CONSTANT EVOLUTION LEADS TO COSTEFFECTIVE SUPPORT
Clemens Linden CEO, EUROJET TURBO GmbH
© MTU AERO ENGINES
“On the one hand, the Royal Air Force (RAF) is a very demanding customer, but on the other, they are also a very well-educated one. This helps us immeasurably in our day-to-day interactions with each other. For example, it helps us to advance important Through Life Support (TLS) cost-saving measures related to maintenance and in-service support. It also helps us with the evolving design of the engine itself.” This is how Clemens Linden sums up the relationship between the RAF and the consortium that designs and manufactures
The EJ200 engine powers the RAF Typhoon fast jet
the EJ200 engine for the Typhoon fast jet, EUROJET TURBO GmbH. Linden is keen to highlight the strength of the relationship because, as he explains, “we are continuously looking to find new ways of helping our customers reduce their costs”. Fortunately, the EJ200 engine has distinct features which make this search easier, its modular construction being one of them. “We have 15 fully interchangeable modules, seven of which can be exchanged without the need for sending the engine to the test facility,” he says. “With previous engines, regardless of how many modules you had to replace, you had to send the whole engine back to the test house. Now seven modules can be replaced at the air base. This is a major part of the ease of maintenance that allows us to optimise in-service costs.” The baseline design of the engine was focused on reducing operating costs. One significant contributor to this is the Digital Engine Control and Monitoring Unit (DECMU), which allows precise calculation of the life usage of the engine components, resulting in up to 50% increased life usage compared to lifing methods used by other engines. Previously,
there was no way of knowing exactly what rate of usage these components had undergone. However, the DECMU has solved this problem. “Now we have exact figures instead of estimations. This has led to significant savings,” Linden explains. Linden is just as excited about the engine’s future. He is not disclosing everything, but he is willing to divulge this much: “We have some major design enhancements to the engine in the pipeline, and we have already completed some of the rig tests. We are now in a position to offer customers both an increase in the engine’s thrust range and a redesign to keep the engine on the wing for even longer.” The latter, in particular, tallies with the company’s philosophy to keep the engine on the wing for as long as possible. After all, according to Linden, “that saves money”. The strong relationship between the two organisations that has been built up over the years is a two-way street. Operations permitting, the RAF is proud to support the consortium’s member companies, which, of course, includes the iconic British engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce. “Over the past year we have been able to work with the RAF to invite Air Force officials from the Republic of Korea and Turkey to RAF Coningsby to experience the Typhoon’s maintenance concept up close and to receive an in-depth engine briefing. We are very grateful to the RAF for this,” says Linden. This sort of mutually beneficial partnership not only helps foster closer relationships between allies, it will also benefit the EUROJET members, including Rolls-Royce, if either of these two nations selects the EJ200 for their own indigenous fighter aircraft programmes.