1. Take the Leap
Specifications: CFM, the joint venture between General Electric and Safran Aircraft Engines, has introduced the Leap family: Leap 1A, 1B and 1-C. The engine family uses new materials like the ceramic matrix composites (CMC) replacing metal components in the hot section of the engine and updating control systems that will continue to evolve after entry into service.
As for its other engines, CFM will continue to offer an open support network for the Leap.
In 2015, CFM announced
that Rhinestahl, AGSE and Dedienne Aerospace would be granted tooling licenses to support the Leap engine for 10 years. Leap operators will be able to compare offers and packages based on price, lead time and other factors.
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2. Make Space for New Tools
Specifications: Rhinestahl, in Mason, Ohio, is one of the three international licensed suppliers of Leap aircraft engine tooling. Rhinestahl estimates that out of 700 total tools to specifically support the Leap entry into service including engine stands, line-replaceable units, fan blade removal there are about 80 devices and borescope inspection tools.
Rhinestahl says only about one in 100 of the tools are “common” and only about 10 are compatible with other engines.
The company acquired the Customer Tooling Solutions unit of General Electric in 2009 and has been an established support OEM for the CFM56, but notes that not all prior CFM engine tools can be used for the Leap. Regarding pricing, Rhinestahl offers a catalog of line maintenance and module level tools. While the catalog is updated and maintained, maintenance providers work with the Rhinestahl technical team, which creates a customized price package based on workscope and needs.
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3. Tooling Life Cycle
Specifications: Dedienne, headquartered in Toulouse, France, offers products including aircraft and engine tooling and ground support equipment. According to the Leap-specific website, leaptooling.com, the process to come fully on board for the tooling services and life-cycle management takes nine months. Dedienne offers a preferred supplier agreement on a five-year basis and a contractual three-year warranty. Monthly technical reviews are done with GE/Safran Aircraft Engines and the Dedienne engineering department.
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4. Ground Support
Specifications: Headquartered in the Los Angeles Basin, AGSE provides engine handling and aircraft access ground-support equipment. AGSE has an engine stands lease-pool that will include the Leap engine stands, bootstrap and tool recertification and training. The company, as with Rhinestahl and Dedienne, will produce an annual catalog this year that will be available online. There will be a complete new website rollout in the third quarter of 2016.
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5. Gear Up
Company: Pratt & Whitney
Specifications: Pratt & Whitney released the Pure Power 1000G engine family in 2013, which includes the PW1500G that supports the Bombardier C Series, PW1100-JM for the Airbus A320neo, and PW1200G for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet.
To purchase an engine, customers will begin with a gated process that includes reviewing the size and existing support for the fleet, operational needs and inspection requirements. Matt Stoner, director of entry into service for Pratt & Whitney, says multiple options for training will be offered, including a general familiarization course and training centers on site at the company’s locations in Hartford Connecticut; Beijing; and Hyderabad, India.
Regarding tooling and maintenance, the OEM wants to focus on sticking to the traditional basics. “One of my main messages is that we’re trying to keep all this very simple. I want the operators to have the engines, to fly them, to realize the benefits of the new product and to minimize the amount of any inspections they have to do. And at that, we’ve tried to make it as common inspection equipment that operators typically have. It really comes down to the fact there’s no unique inspection equipment that typical other jet engines wouldn’t use,” says Stoner.
6. Turbines and Compressors
Company: MTU Aero Engines
Specifications: MTU Aero Engines, a leading engine manufacturer based in Munich, Germany, is part of the OEM network for the PW1100G-JM. Certification for engine overhaul was obtained in December 2015 from the German federal aviation authority. The company will be offering off-wing MRO services on behalf of the OEM only. According to its website, MTU holds a 15-18% stake in the PW1000G program. While being responsible for the high-speed low-pressure turbine and the first four stages of the high-pressure compressor, MTU also manufactures the brush seals and nickel blisks for the components within the high-pressure compressor but does not have development responsibility.
7. Launch Customer
Company: Swiss International Airlines
Specifications: Swiss International Airlines described the preparation needed to support the Bombardier CS100, powered by the PW1500G engine. Purchases included engine-change tools, specific tools for landing gear changes, several engine-testing tools including engine programming equipment and software, and aircraft jacking checks. Procurement was done with advice from its MRO providers and Bombardier.
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