Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Stretching life: the CF6-80


While the design focus of new engines aims at lower lifecycle costs and long on-wing times, ageing engines require more shop visits with alternative solutions. As aviation turbine fuel hits new lows, older engines share a common mantra: Augment remaining life cycle and enhance competence. Neelam Mathews looks at the CF6-80.

Nearly 2600 CF6-50, CF6-80A, and CF6- 80C models are currently in operation with some 140 operators that include 115 passenger and cargo airliners with around 990 ƒ‹…ƒˆEn‹gine type includes the 767 and 747-400. Others are the MD-11, A300, A310, Lockheed C-5 Galaxy military transport, and the soon to be developed Kawasaki C2. While over 600 CF6-80E1 engines Šƒ‡ „‡‡ †‡Ž‹ˆ‘ Confidence was renewed last year(2015), when aircraft leasing company BOC Aviation selected the CF6- 80E1 engines to power two new A330-300s, to be delivered in 2017 on long-term lease with EVA Airways Corp. “We have purchased more than 340 engines from GE Aviation and its joint ventures, and we look forward to continue building on this enduring partnership with them” says Robert Martin, MD and CEO of BOC Aviation, which is headquartered in Singapore. The regional distribution of the worldwide ƒ…‹‡ ͢Ǧͤ͜ ‡‰‹‡ ƪ‡‡ ‹• •‡™‡† ‘™ƒ†• the Americas, which have half the share, Asia ƒ…‹Ƥ… Šƒ• ƒ ƒ‡ǡ ‘’‡ ͜͞ ’‡ …‡ ƒ† the Middle East eight per cent. Aviation mar- ‡• ‹ Š‡ •‹ƒ ƒ…‹Ƥ… …‘‹‡† ‘ ‡…‘† strong growth; in the eleven-month period from January to November 2015, there was an increase of 8.1 per cent. Demand remained strong in spite of the overall weakness in Asian currencies, and the moderation in emerging  market economies,” noted Andrew Herdman, director general of the Association of Asia Pa- …‹Ƥ… ‹Ž‹‡• ȋ Ȍ ‹ ƒƒ› ͜͞͝͡Ǥ ˆ‹…ƒ with less than one per cent of the engine type saw a decline last year and “can easily be served out of a European-based shop,” according to Katia Diebold-Widmer, head of marketing at Germany’s MTU Maintenance. “We don’t see a typical shift or move towards a certain region where the engines will end up and therefore at this moment it is not our intention to open other MRO bases around the world dedicated for these types,” said Mike Bezuijen, AFI KLM E&M technical sales director, engines.
As demand for air travel has to be met through increased services, engines are being put to maximum use. “Generally, the larger the original active population and the faster the retirements, the Š‹‰Š‡ Š‡ƒƒ‹Žƒ„‹Ž‹› ˆ‘ƒ•’‡…‹Ƥ…•„Ǧ›’‡ǡdz‡š- plains Diebold-Widmer. One has to bear in mind that parked engines do not necessarily equate with readiness for usage, or as a source for teardown if life limited parts (LLP) have no cycles remaining. Experience has shown that it can suddenly become ‡›†‹ƥ…Ž‘Ž‘…ƒ‡Š‡‡‰‹‡‡‹‡†ǡƒŠ‡ ‹‰Š…‘Ƥ‰ƒ‹‘ǡ‹‡ǡƒ†’‹…‡ǡ•Š‡…ƒ‹‘•Ǥ Favourable comparisons Š‡ ‡‰‹‡ ›’‡ Ƥ†• •’’‘‡• ‹ Š‡ ‘’- erator community. “The CF6 is a very reliable and popular engine that during the time we operated it gave us no problems. In addition we were driven to purchasing the airframe/engine combination ƒƒ‹Žƒ„Ž‡‘Š‡•‡†ƒ‡ƒŠ‡‹‡ǡdz•ƒ‹† ‘Š Wainwright SVP, engineering and maintenance, of Kazakhstan’s Air Astana. While purchasing new replacement aircraft, “we chose the PW4000 based ‹‹‹ƒŽŽ›‘ƒ„‡‡…‘‡…‹ƒŽ‘ơ‡ˆ‘ ƒƒ† Whitney and additionally, as the KC-46 Pegasus was based on the 767 and the PW engine was chosen for the 170 odd aircraft ordered by the American Air force. We felt support for the airframe/engine …‘„‹ƒ‹‘™‘Ž†„‡•’‡‹‘‹Š‡Ž‘‰‡Ǥdz Cost of shop visits based on OEM data compare favorably — PW $4.5-5.0m and CF6 $3.6–4.0m, according to International Bureau of Aviation Group (IBA Group). The CF6-80C2 has always been thought of as being one per cent better