Finnish company FCS Finland has launched an innovative, patented aircraft engine cooling system, the AFC-22. The product is a professional cooling system for aircraft engines, and a one-of-a-kind green product that connects to the aircraft engine’s exhaust nozzle using a special made vacuum adapter with a flexible hose. This configuration makes ambient air flow through the core engine. Custom fit adapters are available for any engine type.
The company says their system greatly reduces aircraft downtime by cooling the engines in shorter time. This enables hot section maintenance and borescope inspections to be performed much sooner. It will also prevent the wear of the air starter motor because no cranking is required. FCS Finland reports that for example, by using the AFC-22, it only takes 45 minutes to reach the necessary ≤45 degrees Celcius temperature for the hot section maintenance, while normal cooling time is upwards of four to five hours.
Decreased turnaround time provides both cost savings and a green initiative for the airlines. The AFC-22 limits the need for engine motoring and idling, helping to reduce the carbon footprint for each flight.
The AFC-22 currently custom adapts to four jet engines: Rolls-Royce Trent XWB, Rolls-Royce Trent 7000, CFM International CFM-56-5B and General Electric CF6-80E. Also, it will soon adapt to every turbo fan engine on the market. New engine adapters can be manufactured in as little as four weeks at FCS Finland’s facility in Turku, Finland.
“Since 2019 Finnair has been using a separate cooling tool AFC-22 manufactured by FCS Avionics. FCS developed the tool for Finnair’s specific need,” said Reijo Katiska, program engineer, Trent XWB Finnair, Technical Operations. “Maintenance work gets to start much quicker after the flight. Also, especially on engine borescoping tasks, the tool is essential to keep heat at the desired level during the maintenance completion. Our experience with the AFC-22 is very positive and we consider it a necessary tool. At Finnair, we plan to utilize the AFC-22 as much as possible in the future.”
“We are saving airlines time and money with the ability to cool engines up to six times faster, approximately 45 minutes versus four to five hours, and turning aircraft around much more quickly. Every minute that an aircraft sits on the tarmac cooling, the engine is costing the airline money and making an environmental impact,” said Kimmo Hotanen, sales and customer care, FCS Finland. “There is no product like this in the marketplace and we have patents pending throughout the world. We are getting a great deal of demand from airlines, cargo carriers and the military. We are able to turn around orders within four to six weeks as we manufacture and assemble the equipment at our facility in Turku, Finland.”
The process of manufacturing and assembling the AFC-22 for an aircraft engine starts with contactless measurement using a 3D laser scanner, which traces every detail of the engine exhaust system. This process provides an accurate way to create adapters for all engine types.
The next step is the 3D design phase enabling complex and accurate shapes for any engine type, followed by a virtual fitting, allowing a shorter delivery time. The manufacturing process uses CNC machining and a computer guided process to cut seals.