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Next-Generation Overhaul Strategies

OEMs, engine MROs stepping up MRO networks for new engine types.

Despite some well-publicized early shop visits for PW1100G engines, the first wave of overhauls for the new generation of turbofans is many years away.

Nonetheless, both Pratt & Whitney and CFM are busy preparing their global maintenance networks to support the geared turbofan (GTF) and LEAP engines.

Both manufacturers are using the wealth of experience gained through aftermarket services on their preceding CFM56 and V2500 models as a basis from which to build plans for maintaining, repairing and overhauling the next generation of narrowbody engines, and both will continue to focus on a combination of OEM and third-party support contracts.

To date, CFM has certified three of its own MRO sites for the LEAP engine – one in the US, one in Belgium and one in France – and it expects to certify a fourth facility, in Southeast Asia, next year.

Pratt’s own network of facilities expects to benefit from more GTF operators choosing an OEM support package than did with its previous engines.

While 40% of PW4000 engines and 60% of V2500s are under flight-hour agreements, this figure rises to 80% on the GTF.

“New engines tend to have a higher concentration of maintenance agreements because operators recognize the knowledge and value that the OEM can provide during the early operational period,” Joe Sylvestro, vice-president of aftermarket operations at Pratt & Whitney, tells MRO Network.

However, Pratt expects airlines and independent MRO shops to shoulder an increasing share of maintenance as the volume of overhauls increases.

“Over time, as the volume of overhauls increases, the network is expected to expand to include airlines and other MRO shops,” says Sylvestro.

Lufthansa Technik and MTU last year announced plans to set up a 50-50 joint venture for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of PW1000G-family engines.

The two companies say they are now “in the process of finalizing the evaluation of suitable, globally competitive locations” for a joint facility that would become operational in 2020 and handle over 300 shop visits a year.

To find out more about the differences between CFM and Pratt’s maintenance strategies look out for the 2018 edition of the Engine Yearbook, out later this year.

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