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

by John Birkler, J. R. Nelson

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback34 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

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.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.