Keeping engines on-wing and minimizing unscheduled shop visits has long been the focus of Winnipeg-based StandardAero. Among the examples the company cites is its GE CF34 support, which it has carried out under its GE General Branded Services Agreements since 2002.
“Our relationship with GE Aviation has always been very strong, and very collaborative,” says Oliver Albig, StandardAero’s vice president, general manager-CF34 and CFM56 engines. That relationship, he explains, has helped build StandardAero into the largest independent supplier of CF34 support services.
Today, much of the company’s CF34 throughput is driven by the growth of the CF34-8, which powers the Bombardier CRJ 700, 900, and 1000, as well as the Embraer E170/175 regional jets. Eric Recksiedler, director of customer programs, CF34 engines for StandardAero, reports that the company began servicing the CF34-8 in 2003, starting with module level workscopes to support high-pressure turbine blade replacements, then transitioning to full repair scopes in 2005. CF34-8 shop visits average 60-80 annually, but are likely to be as much as 130-140 this year, with all work done at Winnipeg, he says.
As Recksiedler explains, StandardAero has offered what it refers to as a “comprehensive support program” for the CF34-8 since 2007, subsequently expanded to include the CF34-3 which powers the CRJ 200 regional airliner, and most of Bombardier’s Challenger business jet models. “They want performance, reliability and cost assurance over the entire time they will be operating the aircraft," he says of the customer demand.
The comprehensive program is structured, according to Recksiedler, to increase time on wing, prior to the engine’s next scheduled shop visit by focusing on known failure modes. When there is a scheduled shop visit, a workscope is prepared in order to maximize the engine’s reliability and lifecycle in order to extend on wing time.
Under the comprehensive program, which is offered to the customer under an upfront contractual agreement, StandardAero works with its suppliers and GE to obtain additional discounting. “This is done through the use of material kits and volume discounts on a combination of new and used serviceable parts, as well as through repair pricing discounts,” Recksiedler says. He adds that pricing is flexible, predicated on a cost per flight hour or firm fixed price maintenance events, as examples.