Aircraft Turbine Engine Monitoring Experience

Implications for the F100 Engine Diagnostic System Program

by John Birkler, J. R. Nelson


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A briefing report examining experience gained from six aircraft turbine engine monitoring system case studies and their implications for the F100 Engine Diagnostic System (EDS) under development for the F-15 and F-16 aircraft. Emphasis is on the substance of the EDS program, how it relates to previous engine monitoring experience, and some policy options. Two case studies are presented in detail: the U.S. T-38 Engine Health Monitoring System and the British Engine Usage Monitoring System. Conclusions are: (1) Experience does not warrant optimistic near-term cost reduction. (2) The flight-test plan, as currently designed (October 1978), is unlikely to yield conclusive evidence on the value of the EDS. (3) The present scope of the EDS omits valuable long-term design feedback and potential improvement to testing cycles. Recommendations are: (1) Develop a phased implementation schedule. (2) Provide a continuous recording option. (3) Revise the life-cycle analysis to reflect more completely the costs and benefits of the EDS relative to both aircraft and engine.

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