Thursday, June 03, 2010

A Study on Effects of Volcanic Ash on Turboprop Engines

Coming just after the Icelandic volcano ash cloud stopped most flights to and from Europe for several days, Honeywell has announced that they will be analyzing the effects of volcanic ash on turbo prop engines.

The studies will be done on two of their TPE331 turboprop engines that were used to gather scientific data during recent volcanic eruptions and flights into the subsequent ash cloud over Europe. The engines accumulated 10 hours of operation in the volcanic ash cloud and an additional 22 hours of operation in the outer zone of the cloud. The engines have been returned to Phoenix for analytical teardown and evaluation.

“The industry has little information on the effects of volcanic ash ingestion in turbine engines and we hope the data we gain from this effort will help define operational impact to the engine and any damage to components,” said Ron J. Rich, Vice President, Propulsion Systems, Honeywell Aerospace.

Might be interesting to see if their findings affect commercial flights should volcano ash get in flight paths again.

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