Category Archives: Aviation Engine Service

More People Are Seeking Careers In Aviation And Aircraft Engine Maintenance

More People Are Seeking Careers In Aviation And Aircraft Engine MaintenanceThroughout the United States, there is a new spirit of hope out there that’s the result of something very important: The “discovery” of parents, the media, and college-aged students of “STEM” careers in science, technology, education, and math.

Needless to say, aviation is one of the most exciting and attractive areas of STEM. Since the Bureau of Labor Statistics published its recent studies indicating that aviation will most likely remain a solid area of employment for the next decade, the news has really gotten around. Continue reading More People Are Seeking Careers In Aviation And Aircraft Engine Maintenance

Will New Airline Fees Hinder The U.S. Commercial Aviation Scene?

Will New Airline Fees Hinder The U.S. Commercial Aviation Scene?For more than a decade now, the commercial aviation industry in the United States has been even more competitive than ever imagined. Major fleets have found it difficult to increase their profit margins in a world where the price of fuel has consistently increased. Continue reading Will New Airline Fees Hinder The U.S. Commercial Aviation Scene?

The Process Of Becoming An Authorized Pratt & Whitney MRO

The Process Of Becoming An Authorized Pratt & Whitney MROIf you have been in the aviation market for a while, you know a little bit about MROs.

MROs work directly with the manufacturers of high quality aircraft parts, particularly the most sophisticated parts — such as the engine — that are responsible for your aircraft’s performance. Continue reading The Process Of Becoming An Authorized Pratt & Whitney MRO

Time To Trade Up To A Better Engine? When To Look For Aircraft Engines For Sale

Time To Trade Up To A Better Engine? When To Look For Aircraft Engines For SaleAlthough every part of an aircraft is important, a strong argument can be made for the belief that the engine is the most important single component on any aircraft.

The quality and maintenance status of your engine has a huge number of important repercussions for the performance of your entire aircraft, including: Continue reading Time To Trade Up To A Better Engine? When To Look For Aircraft Engines For Sale

Looking For Turbine Engines For Sale? Turbine Versus Radial Engines Compared

Looking For Turbine Engines For Sale? Turbine Versus Radial Engines ComparedOne of the most important decisions you can make when it comes to aircraft engines is whether you will pursue turbines engines for sale or prefer radial engines for your aircraft.

As with a car or any other vehicle, the engine is the “beating heart” of the entire aircraft and will have enormous impact in terms of how it performs. Continue reading Looking For Turbine Engines For Sale? Turbine Versus Radial Engines Compared

How To Find Reputable Companies When Looking For Aircraft Engines For Sale

How To Find Reputable Companies When Looking For Aircraft Engines For SaleWhen you are first looking at aircraft engines for sale, you might be surprised to note just how many companies there are out there that purport to provide you with the best engines around.

Naturally, just as with any other industry, not all companies are “created equal” when it comes to aircraft engines. There are excellent, mediocre, and poor options in this industry as well. Continue reading How To Find Reputable Companies When Looking For Aircraft Engines For Sale

PT6 Celebrates Fifty Years Part 1

When it was developed in 1963, the PT6 was the first turboprop engine rated at 450 shaft horsepower, impressing Beechcraft to the point that the company chose to install the engine in their King Air line of turboprop twins.  Fast-forward 50 years, and Beechcraft still choose the PT6, although of ever-increasing power ratings, to power their engines.

 Before The PT6

beechcraftPratt & Whitney began development of the PT6 in the late 1950’s in an attempt to replace the manufacturer’s Wasp radial engines, developed during in the 1930’s.  In 1925, Frederick Rentschler, President of Wright Aeronautical, approached his brother, Gordon, and Edward Deeds, who were both on the board of Niles Bement Pond, convincing them that Pratt & Whitney Machine Tool, a subsidiary of Niles, should fund the creation of a new aircraft engine Rentschler and a colleage, George Mead, were developing.  The engine was to be a large, air-cooled radial design.  The executives at Pratt & Whitney saw an opportunity for growth and lent Rentschler $250,000, the use of the Pratt & Whitney name and space in their building to begin creating the new engine.  Rentschler left Wright Aeronautical and took over operations of Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Division, The first of the Wasp series debuted on December 24, 1925, quickly becoming one of the most widely used aircraft engines in the industry due to their superior speed, rate of climb and reliability.  Charles Lindbergh and Ameila Earhart both set records in Wasp-powered aircraft.

Wasp to Hornet

 With the development of the PT6 still a few decades away, Pratt & Whitney created the next line of radial engines, the Hornet, rated at 525 horsepower.  The dependability of both the Wasp and the Hornet made them very popular among commercial aircraft, and as the public use of air travel increased, so did the demand for Pratt & Whitney engines.  As it became apparent that the United States would enter World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called on manufacturers to produce 50,000 aircraft a year for military use, requiring Pratt & Whitney to expand its workforce from 3,000 to 40,000.  Throughout the war, Pratt & Whitney continued to innovate, until, by the end of the war, their largest engine provided 3,600 horsepower.  However, radial engines were slowly being replaced by lighter turboprop engines.

