In the annual announcements by Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Embraer and other aircraft manufacturers about the half-million or so additional pilots who will be needed to fill cockpits over the next 20 years, often overlooked is the need for an even greater number of maintenance technicians: about 600,000 by 2031, according to Boeing’s most recent forecast. So if there is already, or will soon be, a shortage of qualified pilots, is there not also a shortfall in maintenance personnel? And not just in commercial aviation but business aviation and civil helicopter operations as well?
Bombardier Aerospace has started assembling major structures for the first flight-test vehicle (FTV1) of the Global 7000 and 8000 program, the Canadian aircraft manufacturer announced yesterday. FTV1 will be a Global 7000 prototype, a company spokeswoman told AIN.
Calling this the year of design execution for the Boeing 737 Max, program chief Keith Leverkuhn finds himself immersed in the challenges of orchestrating the re-engined narrowbody project to support a factory production rate due to rise to 47 a month around the time the first Max 8 enters service in 2017.
Delta Private Jets has opened a new 40,000-sq-ft comprehensive maintenance, repair and overhaul facility at its headquarters at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
The EASA has certified the redesigned vertical bevel gear shaft for the Airbus Helicopters EC225, which has suffered in-flight failures and a nine-month grounding in 2012 and 2013. Manufacturing of the redesigned gear shaft is under way for production aircraft and for retrofits, and installations for both applications are slated to begin in the second half of this year.
Boeing CEO Jim McNerney seized the chance to impress upon securities analysts on Wednesday his confidence in the company’s ability to execute a smooth transition between production of the current 777 line and the 777X around the turn of the decade. Now delivering 8.3 of its flagship widebodies a month, Boeing expects some “feathering” of production once it approaches the point at which it fully integrates the 777X, said McNerney.
The Bell Helicopter Training Academy has received Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) approval to conduct Bell 412EP/412EPI B1.3 and B2 Part 147 technical training at its Singapore Service Center. The Australian CASA approval expands the academy’s ability to provide regulated maintenance courses in the Asia-Pacific region.
Trine Aerospace & Defense has earned FAA Part 145 approval as a certified repair station. Based at Colorado Springs Airport, Trine Aerospace & Defense offers engineering, manufacturing and aircraft modification on general aviation, commercial and special-mission aircraft. It also specializes in avionics and installation repair. The facility provides engineered solutions for Part 23 and 25 aircraft manufacturers, owner-operators, air carriers and defense contractors that perform special-mission aircraft integration and modernization.
Composites Atlantic of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, won a multi-year contract with Bombardier Aerospace to manufacture composite parts for the horizontal stabilizer of the Global 7000 and 8000. The Canadian vendor will ship parts to Bombardier’s plant in Belfast, N. Ireland, which is responsible for the design and manufacture of the horizontal stabilizers for Globals. Composites Atlantic has been a supplier to Bombardier Belfast since the mid-1990s and manufactures composite parts that are installed on many of the Canadian OEM’s aircraft.
Jet Aviation has added a 420-sq-ft interior shop to its new hangar facility at Singapore’s Seletar Aerospace Park to expand its cabin capabilities from minor interior repairs and touch-ups to full interior refurbishment. The facility is outfitted to support upholstery, wood and veneer finishing and carpeting, and is complemented by a new 7,000-sq-ft spray-painting and buffing shop.