Why must there be a long period (measured in hours) between shutdown and startup, before using the manual engine start valve? Nine hours seems excessively long.

enter image description here

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I can't imagine why something has to sit for 9 to 12 hours before restarting. I think there's an interesting question to be asked here, but it hasn't quite been asked yet-- $\endgroup$ – quiet flyer Feb 23 at 8:28
  • $\begingroup$ @ymb1 Interesting thought, but this procedure says "for the safety of the ground crew", which seems separate from rotor bowing. Plus, the "solution" for bowing is to let the engine motor for some time (a minute +/-) before the FADEC adds fuel, which seems that would be possible even with manual start valve operation. I don't have an answer here, but it seems like there will be more to it than just bowed rotor considerations alone. $\endgroup$ – Ralph J Feb 23 at 14:03
  • $\begingroup$ @RalphJ: That warning is for the starting, not the wait (same thing with the ceo). A similarly long cooldown applies to the PW1500G. It's covered in a certification accident report. It seems like it's seals related (heat soaking). That's the only public information available I could find. The FADEC-controlled cooling would run at a slower rpm. I don't see any other explanation, but I've retracted the answer for something more definitive. $\endgroup$ – ymb1 Feb 23 at 15:56

The FCOM page reports MSN 7172 which corresponds to an A320neo with PW1127G engines. Why is this important? Because this engine family is prone to bowing, so much that it requires a dedicated cooling procedure on start performed by FADEC:

enter image description here

However, the ENGINE START VALVE MANUAL OPERATION procedure requires you to perform the MAN START of the engine, which disables many safety feature of the FADEC and does not permit the FADEC to close the start valve in case of the detection of an abnormal situation (this is actually the reason why you want a MAN START). So, I suspect it also disables bowed rotor protections, and this is why that procedure requires the engine to be completely cooled down.

If you are wondering how is possible that 9 hours are necessary for the engine to cool down, consider that such engine requires about 2 minutes of forced cooling even after 1 hour since shutdown (source). The most critical point for is around 2 hours since shutdown (source). In some forum you can find pilots reporting ~6 hours the needed time for residual EGT to go to ambient temperature for LEAP engine, which is even less problematic for thermal characteristics compared to PW.

So it's reasonable to think that the engine core with its massive thermal capacity may require many hours to reach ambient temperature, and the need of MAN START probably disable safety features that would avoid bowing, which does not allow you to start the engine if it's still hot.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Yes this is exactly it. Rotor bow persists waaaaay longer than most people think. $\endgroup$ – Daniel K Feb 25 at 1:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.