Aircraft turbine engine monitoring systems: overview and lessons learned from six case studies

by John Birkler, J. R. Nelson

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Reviews the experience gained from several aircraft turbine engine monitoring systems and examines the implications of that experience for recently proposed monitoring systems. Two different approaches to engine monitoring have evolved: (1) Recording a few seconds of engine usage data either at predefined performance windows or when certain engine operating limits are exceeded. (2) Focusing on design-oriented benefits and involves continuous recording of engine usage and performance. This paper reviews six examples of engine monitoring applications using both approaches. The authors believe that maintenance cost savings most often used to justify new monitoring systems are unlikely to materialize over the short term. But the potential benefits of anticipating needed maintenance, helping crews and engineers to better understand engine failure, and verifying that maintenance has been properly performed have substantial value. Unfortunately, none of these potential benefits can be quantified on the basis of experience to date.

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