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Faro
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What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:16 am

In technical terms, why was the engine problematic on the very first 747's in the 1970's and how did P&W remedy this?

Faro
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kimon
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:32 am

There was a booster button/water pump to get it off the ground for extra takeoff power.
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:34 pm



Quoting Faro (Thread starter):
In technical terms, why was the engine problematic on the very first 747's in the 1970's and how did P&W remedy this?

These pages of a Flight International article from 1969 desribes one of the early JT9D problems, where the engine case became sliightly oval causing turbine blades to rub against the engine casing.
http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1969/1969%20-%203200.html
http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1969/1969%20-%203201.html

Although P&W developed a fix, I think it was still a problem during the initial period of 747 service. I think there were other problems also. Even Pan Am's inaugural 747 flight JFK-LHR in January 1970 was delayed about 3 hours when they had to substitute another aircraft for the one planned when the first one developed engine problems.

Not sure if it involved the same problem as the one mentioned in the Flight article, but if memory correct another issue was engine overheating when starting if the wind was blowing in the wrong direction.
 
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747classic
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:52 pm

Quoting Faro (Thread starter):
technical terms, why was the engine problematic on the very first 747's in the 1970's and how did P&W remedy this?

- 1) Under powered ,delivered not enough thrust for the ever increasing MTOW of the 747, to get maximum thrust HP turbine section was operated at limits.
- 2) Very sensitive for tail and X-wind, especially during starting, causing hot starts or stalls.
- 3) Ovalisation of the engine casing during T/O, causing blade rubbing and loss of efficiency.
- 4) In general very stall sensitive during power transitions, don't put the power levers suddenly to idle.
- 5) Damaged HP turbines, caused by failing rivets in blade-retaining plates in early engines.

Remedies :
- 1) Product development, slowly increased thrust from 43.500 lbs, first via addition of water injection in the dash -3A engine. Then further increase possible via improved HP turbine blades in dash 7, 7W, 7A, 7AW, 7F and finally maximum 50.000 lbs in dash 7J with single cristal HP turbine blades with improved cooling. Two improved variants (with different type certificate) with more thrust were developed to counteract the GE and RR engines offered from 1975. First the -70 and -7Q were developed, the final (at last matured) engine was the dash -7R4 series.
- 2) Small improvements made starting not so demanding, but still the engine was/is very tricky to start in tail wind conditions. (valid for all dash -7 versions up to -7J.)
- 3) Was remedied by a thrust yoke, to spread the forces applied between the pylon and engine better.
- 4) Addition of ARS (automatic recovery system) in fact extra (3.5) bleed valves dumping air, when an impending stall condition was sensed. During reverse RABS (reverse actuated bleed system) was built in to release air from the engine in case of impending stall.
- 5) Improved rivets installed.

Sources : Jet and Turbine Aero Engines by Bill Gunston and own experience on 747-200/ JT9D-7(W) aircraft from 1978 till 1991.

[Edited 2010-01-05 13:02:21]
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:07 am



Quoting 747classic (Reply 3):
- 1) Under powered ,delivered not enough thrust for the ever increasing MTOW of the 747, to get maximum thrust HP turbine section was operated at limits.
- 2) Very sensitive for tail and X-wind, especially during starting, causing hot starts or stalls.
- 3) Ovalisation of the engine casing during T/O, causing blade rubbing and loss of efficiency.
- 4) In general very stall sensitive during power transitions, don't put the power levers suddenly to idle.
- 5) Damaged HP turbines, caused by failing rivets in blade-retaining plates in early engines.

Thanx for the detailed reply. The JT9D was very much a pioneering endeavour and in a way it was normal that it had so many problems. Happy thing is (IIRC), none of these problems ever gave rise to accidents.

Faro
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:33 am

I worked for a guy (now retired) who had a framed copy of a memo from 1970. It was from the president of NWA to the president of PW, highly sarcastic, and complained about the fact that stage 1 HPT blades were lasting only 500 hours.

Amazing stuff.
 
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:45 am

The engines were by far the biggest problem with the 747 program. Joe Sutter jokingly asked the P&W guys for a scrapped JT9D to be mounted on a plinth outside his house. The reason? "So I can go out every morning with my gun and shoot the damn thing just to make me feel better".
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:59 pm



Quoting 747classic (Reply 3):
Remedies :

In addition to what you stated, I've read to that Boeing themselves redesigned the engine mounts for the JT9Ds on the early 747's...this was to minimize engine "oval-ization" at high thrust settings. I will try to find out more on this.
 
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:15 pm

Quite. The engine mounts were modified, with bracing struts shaped like an inverted "Y". My book does not specify whether Boeing or P&W did this.
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:52 pm

The inverted Y-shape thrust yoke was actually designed by P&W, after a terrible row between Boeing and P&W about this engine-pylon interface problem. Pratt tried first to blame Boeing for it.
At last Pratt designed it, with help of a Boeing computer program, developed for the stress predictions in the 727 tail-fuselage, to calculate the solution of this JT9D ovalisation problem.