measured by fuel burn and noise, not having endured a run of necessary shop visits like the PW4000-94 for a ‹‰…ƒ•‡…‘„•‘‘†‹Ƥ…ƒ‹‘ǡƒ……‘†‹‰‘ Kane Ray, senior analyst, IBA Group. “Pricing of course will play an important factor … In terms of values, lease rates, the CF6-80C2 is in a much better place that the PW4000-94 although higher thrust variant 60k/62k PW4000-94s do command some value because of the 767 market.” Maintenance demand slowing While GE themselves have a highly developed and competitive used serviceable material (USM) network also applying to the CF6-80C2, there are many tear-down entities operating in this space. “Challenges revolve around component saturation and this has hindered engine values in recent times but it has been better managed largely because the CF6-80C2 was dominant over competitors in pretty much all of the aircraft markets it operated in,” says Ray. With some 2,440 engines still active, a further 485 stored out of an original 3,450 or so built, “it is not bad going all things being considered”. MTU Maintenance admits the worldwide market for CF6-80C2 MRO services and shop visits is •Ž‘™Ž›†‡…Ž‹‹‰ǡ‘‰‡Š‡™‹Šƪ‡‡‡‹‡‡•‘ˆ older aircraft platforms. “The actual number of visits for 2016 will strongly depend on the availability of surplus engines with remaining LLP, so-called green-time, as a potential substitution– either as exchange or lease engines,” says Diebold-Widmer. In Asia ageing engines of the few A300/310 are Ž‹‡Ž›‘Šƒ‡ƒ‡ơ‡…‘ƪ‡‡„‡•ǡƒ……‘†- ing to Vishok Mansingh, CEO at Mumbai-based CAV Aero Services. Over 23 747s older than 20 years ƒ‡Ž‹‡Ž› ‘‡‹‡ Š‹•›‡ƒ‹…Ž†‹‰Ƥ‡ ƒƒ• ͣͣ͠Ǧ͜͜͠•ǡ Ž‡ƒ‹‰ ‹• Œ„‘ ƪ‡‡ ƒ ‹‡Ǥ Dz Š‡› will be good candidates for part-out as this would result in 92 engines pulled out from service that will come in the after-market as spare engines or part-out, thereby reducing the price of engine and spare parts,” observes Mansingh. The 767s (with 34 aircraft are over 20 years of age) “will add 68 engines to the market which will again soften the aftermarket.” ƒƒ•ǡ ˆ‘ ‹•ƒ…‡ǡ Šƒ• •‘‡† ͟͞ ͣͣ͢•Ǥ “Teardown helps accessing used material which, either in serviceable condition or after repair, …ƒ„‡•‡†‘‡ơ‡…‹‡Ž›‡†…‡Š‡…‘•‘ˆŠ‡ required replacement material,” says DieboldWidmer. Some European legacy carriers still have Žƒ‰‡ƪ‡‡•Šƒƒ‡‡š’‡…‡†‘„‡’Šƒ•‡†‘‹ the next few years, including KLM’s 747-400s. “As not all aircraft will get a second life, more used parts and green time will become available in the market over time…[despite this] we still see and expect our customer portfolio steady over the coming years as we can use an ideal mix of availability of engines versus the shop visits,” comments AFI KLM E&M’s Bezuijen. 
As the largest independent worldwide providers of the 22 CF6-80C2 MRO services, MTU Maintenance serves about 25 airlines, as well as Regional breakdown of CF6-80C2 Africa Asia Pacific Europe & CIS Latin America Middle East North America 1%close to 40 lease companies, part traders and MROs. Major customers include Air Canada and Asiana Airlines. MTU has a 9.1 per cent stake in the CF6-80 engine. It supplies parts for the highpressure turbine, its third largest programme and sees encouraging trends in the market. “In 2015 the CF6-80C2 represented eight per cent of all shop visits inducted within the group for commercial jet engines. This ratio is expected to remain constant for this year as we serve large customers with no plans to retire the aircraft in the short-term,” says Diebold-Widmer. She adds that currently there are no issues with spare engines on the CF6-80C2. “Actually, there are more spare engines, which leads to a high availability of surplus engines.”.........Read more in Aircraft Technology Feb Issue

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