Why Use Champion CH31858-2 Igniters on CF34-3B Aircraft Engines?

Not all aircraft igniters are created the same. The igniter’s design should be considered when choosing the right igniter for your aircraft because the design determines the igniter’s overall durability and performance. Some igniter designs are prone to breakage if not removed properly, shortening the igniter’s serviceable life and potentially damaging the engine. To address these concerns, Champion Aerospace’s innovative redesign of the CH31858-2 promotes convenient removal and minimal damage risk to Challenger 604/605 or CRJ 200 CF34-3B series engines. 

Champion Aerospace CH31858-2 Igniter
Champion Aerospace CH31858-2 with Innovative New Design

Who is Champion Aerospace?

Champion Aerospace builds ignition products for all US and European engine OEMs, including General Electric (GE). Champion PMA products are built to the same quality standards as the engine OEM products. 

What to Know About Champion Aerospace Igniters?

Champion igniters benefit from various design elements that provide protection: 

  • Silver-plated shells protect the igniter from corrosion
  • Advanced glass and mechanical sealing protect against gas leaks
  • An internal configuration design protects sensitive ignition lead components
  • Internal termination protective coating prevents the lead components from seizing 
  • Thermal barrier coatings protect the life-limiting features from wear and thermal distress 

Other benefits include using solid body semiconductor materials that meet low-voltage application requirements, allowing the engine to start even under difficult conditions. Further, Champion utilizes internal ceramic manufacturing to produce alumina oxide insulators to ensure increased performance, quality, and response times.  

Evolution of the Champion CH31858-2 Igniter

Always innovating, Champion improved the design of their CH31858-1 igniter for GE CF34-3B engines, replacing the CH31858-1 with the CH31858-2. 

The CH31858-1 featured a floating B-nut design, similar to the Unison 9044740-3 used on the GE CF34-3B engines. The floating B-nut design proved problematic when removing igniters for engine borescope inspections or when an igniter swells. 

Igniters with floating B-nuts require special tooling for removal, such as a crowfoot attachment or breaker bar. These pieces of equipment are only sometimes available at maintenance facilities. Improper removal of these igniters often results in the igniters being damaged beyond repair (see photo). 

B-nut design igniters easily break when removed
The old floating B-nut igniter design is damaged easily during removal from the engine

Broken igniters are hazardous and potentially costly for operators. They cannot be reinstalled, even if they may have still had time or cycles remaining. Further, broken pieces can fall into the engine, causing significant damage and costly engine repairs. 

The CH31858-2 addressed these issues by replacing the floating B-nut with a solid hex-nut that does not require special tooling, allowing the igniter to be removed safely without damage to the igniter or engine. 

Benefits of the Champion CH31858-2 Igniter

Benefits of installing a Champion Ch31858-2 on your Challenger or CRJ GE CF34-3B engines include the following: 

  • Eliminates the need for additional tooling (e.g., crowfoot attachment or breaker bar)
  • Reduces labor hours for installation and removal
  • Lowers the risk of igniter, ignition, or engine damage during maintenance 
  • Offers a single-piece design and larger hex flat for improved access to igniter during maintenance 
  • Reduces operating costs with fewer damaged parts

How Long Does the Champion CH31858-2 Last?

The Champion Ch31858-2 lasts approximately 3,000 hours or 2,000 cycles on corporate aircraft. (The exact time or cycles vary depending on the operator’s flight profile, and the igniter life will need to be determined by the individual operator.) A removed igniter can be inspected and reinstalled on an engine, provided it is within wear limits, allowing the igniter to continue in operation until it reaches its time or cycle limit. 

This is a significant improvement over the Unison 9044740-3 igniters, which are more likely to break during removal because of their floating B-nut design, resulting in them being taken out of service early. 

Do Champion CH31858-2 Igniters Offer Cost-Savings?

The Champion CH31858-2 can be removed easily and reused, providing cost savings to operators in various ways. First, operators do not need to purchase special equipment or buy new igniters prematurely due to damage during removal. Second, by using solid-state igniters in their engines, operators avoid potentially costly repairs to the engine in case igniter pieces fall into the engine during removal.

Champion Igniters for CF34-3B Engines

In conclusion, the Champion CH31858-2 features an innovative design that eliminates the need for special tooling and minimizes the risks associated with improper removal that may result in costly damage to your CF34-3B engines while providing long-lasting performance and improved quality. 

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