Vector Inks New Helicopter Maintenance Agreements
Vector Aerospace has announced several new maintenance agreements for its Helicopter Services-North America (HS-NA) subsidiary. The rotorcraft MRO services company has signed a two-year agreement with Brazilian MRO provider Helipark to provide repair and overhaul support for the Turbomeca Arriel 1 and Rolls-Royce M250 engines. Vector plans to open a new 29,000-sq-ft MRO facility in Jacarei, Brazil this year, as part of an initiative to grow its South American customer base.
The Canadian company also unveiled a five-year, exclusive MRO support contract with Blackcomb Aviation, covering the Vancouver-based helicopter and jet aircraft charter provider’s fleet of M250 and Arriel 1 and 2 engines, along with the dynamic components for its Airbus Helicopters AS350, AS355 and EC130s.
Here at the show, Vector revealed that HS-NA now offers a full range of capabilities for those rotorcraft, including 12-year major inspection service. Services include composite, structure and tailboom repair and assembly in addition to upper, lower and vertical stabilizers. “Blackcomb Aviation entrusted Vector Aerospace as its Rolls-Royce, Turbomeca, and [Airbus Helicopters] fleet MRO provider because of the superior quality of service and fast turn-times they provide to their customers,” noted Blackcomb president and CEO Jonathan Burke.
Through the company’s Dutch partner Aerotech Holland, HS-NA has inked a four-year deal with the Netherlands Ministry of Defense to service its fleet of GE T700-701C and -701D engines, installed in AH-64D attack helicopters operated by the country’s air force. “This subcontract demonstrates HS-NA’s certification and capacity to provide quality repair and overhaul on GE engines and reinforces our ability to foster strong relationships through contract collaboration with companies such as Aerotech Holland,” said Chris McDowell, vice president of sales and marketing at Vector HS-NA.
Late last year, the company completed the delivery of a fully refurbished Airbus Helicopters AS332L-1 Super Puma that was damaged during the tsunami that hit Japan’s Fukushima region in 2011. Ranier Heli-Lift purchased the helicopter shortly after the incident, and HS-NA performed a number of repairs, including a complete airframe rewire requiring more than 62 miles of wire and main landing gear fitting changes with the help of specialists from the manufacturer. A complete 7,500-hour airframe inspection was performed (one of nine major inspections the company conducted on Super Pumas last year) and the aircraft was newly painted inside and out.
“The decision to make this MRO agreement with Vector was based on the outstanding support it has provided other operators, and the timing of this project aligned well with Vector’s new AS322L-1 capabilities,” said Richard Lerew, Ranier Heli International’s executive vice president. “We were extremely pleased to receive the finished product in late December 2013, and the aircraft is now in full service.”