Air Force Selects PMA Hot Section Turbine Blades
The U.S. Air Force has selected Belac to provide turbine blades for the high-pressure turbine (HPT) first stage in F108 (CFM56-3) engines that power KC-135 tankers. The FAA-approved blades are manufactured by Oldsmar, Fla.-based Belac under FAA parts manufacturer approval (PMA) regulations. “This is the first agreement of its kind for Belac and the U.S. Air Force for the use of PMA equipment to replace components in the critical hot 'gas path’ of the aircraft engine,” said Belac president Chong Yi. “Belac HPT blades have demonstrated quality, reliability and outstanding performance over millions of commercial flight hours. The Air Force is saving millions of dollars on the cost of new parts.” The FAA first awarded PMA approval to Belac HPT blades in 2002 for the CFM56-2/3 engines. These were the first turbine blades manufactured by an aftermarket company (not the original engine manufacturer) to receive FAA approval for a turbofan engine, according to the company. Belac is a joint venture of Chromalloy, Lufthansa Technik and United Airlines and has delivered more than 43,000 HPT blades under PMA.