Aircraft Engine Shipping Containers

For protection, engines are sealed in plastic or foil envelopes and can be packed in a wooden shipping case or in pressurized metal containers.

The engine is lowered into the shipping container so that the mounting plate can be bolted into position. The protective envelope is attached directly to the base of the shipping case. Then, the engine is lowered vertically onto the base and bolted directly to it. A carburetor not mounted on its reciprocating engine (or no provision is made to seal it in a small container to be placed inside the shipping case) can, in some cases, be fastened to a specially constructed platform bolted to the engine.

Before the protective envelope is sealed, silica gel should be placed around the engine to dehydrate the air sealed into the envelope. The amount of silica gel used is determined by the size of the engine. The protective envelope is then carefully gathered around the engine and partially sealed, leaving an opening at one end from which as much air as possible is exhausted. A vacuum applied to the container is very useful for this purpose and is also an aid in detecting any leaks in the envelope. The envelope is then completely sealed, usually by pressing the edges together and fusing them with heat.

Before lowering the shipping case cover over the engine, a quick inventory should be made. Be sure the humidity indicator card is placed so that it can be seen through the inspection window and that everything required is enclosed in the container. While lowering the wooden shipping case cover into position, be careful that it does not twist and tear the protective envelope. Secure the cover and stencil or mark the date of preservation on the case. Also, indicate whether the engine is repairable or serviceable.

There are several types of shipping containers in use. [Figure] Another type allows horizontal installation of an engine, thus eliminating the need for an extra hoist. The engine is simply lowered onto the base portion of the container and secured. Then, silica gel bags are packed into the container, usually in a special section. The amount of silica gel required in a metal container is generally greater than that needed in a wooden shipping case, since the volume of air in the metal container is much greater than that in the protective envelope installed around an engine in a wooden shipping case. Also, in the metal container the silica gel bags must dehydrate the interior of the engine, since ventilatory plugs are normally installed in the engine openings in place of dehydrator plugs. All records of the engine should be enclosed inside the shipping container or on the outside for accessibility.

Aircraft Engine Shipping Containers
Turbine engine shipping container

A humidity indicator should be fastened inside the containers with an inspection window provided. Then, the rubber seal between the base and the top of the container must be carefully inspected. This seal is usually suitable for re-use several times. After the top of the container has been lowered into position and fastened to the base of the container, dehydrated air at approximately 5 pounds per square inch (psi) pressure is forced into the container. The container should be checked for leaks by occasional rechecks of the air pressure, since radical changes in temperature affect the air pressure in the container.