GE Beacon Mobile App – Aviation Support At Your Fingertips
At the 2012 NBAA tradeshow, GE launched its first mobile app, GE Beacon.* GE Beacon is a free digital concierge service for business aviation customers, offering one-touch service and support – anywhere, anytime. Customers can “activate a beacon” to respond to a service inquiry, aircraft on ground situation or sales request, and a GE representative will contact them directly to assist with their need. The app also features a built-in GPS locator to automatically pinpoint your exact location, providing for faster and more efficient service at the touch of a button. The built-in contact directory eliminates the need for customers to maintain up-to-date contact lists or keep track of 1-800 numbers, simplifying access to the resources you need.
The GE Beacon app had over 275 downloads in the first two months. Since the launch, we have received great feedback from Bombardier Challenger CF34* engine customers. Some of the comments we received were, “I love this” and “This app really hit the mark. I got a call within 5 minutes.”
GE Beacon is available for free download on the iTunes App Store and is also accessible at http://gebeacon.com for Android and Blackberry devices. For more information, visit http://geaviation.com/ge-beacon.
If you have not yet tried it, download it today! And, if you rate it in the iTunes App store, we will send you a GE Beacon polo shirt. But hurry — the shirts are going fast!
BizJet “Customer Community” To Launch in 2013
The BizJet team at GE Aviation continually strives to provide the very best digital solutions for our Business & General Aviation customers. The Beacon Mobile App is just the first milestone on our journey. Our next endeavor will be to launch a “customer community” inside the Customer Web Center (CWC) that will allow our customers to share experiences and best practices, collaborate about non-safety, technical topics and discuss operational challenges. Beta testing of the Customer Community is now underway as we collaborate with select customers to refine available content; please contact Jennifer Ratica at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in participating in testing. Stay tuned for the official launch of the Customer Community to come later in 2013.
SERVICE CENTER SPOTLIGHT:
West Star Aviation
West Star Aviation is proud to announce that its East Alton (ALN) facility has joined GE’s Authorized Service Center Network. Under this agreement, West Star Aviation can perform engine line maintenance, as well as provide OnPointSM solution agreement and warranty support and facilitate access to both GE parts and technical support.
In addition to ALN, West Star’s Grand Junction (GJT) facility has been a GE Authorized Service Center for more than six years. In just the last year, the site has dedicated more than 30,000 labor hours to the Challenger product line.
The agreement allows West Star to provide all levels of line maintenance inspections, routine installed engine maintenance, removal and reinstallation of engines and external engine components. In addition, the facilities will have access to all related parts and products manufactured or approved by GE.
“By adding another facility as a GE Service Center, we are able to provide huge benefits and broader service offerings to our current customers and a whole new group of potential customers,” said George Laiten, Director of Bombardier Programs at West Star Aviation. “West Star strives to provide expert service, while providing our customers with cost saving options; this service agreement allows us another way to give our customers both.
In addition to recently being named a GE Authorized Service Center, the ALN location continues to focus on and expand its Bombardier program. Most recently, West Star hired nine new employees to maintain and expand this program. This team has an average of more than 12 years of corporate aviation experience, with six of the nine employees having 10 or more years of Bombardier experience.
West Star Aviation, Inc. specializes in the repair and maintenance of airframes, windows and engines, as well as major modifications, avionics installation and repair, interior refurbishment, surplus avionics sales, accessory services, paint and parts.
In addition to its facilities in East Alton, IL; Grand Junction, CO; Columbia, SC; and Dallas, TX, West Star Aviation runs the maintenance operations at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport in Aspen, CO and at Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield, MO. The company also provides complete FBO services for transient aircraft at its newly remodeled East Alton and Grand Junction facilities. West Star Aviation, Inc. is an industry leader in technical experience and expertise while providing world-class customer services in all the organization’s divisions. For more information visit http://www.weststaraviation.com or call 800-922-2421.
Bringing CF34 Line Maintenance Training To You
In November 2012, Aero-Dienst, a GE Authorized Service Center in Nuremburg, Germany, hosted a training course on CF34 business jet line maintenance and borescope inspection. About 15 customers attended the class led by Greg Bryan, GE Training Manager. The session was very interactive, and included hands-on training for various maintenance tasks. The course was a great opportunity for customers and service providers in Europe to get personalized training near their home base, as well as to practice specialized maintenance tasks and share tips with colleagues.
Thank you to Andrea Weyrich from Aero-Dienst and GE’s Andy Pierson and Chad Harris for making the training possible.
We will be scheduling additional on-site training classes in 2013. Please let us know if there is a need in your region. Contact your local Field Service Representative or the BizJet Operations Center at email@example.com.
FLIGHT OPS SPOTLIGHT:
Making Sense Out of a CF34-3 AFM Engine Caution Statement
The Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) and base Flight Crew Operating Manual (FCOM) are derived from many documents prior to aircraft certification. Flight test pilots or their equivalents typically write the AFM and FCOM for an aircraft manufacturer. As you can imagine, the pilots derive their draft manuals from multiple sources of information. Included in those resources are the engine manufacturer’s Specific Operating Instructions, or SOIs, for the engines. The SOIs for the GE family of “engine projects” are written by the GE Aviation Flight Operations Support pilots.
