northseatiger
Posts: 426
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2003 8:29 pm

Fixed Wing Engine Washes

Tue Mar 16, 2004 9:19 am

Hi i'm curious do fixed wing aircraft engines get washed ??, on our helicopters the engines get water washed after every days and a powe recovery wash (chemical) every 30 hrs, now i know this is due to the heavily salt laden environment we fly in, so do fixed wing engines ever get washed and on how regular a basis ?.

Cheers NORTHSEATIGER
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Guest

RE: Fixed Wing Engine Washes

Tue Mar 16, 2004 10:15 am

We wash our piston engines down with Varsol solvent during every 50 hr oil change and every 100hr engine inspection.

Karl
 
northseatiger
Posts: 426
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2003 8:29 pm

RE: Fixed Wing Engine Washes

Tue Mar 16, 2004 10:17 am

Ok but is this an external wash ?? I'm talking gas turbine where we clean the compressor, can you internally was a piston engine ??
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Spacepope
Posts: 3156
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 1999 11:10 am

RE: Fixed Wing Engine Washes

Tue Mar 16, 2004 10:19 am

As the photo below clearly illustrates:

Step 1: Tie yourself to something heavy

Step 2: Start engine

Step 3 Spray away!


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Colin T. Ebert

The last of the famous international playboys
 
northseatiger
Posts: 426
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2003 8:29 pm

RE: Fixed Wing Engine Washes

Tue Mar 16, 2004 10:25 am

OK so what kind of wash is that why are they doing it and how often do they do it ??
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Guest

RE: Fixed Wing Engine Washes

Tue Mar 16, 2004 10:25 am

You usually only clean the insides of a piston engine during tear down (overhaul). Turbine engines are cleaned with a few things, some of them are crushed walnut shells or crushed dried fruit pits, they are sprayed into the front of the engine while it is running and the mild abrasiveness cleans the compressor blades. I also know of a stuff I think is called turbo wash?, it is a liquid that does the same thing, they all make a mess behind the airplane. I have seen a pic of it being done on here once.

Karl
 
Guest

RE: Fixed Wing Engine Washes

Tue Mar 16, 2004 10:27 am

Hey Spacepope found the pic while I was responding. I would guess it is done whenever the crew reports a loss of engine performance.
Karl

[Edited 2004-03-16 02:28:25]
 
northseatiger
Posts: 426
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2003 8:29 pm

RE: Fixed Wing Engine Washes

Tue Mar 16, 2004 10:32 am

Ah so, if the performance goes down you clean it. We do a thermal load check every day and if this fails we do a chem wash, but wash the compressor everyday with water and a chem wash every 30 hours as i stated so fixed wings only get washed if there is a loss of power ??
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dairbus
Posts: 518
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2003 10:45 am

RE: Fixed Wing Engine Washes

Tue Mar 16, 2004 12:46 pm

That's a very cool picture. I thought turbine engines were only cleaned during an overhaul. I never thought they would have some kind of procedure done if mechanics thought it necessary. Is this a common procedure or do only certain operators do it?

OTOH, I have seen helicopter engines cleaned by using a pressurized water fire extinguisher hooked up to a fitting. I visited a helicopter base in Houma, LA several years ago and I saw pilots doing the engine cleaning when coming in from the offshore oil platforms.
"I love mankind. It's people I can't stand." - Charles Shultz
 
avt007
Posts: 1989
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2000 4:51 am

RE: Fixed Wing Engine Washes

Tue Mar 16, 2004 1:34 pm

We used to do the Dash 8s regularly with a desalination wash due to the coastal operation. These are done with the engine running at idle, in feather. The Twin Otters I`m on now do a motoring wash, i.e. using the starter only.
Both are done by pumping in a water/soap mix under pressure.
 
cancidas
Posts: 3985
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:34 am

RE: Fixed Wing Engine Washes

Tue Mar 16, 2004 1:49 pm

why do you think that airline mx stations have cans upon cans of jet-wash on hand?

(i love giving that one to new linemen!)
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
VC-10
Posts: 3546
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 1999 11:34 am

RE: Fixed Wing Engine Washes

Tue Mar 16, 2004 6:34 pm

Generally turbine engines are washed when the EGT trend is climbing towards its limits. During steady state cruise engine parameters are recorded and over time the figs will drift upwards as the engine gets older. Modern a/c will automatically d/load the data while on older a/c the F/E manually records the figures. On some a/c TO data is automatically downloaded.

On the CF6-50 coke granules are used the clean the HPC. The bleeds are turned off engine power set at Flt idle and the granules are fed in over a period of 90 secs.

In addition to normal dirt the CF6 also has another reason for comp wash. The inner walls of the CF6 HP Comp case is sprayed with aluminium during build and the comp blades will cut into this to minimise the tip clearance and thus improve efficiency. Naturally the 'ground off ally' passes down the compressor and it will attach itself to the blades as splatter. After a period of time a comp wash is carried out to remove this splatter.

JT9's & CFM56's are normally washed with warm water but if a deep clean is required a soap solution is used
 
747Teach
Posts: 176
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2000 3:05 am

RE: Fixed Wing Engine Washes

Tue Mar 16, 2004 9:51 pm

Northseatiger: When I worked in the Middle East, we washed our 737 engines on an almost nightly basis, due to the amount of dust in the air. This was a compressor wash, performed by spraying deionized water down the inlet while motoring the engine. And about once a week each engine received a turbine wash in addition to the compressor wash. To do this, we removed the two igniters and installed spray probes into the cavities. These probes were attached to the spray rig, and the water pumped into the combustion area and turbine while motoring the engine. Regards,

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