You won’t hear John Zublin, CEO of Ikhana Aircraft Services, saying, “You only live once,” at least not when it comes to the Twin Otter. Ikhana has received an FAA supplemental type certificate (STC) for its RWMI DHC-6 Re-Life Fuselage program. The STC, applicable to DHC-6-100/-200/-300 series Twin Otters, is for a remanufactured fuselage providing a new fatigue life of 66,000 hours/132,000 cycles. The STC identifies and replaces the aircraft’s fatigue critical components resulting in a zero time structural fatigue life.
“This is a continuation of a program we’ve had for many years in which we remanufacture and re-life the Twin Otter’s wing box; a program known as the RWMI DHC-6 Re-Life Wing Box,” Zublin told AIN.
The Re-Life Wing Box STC was awarded in 1996 and Ikhana, and its predecessor R.W. Martin, have produced more than 100 Re-Lifed Wing Boxes since. The fuselage re-life project takes three to five months and costs approximately $750,000.
“When you consider the value of the airframe is only scrap, and a brand-new Twin Otter 400 is about $6 million, it’s a pretty good deal,” said Zublin.
Ikhana is currently developing a project that builds on the Re-Life Wing Box and Re-Life Fuselage programs and will provide a remanufactured, zero-time airplane for about $3.5 to $4 million.
“We are targeting two market segments. The first is the operator who only wants to take care of the required, time-expired components on his airplane. That’s the Re-Life Fuselage and Re-Life Wing Boxes. The other market is providing a complete remanufactured, zero-time airplane. [That project] includes both re-life programs plus the customer choosing the engines, interior, avionics and other options,” Zublin said.
“Aircraft that have been through the re-life process will be further customized for a variety of operations including executive, airliner and special-missions platforms. Options such as increased gross weight capability, enhanced air conditioning, glass cockpit avionics, VIP amenities, cargo handling, camera hatches and maritime patrol systems are available,” he said.
Ikhana holds FAA, EASA, Transport Canada, and ANAC repair station approvals, FAA Parts Manufacturer Approval, and is a Viking Air Factory Endorsed Service Center. Ikhana is accepting production deposits for modification slots. In addition to the Twin Otter the company also specializes in unique engineered solutions for King Air and Gulfstream airframes.