The basis of these documents comes from multiple sources, which include engineering design data, regulatory guidance, past-practice SOI procedures and our own pilot experience as well. The FAA-approved SOIs form the basis of the Normal, Abnormal and Emergency procedures, as well as the Warnings, Cautions and Notes statements of the AFM and FCOM with regard to engine operations. A pilot operating a GE-powered aircraft would be surprised at the “simplistic read” the SOIs provide. The documents by title design are “specific” in their guidance or instructions, but are limited to the engines only. An engine start procedure, for example, discusses only the basics of starting the engines, i.e. electrical power (source), fuel source and selection, throttle or thrust lever position, starter engagement, N1 setting and parameter limitations. The airframe OEM test pilots then compose the “complete” aircraft starting procedure” by assembling the entire aircraft system architecture instructions into one document that becomes, in this case, the “Engine Start Procedures” checklist in the AFM.
In time, revisions are added with experience and testing to form the basis of “Warnings, Cautions and Notes” statements. Whereas the procedural SOI steps remain distinct, statements that are added as “Warnings, Cautions and Notes” are provided to clarify a procedure. FAA, ICAO and regulatory authority documents define the meaning of these statements. Definitions are also typically found in the preamble or glossary of an AFM.
As the proponent of the SOIs at GE Aviation, our Flight Ops team often receives requests for clarification of engine-related procedures or statements. We typically work directly with the airframe test, customer support and liaison pilots to resolve any inquiries about operational engine matters. We highly encourage pilots and operators to contact us directly at GE Flight Operations Support with questions as they arise.
An example of a recent operational question comes from Challenger (601, 604, 605 & 850) and CRJ 100/200 flight crews. We’ve had several inquiries requesting clarification of the following “Caution” statement, which immediately follows the “After Starting Engines” section of the Normal Procedures checklist. The page and paragraph numbers are omitted for clarity since current manuals are not harmonized as of yet between all aircraft series powered by the CF34-3.
“After Starting Engines” Caution Statement
The first question from flight crews is regarding the delineation of the temperature range in the Caution Statement above. Crews have asked if the statement is correct, advising not to accelerate the engine above idle if the temperature is above -20° C (-4° F). As stated, the wording is correct. By above -20° C (-4° F), the manual is inferring a “sequentially warmer” temperature i.e. -19° C, -18° C, -17° C, etc. At first glance, a pilot might infer that the statement means a “numerically higher” temperature. The statement is in fact referring to a “warmer” temperature – above -20° C (-4° F).
The second question is regarding the technical reason behind this Caution Statement. The basis of the note is not typically found in our initial or recurrent systems knowledge training. This information rather is found in the aircraft maintenance manual (AMM) and engine maintenance manual (EMM) and is based on understanding the Main Fuel Control (MFC) operation. On the CF34-3 series engines, the MFC contains a governing system. The primary function of the MFC governing system is to control the compressor rotor speed (N2) versus a function of the power lever angle (PLA) as selected by the pilot via the thrust levers. For any given PLA, the MFC governing system controls the metering valve position, and hence, the fuel to the combustion chamber. When the governing process is performing to schedule, the actual N2 always equals the desired N2.
For a given temperature and pressure altitude there is an “Idle Speed Floor” that corresponds to a range above 57% N2. This is the lowest idle setting that the “Idle Speed System” within the MFC is set to maintain core RPM under the coldest conditions. 57% N2 is actually a mechanical limit within the MFC. Above the “Idle Speed Floor” there are “Idle Speed Limits” based upon OAT and N2. Minimum and maximum idle limits above 57% N2 are established in the EMM to further determine if the engine is operating according to the proper fuel flow schedule.
This leads us to the question as to why the Caution Statement referenced earlier advises us not to accelerate above idle if N2 is below 57% and OAT is above -20° C (-4° F). In some AFMs the Caution statement contains the caveat from the original SOI wording that “compressor damage may result” if the engine is accelerated above idle (in temperatures above -20° C [-4° F]).
The understanding of the Caution Statement wording lies in a slightly deeper level of system knowledge. The CF34-3 incorporates a variable geometry (VG) system that actuates both the inlet guide and variable compressor stator vanes. The VG system controls the amount of airflow through the high pressure compressor (HPC) by altering the stator vane geometry (position) in the compressor air stream. This ensures the proper amount of airflow at a given OAT and engine speed based upon pilot requested thrust lever (PLA) setting. This optimizes compressor performance, prevents compressor stalls and surges at lower power settings. Efficiency of the airflow within the compressor is key to how well the engine performs.
If the N2 is below 57% and OAT is above -20° C (-4° F), this is an indication to the pilot that the MFC is not maintaining the idle fuel flow according to the proper performance schedule. In this case, if the engine is accelerated above idle the airflow guided by the VG system and controlled by the MFC may not follow its designed schedule. Off scheduled air operating at high temperatures and pressures may cause stress to the compressor vanes, possibly damaging the compressor as a result.