Vision of the PT6

In 1957, Pratt & Whitney saw an opportunity to channel profits from the piston engine spare parts business to the development of smaller gas turbine engines than those currently being manufactured in the United States. The company gathered a team of 12 young engineers after conducting market studies that found there was a need for a 500 shaft horsepower engine that could replace piston engines, such as the Wasp and Hornet.  In December 1963, Pratt & Whitney shipped the first of the PT6 series, the PT6A-6, a highly innovative gas turbine representing technology advances that were significant at the time.  Because gas turbines have a higher power to weight ratio than piston engines, the PT6 was perfect for aviation engines.

pt6aThe PT6 has enjoyed a rich and colorful history since it began production in 1963, and Pratt & Whitney is proud to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this timeless aircraft engine.  Learn more about the colorful past, pioneers who flew this engine and continuing evolution of an engine ahead of its time.  For more information on the PT6 or about aircraft maintenance, contact Covington Aircraft online or by telephone today.

Jet Engines How They Work and How to Clean Them

Aircraft-Engine-MaintenanceOne of the most important aspects of aircraft engine maintenance is having a clear understanding of how jet engines work and methods used to clean them.  Jet engines, also known as gas turbines, move an airplane by producing tremendous thrust.

How Jet Engines Work

There are many aircraft engine parts that work together to keep flying plane airborne.  The fan, normally made of titanium, draws in large amounts of air into the engine, speeding the air up and sending it in two directions.  Some air is directed toward the core of the engine while other air is sent through ducts to the back of the engine, producing the force necessary to propel the plane.  The compressor, made up of fans with many blades attached to a shaft, compresses the air, creating air pressure.  That air pressure creates energy, which is then forced into the combustion chamber.  Fuel is injected into the combustor, and when the fuel combines with the compressed air, it burns, producing gasses.  The heated airflow is then pushed into the turbine whose blades begin to turn.  The shaft attached to the turbine turns the blades in the turbine as well as the intake fan, removing some of the energy around the fan and compressor.  Adequate aircraft engine maintenance requires an understanding of not only all the parts in a diesel aircraft engine, but what role they play in operating the plane.

Why Wash an Aircraft Engine

As part of aircraft engine maintenance, washing the engine offers better efficiency.  Although an aircraft engine functions at temperatures that will literally vaporize water, engine grease and other substances can build up inside the engine, which reduces the efficiency of the diesel aircraft engine.  Therefore, as part of aircraft engine maintenance, it is recommended you clean your jet engine on a regular basis.

How to Wash an Aircraft Engine

One of the best ways to clean an engine as part of your aircraft engine maintenance is by flowing water, and possibly detergent, through the engine to clean the turbine blades and core.  This reduces carbon build-up and increases operating efficiency.  When an engine is overhauled, aircraft mechanics often wash the plane using detergents and solvents mixed with water; however it is possible to wash an engine while it is still on the plane.

Visit us at for more information about airplane engine maintenance, overhaul, and repair for both radial and turbine engines.  You can also find out about us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Airplane Wash

As part of any aircraft engine maintenance, or aircraft maintenance in general, planes must be washed, both inside and out, on a regular basis.  However, cleaning an airplane is very different from washing the vehicle you drive.


Washing Solution

One of the main differences between washing other vehicles and washing planes is that the fluid used to wash planes contains detergents, traces of oil, hydrocarbons and solvents not found in regular washing fluids.  Because such chemicals are pollutants, they cannot be directed into storm water drains.  This is especially true during aircraft engine maintenance that includes washing the engine.

Washing Procedures

During aircraft engine maintenance, as well as other plane maintenance, aviation mechanics use high-pressure hoses to wash the aircraft without water by blowing build-up and debris off the plane.  When water is used, it’s mixed with detergent specifically designed for cleaning airplanes, using the minimal amount necessary to clean the plane.  Wastewater from the plane is recovered using bundling equipment and a wet vacuum.   Mechanics dispose of the wastewater in accordance with the SA Water Trade Waste General Policy.

Types of Cleaners

Because much of a plane is made of aluminum, which is a lightweight but strong metal, certain chemicals can have an adverse effect on the metal.  Therefore, the FAA issued warnings that during aircraft engine maintenance, care must be taken with alkaline chemicals as they can damage any aluminum on the plane.  In addition to the aluminum in a plane, care must be taken with the Plexiglas on the aircraft as well.  Plexiglas must be cleaned in stages with plenty of water, followed by wiping with a clean flannel cloth using approved Plexiglas cleaner or polish.  Avoid using high-powered pressure washers, as they can damage the plane.

Visit us at for more information about radial and turbine airplane engine maintenance, overhaul and repair.  You can also find us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Quality Overhaul Maintenance, Service and Trust

It’s not too often these days that you run across a company that still runs its overhaul maintenance business as it did when it started way back in the early 1970’s. Times have changed, but Covington Aircraft remains true to its core values when providing aviation engine service.

Covington Aircraft maintains a firm commitment to quality service and trust to both the corporate and agricultural aircraft markets throughout the world.