Process of Jet Engine Maintenance and Overhaul
Before an aircraft takes flight, there is a lot of inspection and maintenance that happens both before the day of flight and a few hours prior to takeoff. Those hours before flight are very important as that is the last opportunity to catch any anomalies that need to be inspected. During these check ups, the flight crew checks on things like engine condition and lubricant levels to spot anything different from what is standard. Then there are some items that must be inspected on a cyclic schedule. These items are checked during what is known as the hot section inspection or HSI.
Hot Section Inspection
The HSI is exactly what is sounds like: it refers to the inspection of the parts in the engine that are exposed to heat and pressure of fuel combustion. The purpose of this inspection is to ensure that these components are fully functional and capable of producing rated power. These parts typically consist of compressor turbines, temperature sensors
and connectors, stationary vane rings
, blades of power, and the compressor inlet
. If any of these items do not meet standard, then the parts will have to be disassembled and replaced.
The first step for the overhaul of an engine is usually the disassembling of parts. Maintenance for a jet engine will sometimes be done “on wing” but often it is necessary to remove it entirely from the aircraft. After the engine is disassembled, each part is cleaned prior to inspection and then analyzed for wear and tear. Items exceedingly worn can ultimately lead to failure of a component and will need to be replaced. Some of the testing that is performed include the dye penetration test, x-ray inspections, and electronic assessments. The entire overhaul process can take up to a few days before all the replacement parts are brought in and undergo installation and a test run. After this, if the new assembly passes inspection, the engine goes through another run for TBO (Time Before Overhaul) to certify that it is performing at standard shape.
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Posted on October 16, 2019