For commercial jets, the engines are complex parts of the aircraft, are the most expensive components, and must be carefully maintained.

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When a company buys an aircraft, do they also own the engines, or are they still the property of the engine manufacturer? What happens when an engine must be exchanged?

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    $\begingroup$ Please see here for an answer already on ASE. $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf Feb 8 '15 at 15:00
  • $\begingroup$ What does the gratuitous image add to the question? If one isn't aware of what planes look like, this isn't the appropriate place to be teaching them. $\endgroup$ – Nij Sep 27 '18 at 8:26
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    $\begingroup$ @Nij: "If one isn't aware of what planes look like, this isn't the appropriate place to be teaching them". Actually it is. $\endgroup$ – mins Sep 27 '18 at 18:30
  • $\begingroup$ This question is about owning engines. It has nothing to do with what planes look like. Again, not appropriate and gratuitous. $\endgroup$ – Nij Sep 27 '18 at 19:14

These days, engine manufacturers are not any more in the business of selling engines, but selling thrust.

Rolls-Royce were the first to offer this, and today most Rolls-Royce engines send telemetry data to four centers, the biggest one in Derby, in Great Britain, where every engine is under surveillance. An inspection can be scheduled at or spare parts can be directed to the right destination even before the pilots or the airline know that one of their engines has a problem.

By now, 80% of Rolls-Royce engines are sold at a loss which is recouped by a hourly fee paid under the TotalCare (.pdf!) program, and that center in Derby is monitoring maybe 4000 of them at the same time. Rolls-Royce has accumulated a treasure of engine operations data, which enables it to consult airlines on best practices. This makes it very hard for a third party to steal maintenance business from Rolls-Royce. All maintenance cost is covered by the TotalCare fee which now accounts for more than half of Rolls-Royce's revenue.

GE and Pratt&Whitney have similar programs. In GE's case, it is called OnPoint, sold as "Power by the Hour". The airline does not pay for the engines, but for the time they are flying. Now the engine manufacturer has a strong incentive to improve the reliability of its engines, but also a strong lever to push out third-party maintenance providers.

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    $\begingroup$ @Blarg for Flight 370 they did and it was reasonably well reported - a lot of what we know was derived from careful analysis of the Rolls Royce data. For the recent Air Asia incident if such data exists it will doubtless be looked at by the investigators. $\endgroup$ – Nigel Harper Feb 9 '15 at 16:15
  • $\begingroup$ @blarg: The engine performance data would be unlikely to give location data other, perhaps, than altitude data. It is likely that the distance travelld could be worked out giving a maximum search radius from last known position but turns, etc., means that the plane could be anywhere in the circle. $\endgroup$ – Transistor Oct 8 '17 at 21:05
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    $\begingroup$ Does someone know how exactly the Rolls Royce engine telemetry data reaches these data centers? Do they have entirely separate communication channels, or does Rolls Royce work with the aircraft manufacturers/airlines to transmit this data? $\endgroup$ – cwoebker May 14 '18 at 12:09
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    $\begingroup$ @cwoebker: They use satellite links. If you ask properly instead of in a comment, your chances of getting a better answer are vastly improved. $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf May 14 '18 at 23:22

The engines are owned by the airline or aircraft owner. Whether you are talking about airlines or private jets the cost to overhaul an engine is quite significant. Several million dollars. As mentioned above there are different engine programs depending on the manufacturer of the engine. For business jets there is also a company called JSSI that provides an alternative to manufacturer engine programs.

When a person or company buys an aircraft they need to look if the aircraft is on an "engine program" - if they are looking at a private jet with an engine program and one without one they really should evaluate the cost of adding the jet to an engine program to compare the price and the value. Our site jetlistings.com lets you do a Private Jet Search and filter our aircraft that are on an engine program. This enables an aircraft buyer to see if an aircraft's engines are covered.

An Aircraft buyer also need to figure into their budget that the the engine program also has a monthly fee based on how many hours the aircraft flies and they usually have a minimum number of hours payment for aircraft that may not fly much.


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