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Wynnster8
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What does it take for an airline to change an aircraft engine type?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:39 am

What would be involved in changing an aircraft engine from one type to another?

Example: Rolls Royce Trent 900 to Engine Alliance GP7270







Thanks!
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MO11
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Re: What does it take for an airline to change an aircraft engine type?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:04 am

Do you mean in existing airplanes or for future orders/deliveries of the same type?
 
Boof02671
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Re: What does it take for an airline to change an aircraft engine type?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:18 am

Can’t change an engine type on a plane that’s already engined as the pylons, and other hardware and software are totally different.
 
planecane
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Re: What does it take for an airline to change an aircraft engine type?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:36 am

Boof02671 wrote:
Can’t change an engine type on a plane that’s already engined as the pylons, and other hardware and software are totally different.



787 can be done I think. Just not the easy swap first envisioned.
 
jetblueguy22
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Re: What does it take for an airline to change an aircraft engine type?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:44 am

Boof02671 wrote:
Can’t change an engine type on a plane that’s already engined as the pylons, and other hardware and software are totally different.

Sure you can. You just have to pony up enough money to where it becomes uneconomical.
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Boof02671
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Re: What does it take for an airline to change an aircraft engine type?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:39 am

planecane wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
Can’t change an engine type on a plane that’s already engined as the pylons, and other hardware and software are totally different.



787 can be done I think. Just not the easy swap first envisioned.

Not true, Boeing never made the universal pylon.
 
CanadianNorth
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Re: What does it take for an airline to change an aircraft engine type?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:23 am

jetblueguy22 wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
Can’t change an engine type on a plane that’s already engined as the pylons, and other hardware and software are totally different.

Sure you can. You just have to pony up enough money to where it becomes uneconomical.


Yes. My experience has been you can actually do quite a lot with your airplane if you're willing to through enough money at it, however there is usually a point (often fairly early on in the process) where it would be cheaper to instead just go out and buy a different aircraft that already has what you want.

In this case it would typically involve removing the engines, changing the mounting structure, re-arranging all the ducting/wiring/plumbing/etc., changing some computer boxes in the avionics compartment, changing the engine instrumentation, installing the new engines, updating all of the manuals and such, depending on how different the engines are you may need to make changes to the airframe and/or flight controls to handle extra power, and of course getting it all approved by TC or whatever equivalent you have in your country. It's certainly doable, example many Turbo Beavers started life with an R-985 and now have a PT6 instead, but its big $$ to do it.
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YIMBY
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Re: What does it take for an airline to change an aircraft engine type?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:04 am

Wynnster8 wrote:
What would be involved in changing an aircraft engine from one type to another?

Example: Rolls Royce Trent 900 to Engine Alliance GP7270
Thanks!


Typically a dictator or alike to tell you to do so and to arrange the required (probably insufficient) resources.
 
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PM
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Re: What does it take for an airline to change an aircraft engine type?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:47 am

Technically, it can be done. But very, very seldom do airlines do it.

Two of the earliest A380s (MSN 4 and 7) first flew with RR and were then converted to EA.

A330 MSN 12 first flew with GE but was then converted to RR.

The first ever 777 flew with PW but was then converted to RR.

But these were cases of the manufacturers bearing the cost of switching, not airlines.
 
Carmitage
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Re: What does it take for an airline to change an aircraft engine type?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:58 am

OR - is this question about what would it take for an airline to change engine manufacturer for its next order?
In that case, it is usually underperformance of the existing engine/not feeling the love from the OEM and/or the other engine OEM REALLY wanting the business. Emirates switching to RR from EA was probably the latter (especially in hindsight)

One thing worth noting is that under Long Term Service Agreements, the cost of switching is presumably much less - the whole maintenance/records etc is simply hived off to the new engine OEM
 
AirwayBill
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Re: What does it take for an airline to change an aircraft engine type?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:14 am

Theorically possible. Cathay got their early 333 prototypes delivered after a GE -> RR engine swap (these 28yo frames are still flying at KA btw). But the engine change was made by Airbus as it was part of the A330 test program.
Now it is a very costly measure for an airline, and it usually never happens, as the economical burden would by very far outweigh the advantages of engine commonality.
 
mmo
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Re: What does it take for an airline to change an aircraft engine type?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:15 am

Just a little tidbit, NW purchased some white tail freighters which were powered by the JT9-7R4G. In the context of their route structure, you really didn't need an R powered freighter. NW approached Boeing and the FAA and got approval to swap some Q engines (2 ship sets) to some low time 200B pax aircraft. IIRC, NW had to obtain an STC to accomplish the swap but it was a matter of swapping the engines and pylons. The cost savings and increase in payload and ability to use the R powered pax aircraft on lucrative routes made the swap worthwhile. I was told the cost was about $10.000/pylon/aircraft.
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TC957
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Re: What does it take for an airline to change an aircraft engine type?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:33 am

If the OP refers to new orders of the same type as already in service but with engines from a different manufacturer, then I'd suggest delivery availability can play a part, performance of the engine type already in service, future performance guarantees of the new engine type, and lots of $$$ in the right pockets all play a part in the decision process.
The Chinese big 3 seem to take new A320 series with whatever engine they can get !
 
RB211trent
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Re: What does it take for an airline to change an aircraft engine type?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:13 am

Don’t forget the 727QF re-engined with RR Tays for UPS by Dee Howard I believe
 
peterinlisbon
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Re: What does it take for an airline to change an aircraft engine type?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:37 am

How about just swapping the outer two engines to IA and leaving the inner two as RR? That way you have the best of both worlds.
 
citationjet
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Re: What does it take for an airline to change an aircraft engine type?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:10 pm

What about the engine change on the DC8 from 60 series to 70 series?
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Spacepope
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Re: What does it take for an airline to change an aircraft engine type?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:16 pm

Boof02671 wrote:
planecane wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
Can’t change an engine type on a plane that’s already engined as the pylons, and other hardware and software are totally different.



787 can be done I think. Just not the easy swap first envisioned.

Not true, Boeing never made the universal pylon.


True, but from what's been posted on the past on A.net, it could still be done by replacing the pylon at the wing. Much more expensive and I doubt we'll see any operator actually do it. The only conversion we've seen recently is 777 LN 1 getting a completely new engine manufacturer between testing and eventual airline delivery.
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