Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The little things...

Sunrise at the workplace
Sometimes it's easy to let life's little hassles take on too large a part of the day.  I think it comes naturally - people listen to too much news, gossip, and unimportant BS and start thinking it has more of an effect on them than it really does.  Things have been a bit hectic at the airfield lately.  While we're not slated for a deployment at the moment we do have missions and training to take care of, as well as dropping off helicopters for overhaul or picking others up.  We're a little short handed so there's never enough time to get everything done.

Sometimes you need to adjust your outlook.  This morning I got in, got myself a cup of coffee and grabbing my camera and flash headed to the ramp to catch a sunrise photo of one of our birds.  So here I am - 0700 on a crisp morning getting ready to work on some pretty neat hardware, and I remember what it was like going to work in a cubicle every day.  Yeah, my day perked right up.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Oh, my goodness...

A T700 engine partially disrobed...
...Showing some thigh!  Well, not really, but it is a little more exposure than the engine usually gets. 

We have regular inspections on our helicopters, many of which are based on flight hours.  They range from the 40 hour and 120 hour inspections which get progressively more thorough to the phase maintenance where major disassembly, inspection and repairs take place.  This engine was pulled as part of a phase inspection.  During the borescope inspection of the compressor some damaged blades were found so the case was split so the blades could be repaired.  You can see a very clear picture of the first five stages of compression in our engine - a sixth stage is just out of sight on the left.  The inlet side of the engine is to the right, with the accessory module on top of it.  Think of all the stuff on your car engine - starter, alternator, oil pump, fuel pump, etc., all that stuff is driven off this module.  On the left side of the picture is the hot section of the engine.  Those holes around the outside of the casing are where the fuel injectors go.  When the engine is running a ring of fire that doesn't touch any of the case or combustion liner (it's way too hot) provides all the energy to power the helicopter, in this case about 1500 horsepower.  Not attached at the moment, although you can see it on the bench near the wall to the left is the power turbine section.  All the hot air from the hot section spins a couple of turbines that turn the shaft sticking up in the air which is attached to the main transmission in the helicopter.  Interestingly enough, 80% of the air that goes through the engine provides cooling, only 20% is used for combustion.  That's a lot of energy in a small place.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A New Year


Since I've been been doing most of my posting over on the PhotoPogue site lately, I thought I'd put up a Blackhawk picture for the new year to let you know I'm still here.  We're in a reconstitution phase in our battalion, getting new people up to speed as some of the older hands move upwards and onwards. More to come in the near future, but for now I hope everyone had a safe and happy Christmas and New Years holiday!