JB Roche Develops Simplified Engine Preservation Kit

JB Roche Flashplug
Credit: JB Roche

JB Roche has released an engine preservation kit aimed at simplifying the process of sealing engine exhausts for aircraft in parked or storage mode. According to JB Roche, its Flashplug product could save customers up to 90% of the time typically dedicated to the process, which has become much more frequent due to widespread grounding of fleets during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Engine manufacturers mandate that membrane or film needs to be used to seal up the exhaust of engines on an aircraft that is in parking or storage mode to prevent risk of corrosion. The covers need to be removed every couple of weeks so that engine run-up procedures can take place before they need to be refitted.

There are a number of options for this process, including traditional exhaust covers, foam-plugs or polythene and packing tape. However, JB Roche says foam-plugs are expensive and take up a lot of storage space, while traditional exhaust covers are large, difficult to handle and many airlines do not have them in stock. Meanwhile, says JB Roche, it can take two mechanics more than 90 minutes to seal off an engine’s exhaust area using polythene and packing tape. This presents extra challenges when covers need to be removed for engine run-ups and replaced as often as every two weeks.

JB Roche Flashplug
Credit: JB Roche

Flashplug, which JB Roche developed in conjunction with Airbus, is a 700 gram (1.5 lb) preservation kit containing two engine exhaust covers and enough tape to re-fit each cover several times, which can be folded into a small package for future use in a fly-away kit. JB Roche says it is “no more expensive than a roll of plastic,” is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and can be reused perpetually after engine run-ups. The tape, which has been developed with a no-residue formulation that JB Roche says is strong enough to hold everything in place during severe weather, can be removed without the risk of peeling paintwork. According to JB Roche the kit comes with enough tape to re-fit each cover up to three times, and it provides additional tape as required.

According to JB Roche, Flashplug makes it possible for mechanics to seal off an engine in just under 10 minutes, which it says is 90% faster than the process required for using conventional blanks.

The Flashplug kit has been fully approved by Airbus for CFM56-5B engines and JB Roche says validation and approval for LEAP 1A and PW1100G-JM engines will be coming soon. JB Roche says it has offered a similar solution to Boeing, however, the OEM does offer an intake an exhaust set produced by JB Roche for the CFM56-7 engine.

JB Roche is working on several new Flashplug cover designs and expects the broadened range to be available starting in September. Flashplug kits for Airbus A320CEO and NEO engine options are available for purchase now through JB Roche and Satair.

Lindsay Bjerregaard

Lindsay Bjerregaard is managing editor for Aviation Week’s MRO portfolio. Her coverage focuses on MRO technology, workforce, and product and service news for AviationWeek.com, Aviation Week Marketplace and Inside MRO.