Saving Fuel One Clean Engine at a Time

Air Force officials are using a mild abrasive solution made with black coal to clean KC-10 engines during depot maintenance. The effort is expected to reduce fuel consumption, extend the engine service life, and save thousands of pounds of aviation fuel, while decreasing the number of maintenance failures, according to Air Mobility Command officials. “Desert climates cause buildup of silica and sand on engines blades, which heat up and melt to the blades during operation,” said Steven Slatter of AMC’s fuel efficiency office. This can “cause engine performance to degrade more rapidly . . . and result in engines needing maintenance at a quicker interval,” he added. A recent test of six KC-10 CF6-50 engines found that cleaning them resulted in a significant reduction in gas temperature and reduced the fuel flow by an average of 335 pounds per hour, said Slatter. (Scott report by Capt. Kathleen Ferrero) (See also Energy Effectiveness from the Daily Report archives.)