The Importance of Testing Jet Engines After Removal From Storage

Storage and preservation of jet engines. Photo courtesy of AIM.

Jet engines are the heart of an aircraft and they are critical components that require regular maintenance and testing. A jet engine that has been sitting in storage for an extended period of time may not perform optimally when it is brought back into flight service. That is why it is important to test a jet engine in a jet engine test cell after it moves from storage and is prepared to move back into flight service.

Why Planes Go Into Storage

The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the aviation industry and it has caused many airlines to ground their aircraft and put a large number of jet engines into storage. When demand for air travel plummeted, many flights and routes were cancelled and a great number of aircraft were parked. The parked aircraft and stored engines were not being used, which meant that they were not receiving the regular maintenance, inspections and certifications they needed to stay in good working order.

There are several other reasons why a jet engine may be placed into storage. These can include a decline in demand for air travel, the end of the operational life of an aircraft, the temporary grounding of an aircraft for maintenance, or the introduction of a new aircraft that is powered by more efficient engines, even though the engines may still be valuable for use in another aircraft. When a jet engine is placed into storage, it is critical that it be properly maintained to ensure that it will be ready for use when it is needed.

Companies like AIM, which is located in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, where humidity is low, specialize in aircraft and engine storage. Engines are stored and maintained in watertight barriers (shown above), which feature desiccants and humidity detectors, to prevent corrosion. Even so, engines are taken to a specialized test cell facility for additional operation tests before they are deemed ready to fly again.

Putting a Plane Back in Service

When a jet engine is removed from storage and prepared to return to service, there are several steps that must be taken to ensure that it is ready to fly. One of the most important steps is to test the engine in a jet engine test cell. This is a specialized facility that is designed to test the performance of a jet engine and to identify any issues that may need to be addressed before the engine can be placed back into service.

The testing process involves connecting the engine to the test cell and then running it through a series of tests. These tests include measurements of engine performance, such as thrust, fuel consumption, and emissions, as well as assessments of the engine’s mechanical and electrical systems. The results of these tests can help to identify any issues that may need to be addressed before the engine can be placed back into service. 

One of the key benefits of testing a jet engine in a jet engine test cell is that it provides a controlled environment in which to conduct the tests. This allows the engine to be run at different power levels and to be tested under a variety of conditions. This is important because it allows the engine to be tested under conditions that are similar to those that it will experience in flight. This can help to identify any issues that may not be apparent when the engine is running at lower power levels. A test cell provides a much safer environment for test, since they do not require an actual in-the-air pilot and they never even leave the ground.

Another important benefit of testing a jet engine in a jet engine test cell is that it helps to ensure that the engine is performing at its best. This is important because a poorly performing engine can result in increased fuel consumption, reduced performance, and increased emissions. By testing the engine in a controlled environment, any issues can be identified and addressed before the engine is placed back into service.

Testing a jet engine in a jet engine test cell after it moves from storage and back into flight service is crucial to ensuring the reliability and performance of the engine. Whether it’s due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic or other factors, it’s essential to properly maintain and test jet engines before they are put back into flight service. At Swanda Aerospace, we have the expertise and experience necessary to provide top-quality jet engine test cell services and support. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you keep your jet engines running at their best.

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