Lufthansa Technik has expanded its composite workshop at its airframe related components (ARC) facility in Hamburg, Germany, to handle repairs of large composite components. The company installed a new autoclave featuring a five-meter (16.3-foot) interior diameter, and this allows curing of the largest jet engine fairings, flaps and radomes using heat and pressure.
AINalerts » December 8, 2009
In another sign that the aviation aftermarket is gaining strength, First Aviation Services on Monday closed its acquisition of Kelly Aerospace Turbine Rotables and the propeller overhaul business of Limco-Piedmont, a subsidiary of TAT Technologies. The Kelly deal was announced November 9, and the Kelly business will be operated under First Aviation’s new Aerospace Turbine Rotables subsidiary.
TransDigm Group has agreed to buy most of the assets of Dukes and Dukes subsidiary GST Industries for about $96 million in cash, according to TransDigm.
GE Aviation, which bought Walter Engines last year, has selected Premier Turbines as a designated repair center in North and South America for the M601 and upcoming H80 turboprop engines. The M601 will continue to be overhauled at GE Aviation Czech’s facility in Prague.
Hawker Beechcraft late last week took the wraps off a new program designed to charge owners and operators of older aircraft a fee for technical support services.
GE Aviation yesterday said that subsidiary GE Aviation Czech will begin certification testing of its new 800-shp H80 turboprop engine by the end of this month, slightly earlier than previous projections. Last summer, GE acquired assets of Walter Engines and renamed the division GE Aviation Czech. Component testing of the H80 has been under way for several months, and GE recently started aeromechanical and performance testing on test engines.
The FAA last week finalized the industry-wide technical standard orders (TSOs) for automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B), the backbone of NextGen. ADS-B will migrate the existing radar surveillance infrastructure from the ground to an aircraft and ground-based system. With the new standard in place, avionics manufacturers can now design and build in-aircraft ADS-B equipment needed for NextGen.
UBS Investment Research’s latest monthly business jet market report, released yesterday, shows that business condition indicators have stabilized and in some cases are moving higher. Its November business jet market index came in at 45, some 5 percent higher than UBS’s prior survey and the seventh straight move higher. However, the index has not yet crossed the 50 threshold indicative of actual improvement in market conditions.
On Friday, the wide-cabin Gulfstream G650 resumed flight testing, following the November 25 maiden flight of the first test aircraft (T1) that was cut short at 12 minutes due to “slight vibrations” in one of the gear doors. “We have identified the cause of the vibration in the landing-gear doors and are developing a permanent solution,” a Gulfstream spokeswoman told AIN.
The Eurocopter EC 175 medium twin helicopter made its first flight on Friday at the company’s headquarters in Marignane, France, according to a source close to Eurocopter. Another source–a Eurocopter official–told AIN that the first flight was the culmination of almost one month of ground tests. The manufacturer will stage an official “maiden flight” on Thursday next week.