Inside LAN's Engine Shop at Their Santiago Airport Maintenance Base
General Electric. Pratt & Whitney. Rolls Royce. Sound familiar? Sure, as appliances and cars, maybe, but these companies are also very much into the business of manufacturing airplane engines. And just like when airplanes go into a hangar for maintenance, so too do their engines have a special work area.
Welcome to the Engine Shop for LAN Airlines, located right nearby Santiago, Chile's Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport.
It's really odd to stand in a room so clean it's almost sterile, and be surrounded by machines that not only cost something like $13 million each, but are responsible for hundreds or thousands of lives every day, each again. You know, we could walk into Harry Winston on Fifth Avenue and look at velvet-lined trays of jewelry worth just as much and more, but the pendants and tiaras don't do anything. Next to an engine, however, we were left with a profound sense that here, right here, is a real machine, something worth every raw cent spent on it and every cent (sometimes $3 million) spent to keep it in tiptop condition.
LAN was nice enough to let us gawk at their engines recently, and we noticed a little something. If you look closely at the image above and in the photo gallery, there's a big General Electric engine parked in a space clearly labeled for a Trent 1000. A Trent 1000 is a Rolls Royce engine and a very special one at that. LAN doesn't have any, but they will soon and they've already got a home ready for it here in the Engine Shop. You see, Trent 1000s power the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and LAN is due to take delivery of the first of their brand new birds later this year.
We won't get into the facts and figures because, frankly, that gets boring quickly and you can find it everywhere else. What we want to say is that LAN is very, very proud of their Engine Shop and the way they've streamlined maintenance to make it both time and energy efficient. We only watched the mechanics bring in an engine on a hoist, but they are some badass muthas and we could've watched all day.
Thank you for geeking out with us. Have a great weekend!
[Photos: Cynthia Drescher for Jaunted]