Shopping for an aircraft engine isn’t quite the same as heading out and shopping for a new pair of shoes. It’s a complex decision, and one that could involve a wide range of factors. As such, you need to be careful when you start looking for your new engine. Luckily, there are a few things that can help make the process easier.
There isn’t an official aircraft buying guide out there, but the following tips could simplify your shopping experience and lead you to the right engine.
• What type of engine? – This doesn’t mean the brand. Instead, you need to consider whether you want a turbine, radial, or even a turboprop engine. Each one has different pros and cons, and some may not even be compatible with your aircraft. In order to find the right engine, you need to know what kind is right for you.
• How much power? – The size and power of an engine matters, too. Start by learning more about how the engine works. Here’s a good explanation. You need an engine with enough power to make flight possible, but not so much that the plane can’t handle it. If you’re unsure of how much power is needed, you can speak with an expert at the facility you’re shopping from.
• Does brand matter to you? – Names like Pratt and Whitney are well-known and respected, and you or your maintenance team may be more familiar with a specific model or manufacturer. If you have a preference, be sure to buy an engine from them.
• How reliable is it? – Certain types of engines are more reliable than others. The PT6, for instance, is famous for its high reliability. Consider maintenance requirements, longevity, and reliability.
• What’s the cost? – Cost does matter, but you should shop based on other factors and then narrow down your choices based on price afterwards.
• New or reconditioned? – In many cases, a facility will sell new as well as overhauled or reconditioned engines. You can often save by buying a reconditioned engine and still get the same performance.
• Where are you buying from? – Finally, think about the facility you’re buying from. You’ll want to ensure that they can sell you the engine, install it, and that they are trustworthy. Otherwise, you could be spending a lot of money and end up regretting it.
This basic buying guide should help you find the right engine at the right price.