F404-400 engine and F-18 research aircraft. NASA Photo/Tony Landis.
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› Read Engine Shop Feature (4-14-09) The NASA Engine Shop consists of two civil servants and two contractors. This team is well versed in inspecting, trouble shooting, rebuilding, and testing the F404-400 turbofan jet engines, which power the Navy F-18 aircraft. They are often called out to a hangar or to the flight line to support the following aircraft:F-18, F-16, F-15, ER-2, 747, T-38, DC-8, Global Hawk, Ikhana, King Air, T-34, G3, and any other aircraft assigned to or visiting NASA.
They are dispatched to perform hourly inspections which include thorough external inspections, boroscoping the internal engine, as well as finding foreign object damage (FOD) in confined areas of the aircraft.
When they send an engine to be tested at the Test Cell, they support the engine test by trouble shooting and performing any engine maintenance deemed necessary to getting the engine to a serviceable status. These engines include the Pratt & Whitney F100-100 and F100-229, as well as the General Electric F110-129 and F404-400.
The Engine Team regularly attends training classes and conferences on the different platforms and weapon systems they support to stay proficient and up to date on maintenance practices. In supporting the different aircraft, they are proficient in maintaining an array of engines including:
Pratt & Whitney: F100-100, F100-229, JT9, PT6
General Electric: F110-129, J85, F404-400, F118, CFM 56
Rolls Royce: Spey 511, AE3007
In addition, the Engine Team frequently travels to the Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale to support the different projects assigned there, including SOFIA and the DC-8.