The importance of this technical knowledge is to recognize that the Caution Statement reflects an abnormal engine operating condition that may result in engine damage if not heeded. If as a pilot you discover that N2 is below 57% and OAT is above -20° C (-4° F) when the engine is at idle, shut the engine down and notify maintenance of the discrepancy. Remember 57% N2 is a physical, mechanical design limit, any N2 indication below that represents a setting outside of design specifications. Operation outside of these parameters indicates that there is an abnormality within the engine control system that maintenance must address before further flight.
Further information can be found by referring to Figures 111 “Idle Speed Limits” 116 “N1 and N2 vs. PLA” which is found in the 72-00-00 “Idle Speed Problems” in the EMM (SEI-576). Please contact us if you have any further questions about the operation of GE engines on your aircraft. Until next time, FLY SAFE!
CF700 Engine Hush Kit Modification
As a result of the FAA Modernization Act passed in 2012, GE worked with Noise Reduction Engineering (NRE) to develop a modification for CF700 engines to make them compliant with noise requirements defined in FAR 36 Stage III, and ICAO Annex16 Chapter III. Introduced through SB (CF700) 73-153, this modification incorporates a new fan exit guide vane assembly. The increased number of exit guide vanes in the new assembly allowed the aircraft to meet FAR 36 Stage III noise requirements.
NRE holds the rights to the CF700 Hush Kit modification. The new part can only be procured through NRE, as identified in the IPC, PSD 644, and PFR CJ/CF-9028. NRE ownership recently transferred to Kalitta Turbines. The new NRE contact information is:
Noise Reduction Engineering
2850 Tyler Road
Ypsilanti, Michigan 48198
Customers are advised to direct any Hush Kit related technical or procurement questions to NRE.
SERVICE TEAM SPOTLIGHT:
Mike Long is our resident Customer Support Manager based in Cincinnati, Ohio supporting Challenger / CF34 customers. Mike provides support to Service Centers and the world fleet of Challenger business jet customers. In his 32 years with GE, Mike has held positions in manufacturing, sourcing and customer and product support. Mike enjoys running and canoeing and is a collector of motorcycles and convertibles. He spends the warm summer days boating as much as possible.
Mike takes pride in working with his customers at a personal level. Please feel free to contact him at any time: firstname.lastname@example.org.
LEAP Into the Future:
BBJ Max & LEAP Update
Boeing has announced its new business jets, the BBJ MAX 8 and BBJ Max 9. These business jets will be the next generation aircraft in the very successful 737 BBJ series.
CFM International’s* LEAP* engine, which is currently in development, will power the new MAX 8 and MAX 9. The MAX is expected to enter into service in 2017. The LEAP advantage is to bring enhanced range through greater specific fuel consumption. The LEAP-powered MAX 8 will have 14.6% better range over the BBJ2, from 5320 nm to 6320 nm. As for the LEAP powered MAX 9, it will have 16.2% better range than the BBJ3, 5380 nm to 6255 nm.
GE Acquires Austin Digital, Strengthens Services Offerings
In July 2012, GE Aviation acquired Austin Digital, a privately owned, Texas-based supplier of flight operations data analysis. Austin Digital’s flight operations capabilities strengthen GE’s services offerings through integrated solutions for aviation customers around the world.
“This is great news for Austin Digital employees and our customers,” said Austin Digital CEO Thom Mayer. “Customers will continue to benefit from the same expertise and service for which Austin Digital is known, while the strength of GE provides a platform for future innovation and growth.”
Austin Digital is a global leader in flight data analysis technology, specializing in facilitating Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA) for airlines and Corporate Flight Operational Quality Assurance for business jet operators (C-FOQA). A proprietary suite of tools is used to analyze digital flight data and other operational data to improve safety and efficiency for operators –– a compelling addition to GE Aviation Services’ suite of customer-focused products and services.
Flight data analysis encompasses a variety of functions affecting flight operations. The most prominent use is in the area of safety, where flight data is collected and analyzed to reveal high-risk events and trends. This process enables operators to proactively and effectively manage risk. Flight data analysis is also widely used in support of maintenance and engineering. Finally, flight data analysis can generate some of the largest tangible returns on investment when used to improve efficiency through optimization of fuel usage, reduction of emissions and improvement of component life.
Austin Digital is headquartered in Austin, Texas and employs approximately 40 employees. They will continue to offer C-FOQA to the business jet community. If you have any questions, please contact Chris Solan at email@example.com.
Large Cabin Advisory Council – Save the Date!
GE will be conducting its 2013 Large Cabin Advisory Council meeting on June 20-22 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mark this date on your calendar. This meeting will give you the opportunity to network with your peers and share and obtain best practices with access to airframe and engine experts. The agenda will include sessions with experts from Jet Net and Aircraft Bluebook. In addition, we will provide updates on new GE development programs. This will be paired with a GE facility tour, training session, and a day at the Dayton Air Show. Look for a formal invitation coming to you soon.