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LoganTheBogan
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How does an airline buy older generation engines for replacements?

Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:19 am

Gday folks!

I've always wondered how airlines buy replacement engines and parts for aircraft that are discontinued. An example that comes to mind is the A340. With the aircraft no longer in production, how do airlines such as SAA and Iberia source parts for the Rolls Royce Trent 500 and CFM 56 engines? I understand that the CFM56 is still available but is the A340 variant still available? Obviously the A340 isn't the only aircraft in this situation so it would be great to hear what you people have to say!


Thanks :)
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
 
VSMUT
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Re: How does an airline buy older generation engines for replacements?

Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:54 am

LoganTheBogan wrote:
Gday folks!

I've always wondered how airlines buy replacement engines and parts for aircraft that are discontinued. An example that comes to mind is the A340. With the aircraft no longer in production, how do airlines such as SAA and Iberia source parts for the Rolls Royce Trent 500 and CFM 56 engines? I understand that the CFM56 is still available but is the A340 variant still available? Obviously the A340 isn't the only aircraft in this situation so it would be great to hear what you people have to say!


Thanks :)


Engines are more or less hand-made, and even very old engines are kept in production as long as the manufacturer deems it profitable (ie, is there a big enough demand?). Given that the A340-200/300 only use variants of the CFM-56, I would say that you are going to be able to order new engines for that type for a long time to go.
 
ei146
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Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:54 pm

Re: How does an airline buy older generation engines for replacements?

Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:20 am

On Ice Pilots I always liked it when Joe McBrian went somewhere to look at planes to buy. In the end he rummages through warehouses of other airlines and flys home with a plane load of space parts, saving them from the scrap yard. :smile:
 
Dalmd88
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Re: How does an airline buy older generation engines for replacements?

Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:19 pm

They don't buy 'new' engines. The old ones just get overhauled. The overhaul process essentially creates a 'new' engine. The individual parts for most motors are out on the market for purchase as either new or repaired parts. As fleets of engines get smaller the spares market gets tighter and more expensive. Eventually it comes to be uneconomical to overhaul that type of engine.

The V2500-D5 is an example of this. It only is on the MD90. The parts chain for the small fleet has driven the overhaul costs into the range of more than the engine cost new, I've heard about $6M each. You can still get the work done, but you would never get a return on those kinds of costs. Other threads have talked about this being the death of the MD90.
 
Redbellyguppy
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Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:57 am

Re: How does an airline buy older generation engines for replacements?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:52 am

I heard a story that perhaps someone here can corroborate, that all of the dc9 engines at NWA were actually engines formerly on united 732s that got parked after 9/11 and had that many fewer hours on them because of that...
 
timz
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Re: How does an airline buy older generation engines for replacements?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:01 am

I once read that P&W quit making new engines (R-975s?) for the Beech 18 around 1953-- but the plane was built until 1969.
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: How does an airline buy older generation engines for replacements?

Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:44 am

The parts business is often more profitable for the engine manufacturer than making the new engine. The engine companies maintain significant part inventories. There are various contract options that airlines get that cover overhaul and parts. Production continues on spare parts for a very long time.

The challenge is right at the end of the life for an engine. A third party like Aviall may buy the inventory, but it can be hard to source parts for a CF5-50 or 80A for example. Most of the parts on the market will be used and overhauled and are of varying quality. It can get very difficult to source the engine controls for the vintage engines since they don't really make many of those components any more in any industry.
 
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thefactorypilot
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Re: How does an airline buy older generation engines for replacements?

Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:37 pm

Newbiepilot wrote:
The parts business is often more profitable for the engine manufacturer than making the new engine. The engine companies maintain significant part inventories. There are various contract options that airlines get that cover overhaul and parts. Production continues on spare parts for a very long time.

The challenge is right at the end of the life for an engine. A third party like Aviall may buy the inventory, but it can be hard to source parts for a CF5-50 or 80A for example. Most of the parts on the market will be used and overhauled and are of varying quality. It can get very difficult to source the engine controls for the vintage engines since they don't really make many of those components any more in any industry.

These days engine makers are selling at an initial loss , but the contract has them making the profit on spares, overhauls, and parts through the life of the engine.
 
WPvsMW
Posts: 514
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:30 pm

Re: How does an airline buy older generation engines for replacements?

Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:15 pm

thefactorypilot wrote:
These days engine makers are selling at an initial loss , but the contract has them making the profit on spares, overhauls, and parts through the life of the engine.


Which makes PW's PW1000 experience all the more painful.
 
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Channex757
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Re: How does an airline buy older generation engines for replacements?

Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:42 pm

Sometimes other companies will make replacement parts too. One example is Pratt and Whitney making some of the more commonly used spare parts for the CFM56-3B/C engines used on the 737 Classics. They are done using manufacturer patterns and are fully approved for usage.

As for buying used parts and even full engines, parts brokers will also come into play or even lessors who have excess inventory. An MRO company will have a procurement office who specialise in finding the right parts for the contract with the right papers and hopefully at the right price too. Airlines that do their own work will also build up spares inventory quietly to ensure they pay the right money.

Global computer systems have helped with this work for some years now as parts can be offered online and delivered as needed.

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