Airfoil Protective Coating Transition for Joint Service Aircraft

NCMS Project #: 140834

Problem:  USAF and NAVAIR budgeted FY15 Component Improvement Program (CIP) funds for final coating airworthiness certification and transition for the USAF and National Guard’s C-130H aircraft fleet and NAVAIR’s C-130T and C-2 remaining aircraft fleet. However, a cut in the USAF’s FY15 CIP budget resulted in a budget shortfall that has delayed final certification and production start by up one-year or greater.

Benefit:  A marketable-ready coating capability would apply widely across the commercial gas turbine engine industry from transportation to power generation. The application of an erosion/corrosion resistant coating would be a competitive advantage in the commercial marketplace. Coated engines would outperform uncoated engines and would burn significantly less fuel and have greater time on wing. When fully developed and adopted, protective gas turbine engine compressor coatings will make commercial aviation safer, more reliable, and less expensive.

The efforts from the continued development and transition of this coating technology will enable the logistics community to reduce the logistics footprint, reduce demand for expensive long lead time of compressor components, and will ultimately improve maintenance capacity, increase aircraft readiness and throughput.

Solution/Approach:  This initiative will allow the completion of the following fixed process approval (FPA) tasks required by Rolls-Royce on the BlackGold® coated airfoils before issuing production approval. The application of an erosion/corrosion resistant coating on the T56 Series III engines and similar commercial engine compressor airfoils could result in retaining engine performance for longer operational periods; decreasing compressor blisk, variable vanes and vane segment replacements, decreasing total operational costs and increasing aircraft readiness and availability.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Increased time on wing and retain engine power
  • Decrease maintenance costs
  • Reduce compressor replacement
  • Decrease spare parts procurements

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Air Force (Oklahoma City ALC)
  • Air Mobility Command, Fuel Efficiency Office
  • U.S. Navy (Patuxent River)
  • National Guard
  • U.S. Coast Guard

Industry Participation:

  • MDS Coating Technologies
  • Rolls-Royce Corporation
  • GE Aviation
  • Ohio State University
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Repair turn-around time
  • Maintenance avoidance and reliability
  • Improved readiness

Focus Area:

  • Coatings/corrosion prevention