Lanzhou, October 10 (Reporter Gao Ying) "A little outward", "pay attention to the balance, not yet in place", "slow down, slow down"... How difficult is it for more than a dozen "aircraft doctors" to operate on a "heart" weighing four tons?

Aircraft crews, also known as "aircraft doctors", are like hospital doctors, subdivided into many different "departments" according to the structure of the aircraft. For example, the electronic group is described as a "neurologist and deals with the brain and nerves of the aircraft"; The metalworking group, responsible for the structural safety of the entire aircraft, is known as an "orthopedic surgeon"; There is also a painter group responsible for the appearance of the aircraft, known as "beauty doctors", etc., and the different groups cooperate with each other to escort safe flight.

On October 10, the reporter visited the inspection hangar of China Eastern Airlines Gansu Branch at Lanzhou Zhongchuan International Airport, and more than a dozen crew members gathered around an A18 aircraft that was about to undergo "heart surgery", making preparations.

Zhang Ning, the team leader of the first workshop of the regular inspection of the Gansu branch of China Eastern Airlines Technology, who is responsible for the overall scheduling of this "heart surgery", is a "surgeon" among the "aircraft doctors". This is not the first time he has been in charge of an aircraft engine replacement operation, and although he is familiar with the process, he still does not dare to be sloppy in the details.

Zhang Ning held a megaphone and kept circling the engine to check, sometimes squatting down to look at the point, and sometimes coordinating the crew in different positions to adjust the strength. He said that the task was to replace the left engine of the aircraft, one engine weighing four tons, and the work order included hundreds of disassembly steps.

The picture shows the crew preparing for the "heart" surgery of the aircraft. Photo by Li Yalong

The engine is one of the most important components of the aircraft body, and replacing the engine requires the work of multiple aircraft systems, and the dismantling and replacement of a large number of components is very difficult.

"There are about ten people in the engine dismantling team, first of all, the engine must be connected to the aircraft at various points, all disconnected with tools, and then the engine is smoothly and steadily placed on the shelf, and finally pushed out, and the whole disassembly process takes four to five hours." Zhang Ning said that the most important thing is the cooperation between the aircraft at each point, and it is necessary to maintain the balance of the force when the engine descends, no matter which corner of the force can not have the slightest deviation, which is a great test of the cooperation ability and tacit understanding of the "aircraft doctors".

The reporter saw at the scene that the space under the fairing on the side of the engine was small, and the "aircraft doctor" needed to climb a meter-high tripod and work under the cover with his whole body, and the only light source was a top lamp overhead. "Usually when working inside, the space is relatively small, the light is very dark, you need to stay in it for about four to five hours, there are many pipelines, so it is also more difficult." Zhang Ning said.

The "aircraft doctor" burrowed inside the engine to carry out the inspection. Photo by Li Yalong

Under what circumstances will an aircraft engine undergo a major "heart surgery"?

Zhang Ning held a flashlight while inspecting, while introducing to reporters that there are two situations to replace the engine, one is that the engine is used for a period of time and regularly returned to the factory for repair, and the other is that the failure occurs, the engine can no longer run, and it needs to be disassembled and replaced directly. Under normal circumstances, the engine is replaced every seven to eight years, and the removed engine will be sent to the engine manufacturer for a complete overhaul.

After five hours of work, the aircraft engine slowly landed on the shelf in the unified password, and the "aircraft doctors" slowly pushed the engine parts out and moved to the side area. The "big guy" weighing four tons requires the combined efforts of seven or eight people to push.

The picture shows the newly disassembled engine falling on the shelf and slowly pushing out. Photo by Gao Ying

It is understood that maintenance work similar to the "heart surgery" of aircraft engines is carried out almost once a month. To ensure that the engine remains in good working order, aircraft maintenance engineers also perform regular maintenance of the engine at different depths. (End)