Air Transport World

AeroThrust covers its bets: JT8D repair/overhaul specialist smooths recession, Persian Gulf concerns by branching out into buying/selling/leasing and military work.

AeroThrust covers its bets

JT8D repair/overhaul specialist smooths recession, Persian Gulf concerns by branching out into buying/selling/leasing and military work.

Miami--Like other independent companies that specialize in working on Pratt & Whitney JT8D engines. AeroThrust Corp. wishes that its crystal ball was less clouded. Will events in the Persian Gulf have a long-term effect on fuel prices? Is the sluggish U.S. economy heading for a deep recession? If the answer to these questions is "yes," AeroThrust's business probably will suffer.

With higher fuel prices, chances are that many older JT8D-powered aircraft will be grounded in favor of planes that are more fuel-efficient. Similarly, in a deep recession, it's likely that carriers will cut back on operations, grounding many of the less-efficient aircraft. Fewer hours of operation, of course, mean less wear and tear on the engines and a lower demand for repair, overhaul and refurbishment. On the plus side for AeroThrust is the fact that it has more strings on its bow than work on the older JT8D models. More about this later.

The JT8D turbofan is the most widely used engine in commercial-aviation history. More than 13,000 have been produced since the engine went into service in 1964 and about 10,000 are still in operation. …

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