Columbus, Ohio-based Challenger 300 operator Jet Edge International has received a carbon graphite engine inlet cowl, featuring a carbon fibre inner barrel, from Quiet Technology Aerospace. This is QTA's 300th delivery, and the barrel is the latest of six pairs of upgraded inlets installed on the Jet Edge Challenger 300 fleet. The QTA inlet upgrade permanently solves a recurring and expensive fleet wide problem with the aircrafts' Honeywell HTF7000 engines that are plagued with the issue of inlet cowl inner barrel corrosion.
Jet Edge International director of technical services Gordon MacSwain says: “We first used a QTA inlet upgrade in 2016 on our Learjet model 60s with great success. We were excited to learn QTA had developed and produced an engine inlet upgrade for our Challenger 300 aircraft, which were experiencing repeated corrosion issues. The combination of eliminating corrosion worries, the lifetime warranty and excellent build quality reduces risk and cost for our customers, which is an excellent fit with our requirements as a major Part 135 charter operation. Jet Edge International, now a part of Vista Global, exclusively uses the QTA inlet upgrade across our fleet.”
The carbon graphite engine inlet cowl and its carbon fibre inner barrel terminate the expensive and time-consuming OEM problem of aluminium engine inlet cowl inner barrel corrosion and acoustic screen degradation. Engine inlet corrosion is not a small problem; it affects several business jet airframes and not only the Honeywell HTF engine.
QTA replaces the aluminium based inner barrel with a lighter weight state-of-the-art carbon graphite composite barrel, which terminates the root cause of the corrosion issue. This permanent solution comes with a lifetime warranty that remains with the aircraft's serial number and transfers to any future owner. It is the only permanent solution available today.
Installed, the QTA inlet's appearance is better than originally manufactured. QTA reminds affected operators this is not a 'repair' to the original aluminium inlet barrel. It is a permanent and terminating solution to their corrosion issue. Very expensive OEM replacement inlets have been available; however, the problem is they are guaranteed to fail again due to the root cause not being addressed. Ingestion of corroded elements into the engine can potentially cause engine damage, posing operating safety concerns. Safe operation through a permanent solution is QTA's highest priority.
QTA CEO Barry Fine says: “The delivery to Jet Edge of our 300th inlet upgrade is part of an agreement to replace its sixth set of inlets on its fleet of Challenger 300s. As a fleet operator, it understands a factory replacement inlet will only corrode and fail again…and that our carbon graphite composite inner barrel gives it permanent operating confidence along with an added level of safety. Our replacement inlets cure a major headache for operators who have been continuously troubled by expensive and time-consuming inner barrel corrosion 'fixes' that never last. The resulting AOG situations caused by the OEM inlet cowls as well as the already documented danger of engines ingesting corroded aluminium compounds the problem. Our carbon graphite engine inlet cowl programme ensures QTA customers convenient and quick turn-times when upgrading and is, most of all, cost efficient and final. Ours is the industry's only permanent solution, and we have never had a failure of our product.”
QTA backs its carbon graphite composite barrels with a transferable warranty for the life of the aircraft and to future owners. The warranty is enforced with product liability insurance placed via Lloyds of London.
QTA offers customers a low cost inlet exchange programme that keeps aircraft free from extended AOG conditions during installation. QTA can provide either exchange inlets or upgrade a complete set of inlet cowls in two to three weeks, greatly reducing operator downtime compared to alternative corrosion repairs.
QTA's carbon graphite engine inlet cowl upgrade programme was awarded its eighth STC in July 2021 for the Gulfstream G450. To date, STC approved airframes are Bombardier Challenger 300 and 350; Bombardier Learjet 60 and 60XR; Dassault Falcon Jet 2000LX and EX; Gulfstream G200 and G280; Gulfstream G450; Hawker 1000; Embraer Legacy 450/500 series; and Embraer Praetor 500/600.