Falcon 2000 and 2000EX/EASy owners now have the option of replacing their damaged OEM APU firewalls with a significantly strengthened APU firewall repairable for the life of the aircraft.
GDS Aero of Salem, Wis., is a partnership of Greg Sanders, David Staffeldt and Shawn Karnes. The three are experienced Falcon mechanics holding A&P and IA certificates and work in a corporate aviation flight department for a Fortune 500 company maintaining a fleet of Falcon 2000s.
According to Sanders, the company was formed to supply alternative aftermarket parts for other operators of Falcons to assist their departments with cost versus benefit decision making.
Sanders said the first prototype firewall was developed on an aircraft in their fleet when the OEM firewall had cracked beyond limits and needed replacement.
“The staggering cost of replacement as well as labor hours involved were the driving force to create a better alternative,” he said. The prototype was built and installed in October 2005 and has since logged more than 510 hours and 320 landings without any airworthiness defect.
According to Sanders, the OEM firewall has been cracking frequently on the Falcon 2000 fleet, and for several years Falcon 2000 and 2000EX/EASy customers have been required to replace it within 10 flights if cracked beyond limits; otherwise, a temporary repair due to minor cracking is approved until it can be replaced at “C” inspection.
GDS Aero developed an STC and will offer firewall replacements for sale direct to operators. The replacements can be installed by the customer or by a service center of choice. Installation requires the same amount of time as for the OEM part.