Recently, the Duncan Aviation Turbine Engine Maintenance Facility delivered a Honeywell TFE731-2-2B engine from a CZI (Core Zone Inspection) in 19 days. This impressive downtime was only made possible through the use of available parts from Duncan Aviation’s reclaimed engine parts inventory.
Scott Stoki, Engine Shop Manager, says the typical delivery time for a major inspection like the CZI is 30 days. “The timing was right for this event. All the parts that squawked were available in our engine parts inventory.”
There are more than 1,000 parts in a TFE731 engine that require inspection, and with aging engines like the 731-2, operators can expect a fair amount will need to be replaced.
Chelsea Ortiz, Engine Parts Reclamation Program Coordinator, says the available inventory is constantly changing. “Several parts go in and out of the warehouse every day. So it can fluctuate from hour to hour.”
As soon as a sales quote is approved by the customer, it is noted in the system. The available parts are pulled from inventory and held for that customer’s event. The more in-demand parts are often sold before they hit the shelves.
“The demand for reclaimed Honeywell TFE731 engine parts is strong,” says Chelsea. “We are continually adding engines to our reclamation and recycling process.”
At any given time, there are on average 12 Honeywell TFE731-2 and -3 engines in the process of a complete teardown. Chelsea manages the process from purchase, quote, receiving, tear down, inspection, and recertification with the support of the engine shop. All parts are returned to service with a signed Duncan Aviation FAA 8130-3 and EASA dual-release tag.
Since taking over the program in 2019, Chelsea has seen the available Duncan Aviation reclaimed engine inventory increase by nearly 200% and sales of reclaimed parts by more than 500%.
Nearly all of the reclaimed parts inventory is exclusively used to support Duncan Aviation’s customers whose engines are in-house for inspection or being supported by the Duncan Aviation RRT (Rapid Response Teams) in the field.
Real value can be found in reclaimed engine parts. Not only can they reduce inspection downtime, but they are a lower-cost alternative that allows aging aircraft to continue to provide valuable flight services to operators and companies.
The environmental impact associated with new aviation manufacturing is significant. Aircraft engine parts are made out of exotic metal alloys such as titanium, Waspaloy, Hastelloy, and Inconel. The entire aviation industry (commercial, business, and general aviation) relies on these rare metals because they can withstand high heat and have the strength-to-weight ratio necessary for flight. Because the supply of these limited resources is dwindling and becoming rarer, the cost of the parts is rising significantly.
Reclaiming good, serviceable engine parts and reintroducing them back into service is recycling at its very best. No more precious metals are removed from the earth, and very little, if any, machining or chemical applications are necessary to return these parts to service in another engine.
With Duncan Aviation’s Engine Parts Reclamation Program, 75 percent of each engine’s parts are reclaimed and recycled. This process, on many levels, significantly lowers environmental impact.