At a time when the state-of-the-art in aerostructures design more and more often involves the use of carbon-fiber laminates, companies like Alcoa Aerospace suddenly face a perception challenge unrivaled since aluminum became the material of choice in airplane construction. So the timing of Alcoa Aerospace’s first industry forum, held in New York City on May 2, came as little surprise.
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.
A surge in demand for landing gear overhaul has prompted Lufthansa Technik to form a division dedicated to the activity and consider adding shifts at its four facilities while launching a total landing gear support (TLS) program.
Precision components and assemblies manufacturer Doncasters (Hall 2B Stand L11c) is reaping the rewards of several years’ hard work as it delivers engine-ready parts to OEMs and third-tier suppliers.
Aftermarket parts manufacturer Heico has jump-started sales of FAA-approved PMA replacement parts to airlines with a new agreement it signed with British Airways in early May. Heico, with its subsidiary Seal Dynamics (Hall 2B Stand L14D), will not only sell PMA parts to British Airways but will manage the airline’s PMA parts buying activities.
GKN Aerospace is working toward out-of-autoclave processing of carbon-epoxy laminated structures upward of 23 feet long and 275 pounds in weight and has already manufactured components up to 8.2 feet long and weighing 175 pounds in an R&D environment.
Bombardier’s business model for the C Series airliner family includes fleet management services along the lines of Boeing’s GoldCare program for the 787 that would enable operators to pay a fixed per-hour fee to cover maintenance, spares and overhaul.
Now the Canadian airframer is considering a similar program for its existing regional aircraft.
The future of composites may lie in carbon nanotubes. Nano composites have already found their way into cars and sports gear, and now specialists in this technology are looking for aerospace applications.
Recognizing the complexity customers face when they have to work with multiple people during maintenance, Bombardier has created customer support teams that will provide a single point of contact for customers 24 hours a day. The company has opened customer response centers in Montreal, for Challenger and Global operators, and in Wichita for Learjet operators.
Neosho, Mo.-based CD Aviation Services (CDAS) has opened an office in Sweden. It will be staffed by Marko Huhtaniska, who will be responsible for sales and service support throughout the EU.
Coca-Cola Enterprises’ Atlanta-based corporate flight department ordered four blended winglet shipsets from Aviation Partners to equip its Raytheon Hawker 800s–two 800SPs and two 800XP2s. The first blended winglet installation was accomplished recently at Duncan Aviation, and the remaining three shipsets will soon be installed in house.