Source : Wide Body, The triumph of the 747 by Clive Irving , page 337 and further.
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Mon Jan 11, 2010 3:22 pm



Quoting Faro (Reply 4):
Thanx for the detailed reply. The JT9D was very much a pioneering endeavour and in a way it was normal that it had so many problems. Happy thing is (IIRC), none of these problems ever gave rise to accidents.

There were several very close calls, however. In Aug 1970, an Air France 747 taking off from Montreal suffered an uncontained engine failure. Rather than dumping fuel, the aircraft's pilots chose to burn off fuel by flying to JFK for an emergency landing. A similar incident, involving an American Airlines 747, took place near SFO in Oct 1970. If either of these uncontained engine failures had resulted in key control lines, or a fuel line, being severed, then there might have been a serious accident.
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:20 am



Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 10):
In Aug 1970, an Air France 747 taking off from Montreal suffered an uncontained engine failure. Rather than dumping fuel, the aircraft's pilots chose to burn off fuel by flying to JFK for an emergency landing.

Is this because it was an outboard engine? Is this standard operating procedure in such cases?

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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:23 am

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 10):
There were several very close calls, however. In Aug 1970, an Air France 747 taking off from Montreal suffered an uncontained engine failure. Rather than dumping fuel, the aircraft's pilots chose to burn off fuel by flying to JFK for an emergency landing.

Fully correct,
To be exact, it was 747-128 F-BPVD , scheduled from Chicago (ORD) to Paris Orly (ORY), with an intermediate stop in Montreal Dorval (YUL). During Climb out from Montreal engine #3 had an uncontained engine failure and the aircraft diverted to New York (JFK) on Aug-17-1970, see :

www.airdisaster.com/reports/ntsb/AAR70-26.pdf

The Flight crew decided not to dump fuel in view of uncertainty about the damage, caused by the engine (not visible good enough from the cabin.) and decided to burn off the fuel and diverted to JFK (better engine change and structural repair possibilities ?)

IMO it would also have been possible to dump fuel from the left hand side dump pipe only. (reduced dump rate), but the report doesn't mention any vibrations or other problems after the incident, so diverting to JFK was a perfect possibility and the crew decided not to pressurize the dump system.

The cause of the engine failure was a total separation of the second-stage turbine disk outer rim, which ruptured the engine high-pressure turbine case, and caused massive deformation of the adjacent engine structure. After investigation it showed that the disk and rim were not properly assembled at the P&W shop after modification of the rivets in the first turbine stage (one of the weak points of early engines as mentioned before) and other modifications at the second stage.

[Edited 2010-01-13 03:27:15]

[Edited 2010-01-13 03:46:59]
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:38 pm



Quoting 747classic (Reply 3):
747classic

Wow. Any comment after that is going to be a bit close to the "Apart from that Mrs Lincoln, did you enjoy the play".

My first 747 was a BA flight to Chicago in Sept 1970 and we went over Greenland in glorious weather so watching the ice took my mind off #3 and #4 that were all too clearly visible out of the window and I was aware that the engines were not quite, well, er mature!!
 
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:53 pm



Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 10):
A similar incident, involving an American Airlines 747, took place near SFO in Oct 1970.

I did some research in this accident.
It happened at Sept-18-1970 with a 747-121 (PAA) operated by AA with registration N743PA.
The whole story is mentioned here :
www.airdisaster.com/reports/ntsb/AAR71-07.pdf

Most striking is the amount of engine failures that happened in those pioneering years.
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:34 pm



Quoting 747classic (Reply 14):
Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 10):
A similar incident, involving an American Airlines 747, took place near SFO in Oct 1970.

I did some research in this accident.
It happened at Sept-18-1970 with a 747-121 (PAA) operated by AA with registration N743PA.
The whole story is mentioned here :
www.airdisaster.com/reports/ntsb/AAR...7.pdf

Thank you for finding the NTSB report for this incident.

It's scary to read that at one point flames were burning above the wing from the failed engine. The crew did a remarkable job of landing this aircraft safely, because of the damage to the 747's hydraulic system.
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:26 am

Slightly off topic but remember early 747's also blowing a lot of tires on landings till the manufacturers redesigned tires...also 747 landing gears redesigned 9x...j
 
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:26 am



Quoting Soon7x7 (Reply 16):
Slightly off topic but remember early 747's also blowing a lot of tires on landings till the manufacturers redesigned tires...also 747 landing gears redesigned 9x...j

I do not know if it was an old pilots tale but I remember that the story went that Boeing was doing a demo flight for a prospective customer when on take off one the the wheel assemblies fell off and bounced down the runway.

Okie
 
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:35 am



Quoting Okie (Reply 17):

I heard that one as well...even happened at MDW with a WN and the tire blew through the wall hitting a car...747's sure had their growing pains...but what a reliable ship she turned out to be...thats why I believe after a slow start in sales the 747-8 will take off...I read 8 have been ordered for private use already and 12 787's...j
 
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:19 am

For how long did PW have exclusivity on the 747?

