Today, the majority of aircraft rolling off assembly lines use turbine engine technology. However, there are still plenty of models that use older style radial piston engines, and models like the R-985 and R-1340 are still popular thanks to their reliability and their performance. But sometimes, maintenance can be difficult and it’s getting harder to find someone who can help with basic radial engine maintenance. There are some important steps that need to be taken to keep an engine working properly, and knowing a few of the basics is a good idea.
Torque is one issue that needs to be considered. One of the biggest issues in improper maintenance is that of improper torqueing procedures. Engineers take a lot of time designing an aircraft so that it works properly, and torque has a direct impact on the overall amount of stresses that will be placed on the fastening point. Under-torqueing can lead to inadequate preload while over-torqued fasteners can place undue stress on the connection point and lead to failure. Proper torque is a must.
Another thing that is vital is total inspection. While it’s easier to simply run through some basic examinations, do some mild cleaning, and call the job done, it can lead to major problems. Instead, a total inspection of the radial engine needs to be done before any maintenance occurs. Once the inspection is complete and no problems are uncovered, then it’s possible to proceed with the maintenance and get the aircraft back in flying shape.
It’s also worth understanding just why maintenance is so important. Over 34% of all accidents in aviation are estimated to be related to improper installation or maintenance. That’s a big number, and your safety should matter enough to ensure that you do all you can to get the right kind of maintenance on any aircraft. And when you consider that the cost of maintenance is much less than that of repairs when a problem does occur, it becomes clear that getting radial engine maintenance completed promptly is something you can’t ignore.
If you handle your own maintenance, be sure that you take it seriously. But if you don’t have the time for it, don’t hesitate to find a good, reliable overhaul and repair facility. You need to find one that you trust so you can get the work done and be confident in it. To find the right maintenance service, start by looking at their certifications and affiliations. Authorized dealers of engines and fully certified overhaul providers are the best option when looking for radial engine maintenance. Then, look at the overall history of the provider to make sure they have a solid reputation in the industry.
At Covington Aircraft we believe in providing our clients with exceptional service at the best possible price. Don’t hesitate to contact us to find out how we can help with all of your radial engine maintenance needs.