The NTSB has issued a Safety Recommendation calling for the development of nondestructive testing techniques for Robinson main rotor blades after approximately 596 hours time-in-service to check for bond defects in areas between the skin and spar at the tip of the blade and between the skin and tip cap on all R22s and R44s.
Maintenance and Modifications
News and issues about aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), covering all segments of the aviation industry; and modifications for aircraft and engines. Subjects include product support of aircraft, engines and avionics, MRO company mergers, acquisitions, announcements and personnel, Airworthiness Directives, Supplemental Type Certificate approvals and other topics.
Northstar Aerospace (Hall 4 Stand C16b) recently won a value engineering achievement award from the U.S. Department of Defense for developing an innovative process to overhaul assembly covers for transmission housings used on the Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopter. The process is intended to save money, while also boosting mission capability.
French ground power specialist Guinault is providing aircraft juiced up on the ground here at the Farnborough show through its partner PowerVamp. The company, which also serves the same need at the Paris Air Show, makes ground power units for aircraft of all sizes, as well as equipment such as cabin heaters and air starters.
Airbus has agreed to start approval testing for a new tungsten carbide-based coating developed by the UK’s Hardide Coatings (Hall 4 Stand E20) as a replacement for chrome coatings. The Airbus trials will last three years. It is the eighth aerospace manufacturer to test the new coating, which is already in use in harsh environments in the oil and gas exploration sector.
Record numbers of new aircraft orders, particularly for commercial jetliners, have driven expansion at aerospace precision components and assemblies manufacturer Doncasters (Hall 4, Stand G10). Furthermore, under the new ownership of Dubai Investment Capital (DIC), the UK company is better positioned to invest in its future, according to group chief executive Eric Lewis.
GKN Aerospace has delivered the first production examples of an entirely new process for creating complex curved titanium structures. The delta pressure forming process is now being used to make the advanced cone-shaped titanium exhaust systems for the Boeing 747-800 airliner. The unit is lighter and more durable.
European maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) service providers expect a downturn in air transport, and analysts say consolidation in the support market will likely result from this trend.
Several steps to add to the support structure for MU-2 operators were announced at NBAA 2002 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America’s aircraft products support division. These include appointment of Aero Air of Hillsboro, Ore., as an authorized Mitsubishi MU-2 service center, and Turbine Aircraft Components (TAC) of Addison, Texas, as exclusive distributor for a number of aircraft overhaul components.
According to Unison Industries, its new dual direct spark ignition system (DDSI) successfully lit the Pratt & Whitney RL 10A-4-2 engine on the Lockheed Martin Atlas V Expendable Launch Vehicle’s Centaur upper stage. Launching from Cape Canaveral on August 21, the Centaur’s first RL 10A-4-2 main engine started after the separation of the first stage after just four-and-a-half minutes.
Irvine, Calif.-based Eaton Corp. (Booth No. 5967) recently celebrated the successful flight testing of its arc fault circuit breaker (AFCB) technology as a stand-alone replacement for existing circuit breakers. Completing more than 350 normal service flights aboard a U.S.