What other planes used the JT9D? I can think of the DC-10-40 and early 767's for two.
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:45 am

Quoting Brons2 (Reply 19):
For how long did PW have exclusivity on the 747?

The first 747 aircraft flown, with other than P&W engines installed, was the prototype 747 flown re-engined with 51.000 lbs. General Electric CF6-50D engines with a first flight on 26 June 1973.

The first re-engined military 747 was the third E4A, serial number 20684, L/N 232, registration 74-0787, first flight at 06 June 1974, was handed over to the USAF at 15 Oct. 1974 with 52.500 lbs.General Electric CF6-50E engines.

The first military new built 747 was a E-4B, serial number 20949, L/N 257, registration 75-0125, first flight at 29-April-1975 with CF6-50E engines.

The first civil 747 was a KLM 747-206B, serial number 21110, L/N 271, registration PH-BUH, first flight at 19-Okt-1975 also with GE CF6-50E engines.

The first RR powered 747 was a BA 747-236, serial number 21238, L/N 292, registration G-BDXA, first flight at 03-Sept-1976 with 50.000 lbs. RB211-524 engines

Quoting Brons2 (Reply 19):
What other planes used the JT9D? I can think of the DC-10-40 and early 767's for two.

Correct and also A300-B4-620 and A310-200/300 aircraft used JT9D-7R4 engines.

Sources : Boeing, 747 Design and Developement since 1969 by Guy Norris and Mark Wagner
747 and A300/310 TCDS

[Edited 2010-01-14 00:47:58]
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:01 pm

Quoting Brons2 (Reply 19):
What other planes used the JT9D? I can think of the DC-10-40 and early 767's for two.

To answer your question :

A300B4-620-----JT9D-7R4H1---56.000 lbs. max. T/O thrust
A310-221---------JT9D-7R4D-----48.000
A310-222---------JT9D-7R4E1---50.000
A310-322---------JT9D-7R4E1---50.000
B767-200/300---JT9D-7R4D-----48.000
B767-200/300---JT9D-7R4E-----50.000
B767-200/300---JT9D-7R4E4---50.000
DC10-40----------JT-9D-20(W)----44.500 (47.500 with water injection)
DC10-40----------JT9D-20J--------50.000
DC10-40----------JT-9D-59A-------51.720

[Edited 2010-01-14 05:05:13]
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:17 am

Quoting Brons2 (Reply 19):
What other planes used the JT9D?

In addition to 747classic's reply #21:

A300B2-320.........JT9D-59A
Only 4 built in 1979 - 1980 and delivered to SAS. Three years old they were all modified to B4-120 standard with center fuel tank and other upgrades.
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:00 am

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 22):
Quoting Brons2 (Reply 19):
What other planes used the JT9D?

In addition to 747classic's reply #21:

A300B2-320.........JT9D-59A
Only 4 built in 1979 - 1980 and delivered to SAS. Three years old they were all modified to B4-120 standard with center fuel tank and other upgrades.

How did you happen to find this 6-year-old thread to resurrect it? I wish people would mention that when they bring old threads back to life so you don't start reading it fro the beginning again before realizing it's years old.
 
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:23 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 23):
How did you happen to find this 6-year-old thread to resurrect it? I wish people would mention that when they bring old threads back to life so you don't start reading it fro the beginning again before realizing it's years old.

I'd be happy you even realized it !



It all looked new to me..
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:54 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 23):
How did you happen to find this 6-year-old thread to resurrect it?

I think it's getting mentions in the various a320neo threads since the common factor is Pratt not being able to deliver engines. TLS/XFW starting to look like PAE in the early 747 days! 
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 23):
I wish people would mention that when they bring old threads back to life so you don't start reading it fro the beginning again before realizing it's years old.

But if you read from the start you won't see such a notice!  
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:08 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 24):
It all looked new to me..

I was reading it as new thread(well it was to me anyway!) until reply 13 from Baroque, much intelligence and significant humour disappeared from these forums when he left us.
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:42 pm

The History Channel did a documentary. Even the part where they had a PW Official on a flight and purposely flamed 2 engines...The PW dude had enough.....
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:40 am

Quoting stealthz (Reply 26):
I was reading it as new thread(well it was to me anyway!) until reply 13 from Baroque, much intelligence and significant humour disappeared from these forums when he left us.

Yes, a lot of great contributors have gone the same way sadly
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:47 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 23):
How did you happen to find this 6-year-old thread to resurrect it?

Yeah, relevant question.

It was linked in the 320npe thread, and I didn't notice that it was six years old. I read it as a new thread, and noticed that the information given was slightly incomplete.
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RE: What Exactly Was The Problem With Early JT9D-3's?

Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:26 am

Quoting stealthz (Reply 26):
I was reading it as new thread(well it was to me anyway!) until reply 13 from Baroque, much intelligence and significant humour disappeared from these forums when he left us.
Quoting Max Q (Reply 28):
Yes, a lot of great contributors have gone the same way sadly

Amen to this comments, but fortunately we can reread them and enjoy great info and first hand experiences on Aviation history.

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