字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント If a plane gets sick, it might end up here, at Delta Technical Operations in Atlanta. At nearly 3 million square feet, it's the biggest aircraft repair shop in North America. Here, mechanics, technicians, and engineers fix nearly 1,000 planes a year, with all kinds of issues, from a loose screw to an engine failure. But it takes a lot more than elbow grease to get a plane back in the air. This is a bustling, and expensive, 24-hour operation. Cedric Morris: The work never stops because the planes never stop. Narrator: That's Cedric. Back in February, before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, he took us behind the scenes of Delta's massive airplane hospital. Morris: Let me put my bump cap on. I look like somebody. Narrator: Delta TechOps is a maintenance, repair, and overhaul, or MRO, business. Morris: We do everything that you see on that aircraft. We have component maintenance, engine maintenance, and aircraft maintenance. Narrator: 6,000 technicians can fix every inch of pretty much any commercial jet on the planet, from 150 other airlines, government organizations, and even military branches. Morris: Our job is basically just to maintain the aircraft, keep them safe. Narrator: An aircraft ends up here if it's scheduled for maintenance or if something is wrong. And one of the biggest issues the team deals with is engine repairs. When that happens, there's $32 million on the line. First, a plane is grounded and then tugged into this giant hangar. Morris: We can have six wide bodies and six narrow bodies in simultaneously. So that's a lot of work that can be done in here at the same time. Narrator: Technicians run a diagnosis for an engine problem. If they determine it needs fixing, it heads to the engine shop. This division of TechOps started in 1961, at the beginning of the jet age. Today, engine repair is the most expensive section of TechOps, with $100 million in new facilities just in the last two years. Ray Romesburg: So, the engines come into our shop, and we take the engines apart completely. We inspect the parts, and anything that we find wrong with them, we are able to repair those things before putting them back into the engine. These are very high-valued parts, so repairing them is the most economical way to keep our engines flying. Narrator: Before parts can be fixed up, they get a chemical bath. Morris: So, most of the engine parts are cleaned in this area. If there's any contaminants on the blades or any of the parts of the aircraft, you want to make sure that's removed so you can get maximum performance of the engine because of the airflow. I used to work back here many years ago. I started back here. Narrator: Next, the engine heads to one of seven bays in the engine shop. Morris: What's going on? How you doing? Why's everybody got a smile on their face? That's what I wanna know. Y'all act like y'all happy. Technician: Look where we at, man! Morris: How you doing? Technician: Hey, how's it going, buddy? You doing OK? Narrator: Here, FAA-licensed technicians work on and reassemble the engine. Matthew Jackson: We have approximately 900 engines a year come through for various levels of maintenance. Narrator: Those cover 14 different kinds of engines. Jackson: I want to show everybody a BR715 engine. So, this engine in particular is undergoing light maintenance, where it doesn't get fully disassembled. Narrator: Light maintenance takes anywhere from 15 to 35 days. Heavy maintenance, on the other hand... Jackson: That's where we'd fully disassemble the engine, go into the internal areas of the engine, and basically refurbish the entire components associated with the engine. Narrator: That can take over two months. Jackson: 2,000-piece parts that have to be individually inspected and maintained. This engine is flying approximately five times a day. An engine remains on wing from anywhere from a few years to, some of our engine types, as many as seven, eight, or nine years. So we want to take the opportunity while they're here to do everything that we can to ensure that they're reliable for the fleet. Narrator: If an engine can stay in the air longer, it saves Delta and its customers money. Remember, these things are expensive, and so are all the parts that go into them. This part costs $12,000. Jackson: And there's 80 of them. Narrator: Add in price of the surrounding parts, and... Jackson: We're looking at about $2.2 million sitting on the table. This is the highest technology portion of the engine. These blades operate at very high temperatures and very high stresses. Narrator: These fan blades... Jackson: Out of the latest generation Rolls-Royce Trent engines. Narrator: Are made of precious metals and alloys and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars each. Jackson: So, a modern jet engine is worth several million dollars. The maintenance of those is very, very important to maintaining the value of that asset. Narrator: Only about 20% of all the engines fixed here are Delta's. The rest are for customers. Jackson: That's probably UPS right there. We have Azure, Gol, Brazil, and Virgin Australia engines. Narrator: Repairing all these flying beasts takes a lot of skill and caution. Morris: Anything can kill you that we touch. Everything is stronger than us. Everything is heavier than us. You have to have your head in the game. Narrator: You're looking at a 13,000-pound engine. Morris: Lifting something that heavy, it requires a lot of safety, coordination, teamwork, and attention to detail. Narrator: But an engine that runs smoothly is just as important. There's no pulling over on the side of the road if there's a problem. They're 40,000 feet in the air, so nothing can go wrong. Jackson: But it's an example of the precision and the very close tolerances that everything has to be built to, because of how fast it all spins and how hot it all gets. Morris: We want you to get to your destination safely. And that's what this is all about. Narrator: To keep track of the thousands of repairs and checks, technicians record every step of the disassembly, assembly, and inspection process on work cards. They also rely on fancy gear, from the laser welding equipment to the turbine grinder. Jackson: That precision is necessary to ensure the efficiency of the engine when we return it to service. Narrator: All this new equipment also means Delta can repair some of the most technologically advanced commercial engines in the world. That happens out in the newer facility, opened in 2018. Once technicians have restored all the parts, they converge back into one of the engine bays. Here, they flip the engine vertically and start reassembling it. Jackson: The core engine is complete at this point, and they're putting on all of those accessories and harnesses and piping on the outside of the engine. Narrator: But before an engine can go back on a wing, there's one more step. Quality testing. That happens at the world's largest engine test cell, a short drive or a bike ride from the engine shops. Ken Edwards: You don't want to encounter problems while you're installing an engine on-wing. So it comes to us, and we make sure everything's passed off and clear. This part of the building is where the engines come in. We install and rig the engine. So, basically, we put the test equipment on the engine and get it ready for it to run. And then this part of the engine is your actual test chamber. Narrator: The test chamber is the newest addition to TechOps and where the engines are test run. It can handle 150,000 pounds of thrust, even though no engine actually has that kind of power. Engineers run tests 24/7, monitoring engine performance from the control room. Edwards: The reason we need 24/7 is because of the production coming out of the shops. So, I can have three engines prepped and ready, but I got one test chamber. So, you know, we want to keep that test chamber running and keep it moving. So you want to get it in there, get it run, get it back out so we can move our next engine in. Narrator: Once Ken's team signs off on the new engine, it's carted back to the hangar, secured on the wing, and tugged out for takeoff. Morris: As you see, there's a lot of things going on behind the scenes at the maintenance program. We're always constantly trying to work to make sure we're safe, effective, and proficient at what we do. That means once we get an aircraft in here, we're trying to make sure that we take care of everything that we need to take care of while it's down, so it can get out and fly. And when it comes back, we'll do it all over again. Abby Narishkin: Hey, guys, my name's Abby. I'm the producer on this video. Since we visited TechOps back in February, obviously things have changed a lot, and TechOps has been operating this whole time, but things look a little different. Mandatory temperature checks, PPE, and social distancing on the floor. But I know a lot of big businesses are changing with the times. So let me know what you want to see in the next episode of "Big Business," and make sure to hit the subscribe button so you don't miss out.