It is two years since AeroShell Ascender was presented to the aerospace industry at the Dubai Air Show following its approval as a high performance capability oil to the new SAE AS 5780 specification for gas turbine lubricants. The product has now moved a significant step closer to full commercialisation with the expected approval by International Aero Engines (IAE).
AeroShell Ascender was developed for the latest generation of gas turbine engines as a low-coking, high compatibility product, which Shell believes will be superior to all other products on the market.
From its performance to date the product produces negligible coke formation in the engines so any traditional engine problems associated with coke are highly unlikely to occur. AeroShell Ascender has also been tested extensively for elastomer compatibility, which is a known service challenge with some other products on the market. It therefore offers the customer the balance of low coking performance with excellent elastomer compatibility, which in turn could help reduce maintenance and operational costs for the airline.
AeroShell Ascender was chosen by IAE as the first new recently developed turbine oil to be tested in a V2500 engine. The oil certification engine test programme was first ratified by the Federal Aviation Authority and commenced in April of this year and ended in July after it completed 150 hour endurance running including high oil temperature/ low oil pressure testing. It then went on to complete an additional 300 hours durability testing of other engine components recently installed. The engine has now been stripped and the various comments sent back to the manufactures for inspection. Once complete Shell hopes to gain full approval for AeroShell Ascender for use in the IAE V2500 engine.
Richard Jory, General Manager for Shell Aviation in the Middle East says:
“This will be the first commercial engine approval for AeroShell Ascender and several operators in the Middle East have already shown a keen interest in the benefits that using a high performance capability oil such as Ascender could bring to their operations.”
The oil is also running in several other engines including the GE GENx test bed engine which will be used to power the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner and also in the Alliance GP7200 engine which powers the new Airbus A380.
The long road to full authorisation continues after SAE AS5780 approval, with individual engine approvals necessary to ensure the continued safe and reliable operation of today’s modern gas turbine engine.
AeroShell Ascender is the latest addition to Shell Aviation’s turbine engine oils, which also includes AeroShell Turbine Oil 390 commonly used in auxiliary power units to overcome ‘hung start’ problems, and also AeroShell Turbine Oil 560, which has now completed a flight evaluation programme in CFM-56 engines, and is awaiting official approval from Snecma.
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