PHOENIX-Honeywell announced that it will be analyzing the effects of ash ingestion in two of its TPE331 turboprop engines used to gather scientific data during recent volcanic eruptions and flights into the subsequent ash cloud over Europe.
The engines powered a Dornier 228 and 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," says Ronald J. Rich, vice president, propulsion systems, Honeywell Aerospace. "These volcanic eruptions give us an opportunity to systematically analyze volcanic ash impact to our engines and this examination could yield a basis for future turbine engine performance and maintenance service data."
The TPE331 powered aircraft operated by the Natural Environment Research Council in the United Kingdom, was collecting particulate data at one second intervals during their flights into the clouds. The data includes composition of the debris along with navigational and engine operational data.
Also known to have flown aircraft into and around the volcanic plume is Germany's Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR, who operated a Falcon 20-5, powered by Honeywell's TFE-731-5BR engines. The DLR is Germany's national research center for aeronautics and space. DLR's extensive research and development work in aeronautics, space, transportation and energy is integrated into German and international cooperative ventures.
The British Met Office Information, a weather service organization also flew its Honeywell ALF 502 powered BAE-146 around the plume. The British Met office predicts weather for the United Kingdom and is a significant contributor to the global understanding of climate change and weather science.