An aircraft engine is an apparatus that is paramount to carrying out powered flight, serving as the area where fuel-and-air mixtures are compressed and combusted for the means of generating propulsive force and thrust. With the constant ignition of mixtures that create intensive pressurized gasses, aircraft engines regularly face wear and tear over operations. As a result, it is very important that engines are regularly inspected and maintained so that any issues or defective parts can be remedied before they have a chance of becoming a hazard. In this blog, we will discuss the maintenance process known as an overhaul, that of which is a complex process that can extend the life of your aircraft if conducted correctly.
When discussing an engine overhaul, one is referring to the process in which an engine is removed from an aircraft, disassembled, and thoroughly inspected. Checking for wear and tear, any faulty or old components will be replaced or repaired before the engine is reassembled, tested, and prepared for continued duty. Overhauls are intensive processes, often requiring ample time to complete. Additionally, aircraft engine overhauls can be somewhat expensive, though not nearly as costly as buying a new engine or conducting repairs if issues were left unattended.
Aircraft are subjected to a number of regulations to keep them airworthy, and maintenance and inspection processes are regularly carried out on set intervals established by the FAA and aircraft manufacturers. For an aircraft engine used for commercial purposes, a time between overhaul (TBO) will be established and is mandatory to follow. As an example, a typical piston-powered aircraft will have a suggested TBO of 1,500 to 2,000 hours, meaning that it may be operated upward of 2,000 hours before the engine has to undergo a thorough overhaul process. As a typical engine has a service life ranging up to 8,000 hours, one will usually execute a few overhaul operations before a full replacement is necessary. Accounting for average rates of operation and service lives, a typical aircraft engine will need to be overhauled around once every 5 years.
It is important to know that overhauled engines are not the same as rebuilt engines, despite the two seeming very similar on paper. Engine overhauls are conducted by FAA-certificated airframe and powerplant technicians, and the goal is to maintain the engine cowling so that it may be returned to service while meeting all regulations, tolerances, and limits. While rebuilt engines are extremely similar in the fact that they typically contain various replacement parts to rid the assembly of defective components, a rebuild is a process that must be done by the manufacturer itself, or an approved facility. While conducted by different groups, the process is quite similar, the end result only being legally different.
If you are sending your engine in for an overhaul and find that you require various components to carry out repairs with ease, there is no better alternative to Alpha NSN. Alpha NSN is a premier purchasing platform for aircraft parts of all types, presenting customers access to over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find products. Take the time to explore our expansive set of offerings as you see fit, and our team is always ready to assist you through the purchasing process however necessary. If you happen to be interested in any particular items that we list, fill out and submit an RFQ form at your earliest convenience, and a dedicated account manager will reach out to you within 15 minutes to provide a customized response. Get started today and see how Alpha NSN can serve as your strategic sourcing partner for all your operational needs.
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