Garrett offers engine and panel upgrades

 - June 11, 2008, 6:32 AM

Garrett Aviation Services has extended its maintenance-cost-per-hour (MCPH) program to CJ610 turbojet engines on Learjet 20 series aircraft. “Learjet 20 operators can now take advantage of this popular program to help lock in their engine maintenance costs for long-term budgeting,” said Gary Buchanan, program manager of Garrett’s services on GE product lines.

Operators pay a set price per year based on hours-of-use estimates. The program covers both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance as well as rental or loaner equipment. “Now, if any surprises come up, the operator is covered. It’s like a complete maintenance security blanket,” Buchanan said. “They can also take advantage of the new spool rotor upgrade to lower their overall operating and maintenance costs,” he added.

Garrett estimates that approximately 400 Learjet 20 series aircraft are candidates for the spool rotor modernization program, which could as much as double TBOs and earn operators an accordingly lower MCPH rate, leading Buchanan to predict, “This could be the last compressor you’ll ever buy for your engine.”

A new-technology spool rotor replaces a labor-intensive, high-maintenance design. The new eight-stage compressor rotor assembly uses a spool concept and improved materials. The spool rotor is a “drop-in replacement” and allows for individual blade replacement without rotor disassembly.

In addition, GE Aircraft Engines is currently qualifying a new combustion liner expected to at least double liner inspection intervals and ultimate life. Other previously military-qualified hardware such as compressor casings will be added to the CJ610’s parts list as well.

Initial customer for the engine modernization program is the U.S. Air Force, which plans to upgrade 1,200 of its J85 engines (from which the CJ610 is derived). While potential operator cost savings have not been firmly determined, Garrett believes they could be from $85,000 to $180,000 per aircraft.

“This program, especially combined with upgrades like Stage 3 hushkitting and an RVSM installation, can really revitalize an aircraft,” Buchanan said.

Garrett is also introducing avionics upgrades to older bizjets, specifically advanced electronic displays for the Falcon 20 and Gulfstream III. It has installed the first electronic engine instrument (EEI) avionics upgrade package for a Falcon 20, and the first Honeywell Primus Epic flat-panel retrofit displays in a Gulfstream III.

The Falcon 20 installation consists of three 6.4-in. (diagonal) active matrix LCD flat-panel displays from Universal Avionics, stacked vertically in the center panel. The top display shows all engine instrument and master fault panel information, including N1 low-pressure and N2 high-pressure turbine speeds.

The middle display shows systems information for landing gear and flap status, hydraulic systems, control surface positions and cabin temperature and altitude, as well as standby instrument displays. The bottom display accommodates Universal Avionics’ Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS) views in 3-D, map or profile perspectives. It can also be used to display weather graphics.

The aircraft is owned and operated by Acxiom Corp. of Little Rock, Ark.

An STC for the first Honeywell Primus Epic Control Display System/Retrofit (CDS/R) on a Gulfstream III is expected by early next month, pending Honeywell achieving TSO approval.

The Honeywell CDS/R offers three 8- by 10-in., full-color flat-panel displays, ability to interface with both the latest equipment upgrades and existing autopilot and flight director systems and growth capability for future regulatory and air traffic management requirements.

The Garrett installation, performed at the company’s Springfield, Ill. facility, replaced the GIII’s existing standard analog instruments. Flight testing at Springfield began in August.