Vital engine components
It’s 11 p.m. in central Europe, or 2 p.m. local time in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. Here, right on the doorstep of Vancouver and its international airport, there’s a lively buzz of activity at MTU Maintenance’s Accessories Repair Center. Various defective accessories have been announced and arrive punctually for maintenance. If you imagine an aero engine — with its compressors, turbines and combustor — as a human heart, then its accessories could be likened to the coronary blood vessels. Just as the human heart is surrounded by a network of arteries, the engine is surrounded by a range of supporting components. The analogy continues: accessories are critical to the functioning of the whole, as in the human heart. Should these accessories fail, the engine is at risk of suffering something akin to a heart attack: in the worst case, the aircraft must remain grounded — and meanwhile, the costs increase with every passing minute. Christian Ludwig and his team are there to do all they can to avoid such a scenario. “And if it does happen, we’re the ones who can get the aircraft back in the air fastest,” says the Director of Operations, Accessories at MTU Maintenance Canada.