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Maintenance

Mature power

Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW100-family turboprops are well understood after almost 35 years in service, as Paul E Eden finds
 

In December 1984, a de Havilland Canada Dash 8 Series 100 powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney Canada PW120A turboprops, flew the 12-hour round-trip from Sault Ste. Marie, ON, to the neighbouring cities of Kapuskasing, Timmins and Sudbury. The aircraft’s landing back at Sault Ste. Marie marked the end of the debut in-service mission for the PW100-family engine, ubiquitous today in use with regional airlines and special mission aircraft operators around the globe.


By 30 June 2018, Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) had manufactured 9,416 PW100/150 engines for 17 different aircraft applications. Of those engines, 6,876 were active, powering 3,438 aircraft; as a family, the PW100 had flown 189 million hours. Its maintenance requirements are therefore very well understood, with a P&WC spokesperson commenting: “The network of customer service and support we have built around the PW100/PW150 engine family is very mature.


“We have a customer service organisation of some 2,000 P&WC employees strategically located around the world, including more than 200 Field Support Representatives [FSR] and Mobile Repair Team technicians, deployed in the field where our customers need us to be. We also work hard to help our customers get more from their engines. With the improvements made over the past 10 years, the interval between PW100/150 shop visits has doubled to 7,500 hours, creating considerable cost efficiencies for operators.”


Bearing out P&WC’s claims, Stephan Neubach, Head of P&WC Customer Support Engineering at Lufthansa Technik AERO Alzey (LTAA), says that, with careful maintenance, TBO for the PW120A may be extended out to between 8,000 and 9,000 hours, “Depending on environment and customer experience and based on last shop visit and previous workscope.”


Meanwhile, Robert Bertram, Director of Operations and Technical Services at StandardAero’s Summerside, PE, Canada facility, explains his experience with the PW100 family: “Engines operating on hard time generally have an overhaul requirement at 8,000 flight hours, with a hot section inspection scheduled at no more than 4,000 flight hours. Most PW100 operators, however, elect to conform „to the on-condition programme. With careful review of engine condition trend monitoring and routine borescope inspections they can operate at longer intervals between shop maintenance.”

Service delivery


Over more than three decades, P&WC has developed an intimate understanding of the regional airline industry, using its knowledge to develop exceptional levels of tailored customer support and service.


“Our FSRs and Mobile Repair Team Technicians are strategically located around the world,” the company says. “They can be face-to-face with a customer in a matter of a few hours and their support goes well beyond AOG assistance; their tremendous experience enables them to advise on issues including engine maintenance planning and overall fleet performance.


“As a further example of how P&WC’s expertise is helping its customers, we now offer Advisory Services to our regional airline operators. We work closely with them – sometimes even flying in the cabin if it is useful – helping them maximise their engine management, including maintenance.


“We have also developed a suite of services and special offers known as P&WCSMART, designed to address the needs of mature PW100-family engines. It is just one element of our commitment to support operators through the entire lifecycle of their engines.”P&WCSMART and Advisory Services are important additions to P&WC’s Fleet Management Program (FMP), long since offered to regional airlines customers. It includes the offer of Customer Managers and Event Managers who act as the customer’s proxy to tap internal P&WC resources, helping resolve issues quickly and thoroughly.


It also enables effective management and budgeting for PW100-family maintenance, helping them “lock in lower operating costs and simplify fleet operations management”; around seven out of every 10 PW150-family engines are enrolled in an FMP, for example. P&WCSMART aside, can a customer flying a 30-year old PW118 in a Brasilia really expect the same levels of attention from P&WC as a regional operator with a brand new PW150-powered Q400? “Absolutely,” the company says.  “We look at our engine population on a holistic basis and designed a support network and commercial programmes to support all operators.” At the same time though, P&WC acknowledges the differing expectations and needs of customers operating older engines, hence the P&WCSMART programme.


PW100-series customers rely on round-the-clock P&WC support, delivered from two Customer First (CFirst) response centres, one at the manufacturer’s Longueil, QC, global headquarters just south of Montreal and the other in Singapore. “CFirst functions 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and is reachable by telephone or email,”  the spokesperson says. “It is a central support function that coordinates logistics and has rapid
access to the expertise required to resolve virtually any situation.


“We also offer MYP&WC Power, an always-on portal. It is a highly interactive website through which operators can order and pay for parts, technical publications and other services, make warranty claims and track their status, with other functionalities also available.”


When an engine does require work, P&WC boasts a network of eight owned and designated PW100/150 overhaul shops globally. “PW100-family overhaul can be conducted on three continents by some of the world’s most highly trained technicians, with the highest OEM standards observed and only genuine P&WC parts used.” >>

 


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