to identify early deterioration patterns and recommend proactive maintenance on a number of engines. These customers were able to schedule maintenance and avoid the disruption of situations such as cabin air contamination and metal in oil. Frédérique Richard, Senior Manager, Oil Analysis Technology

3. A CONTINUOUSLY EVOLVING TECHNOLOGY

To date, with the help of customers around the world who want to go beyond basic engine maintenance and are embracing early detection, we have collected tens of thousands of oil samples.

The more data there is to work with, the more detailed and accurate our Oil Analysis Technology becomes, because it’s not static. It continues to evolve, as the new data helps us to refine engine oil signatures and fine-tune our algorithms.

“It’s an ongoing journey,” says Frédérique. “We keep investing in the technology and working to improve it.”

The advanced analytics that we use allow us to go deeper than human analysis alone could accomplish. This enables us to identify engines at risk of a particular issue, prioritize maintenance work, and ultimately drive operational improvements, cost savings and greater engine availability Frédérique Richard, Senior Manager, Oil Analysis

technology combined with other technologies such as our FAST™ solution, it enables customers to understand their engine inside out and fly with peace of mind. If our Oil Analysis Technology is like a blood test, FAST is like an MRI. These prognostic and diagnostic tools complement each other, contributing to a more holistic view of engine health.

Oil Analysis Technology is one of several recent additions to our ESP™ maintenance program. Learn more here.

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E1000 Deliveries to start Next Month

Epic Aircraft has said that it will begin deliveries of its E1000 single-engined turbo-prop (SETP) in December after the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified the aircraft earlier this month.

The E1000 has been through a seven-year development program that has taken the aircraft from a kit-only model to full certification.

Epic Aircraft’s E1000 SETP is now a certified aircraft. (Epic Aircraft / Jessica Ambats)

“This is a remarkable accomplishment for our entire community,” said Epic CEO, Doug King. “I want to thank our employees, who have worked so diligently to deliver this exceptional design, as well as our partners, suppliers, and customers who have faithfully supported us each step of the way.

“It has been a true team effort, along with the fantastic support of the FAA.”

The E1000 is based on the company’s experimental Epic LT model,  which was introduced to the market in 2005 through an owner-assist build program.

“Transitioning that design into a certified version was the chance to offer a truly compelling product to the industry, a ‘no compromises’ aircraft that customers would really want. And they do,” King added.

Epic says it has over 80 confirmed E1000 reservations from around the world, including the USA, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, Europe, Russia, South Africa and Australia.

King said that the company could have achieved certification earlier by cutting some corners, but they weren’t prepared to compromise on the aircraft.

“We had some opportunities to speed things up along the way, to get certification earlier,” he said, “but that would have required some trade-offs that we weren’t willing to make. We consider performance to be our brand, so we decided to make it perform.”

The E1000 is a six-seat carbon-fibre aircraft powered by a PT6A-67A turbo-prop engine putting out 1200 shp. The book figures show a maximum speed of 325 KTAS, certified ceiliing of 34,000 feet and a maximum range at economy cruise of 1650 nm.

Read more at http://www.australianflying.com.au/latest/e1000-deliveries-to-start-next-month#ZK9frTlSuftgzZvq.99

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Pilatus Unveils PC-12 NGX

For the third iteration of its venerable PC-12 single-engine turboprop (SETP), Swiss airframer Pilatus Aircraft unveiled a new variant that includes a complete redesign of the cabin, new avionics, and a new variant of the Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) PT6A powerplant found on the first two generations of the airplane, in addition to a single power lever. Pilatus introduced the PC-12-NGX at a ceremony at the National Business Aviation Association’s annual convention in Las Vegas.

Continue reading Pilatus Unveils PC-12 NGX

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New Business Turboprops 2019

Wither the new turboprop market, or the pause that refreshes? Historically, new business turboprop sales remain relatively steady while jet sales gyrate up or down. So far, this year is a little different. While new business jet deliveries have climbed more than 12 percent for the first six months of 2019, turboprop deliveries dropped 11.2 percent for 1H 2019 compared to the year-ago period, according to data from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). It is notable that a big chunk of jet sale gains were models that challenge traditional turboprop territory, such as the new Cirrus SF50 single-engine jet or the revised HondaJet Elite light twin. 

Continue reading New Business Turboprops 2019

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Textron Marks 500th Grand Caravan EX Delivery

The Cessna Grand Caravan EX utility turboprop single entered service more than six years ago, and Textron Aviation has delivered its 500th copy, the company announced yesterday. Certified in 2013, it is the third variant of the successful Caravan line first introduced in 1986, but with a more powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-140 engine that improved its rate of climb by 38 percent over its predecessor.

Continue reading Textron Marks 500th Grand Caravan EX Delivery

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