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The leading international magazine for the manufacturing and MRO sectors of commercial aviation



SEPTEMBER 2011 is an aftermarket supplier of aircraft parts supporting airlines, MROs and supply chain specialists alike. Our web store offers “buy it now” functionality, transparent pricing and trace documentation online, simplifying your purchasing process. Register at or call us on

+44 (0)208 447 3436 1-855 AEROINV (US toll free number) “” is a trading name of Aero Inventory Plc and Aero Inventory (UK) Limited – both in administration (together “the Companies”). James Robert Tucker, Richard Heis and Allan Graham are the Joint Administrators of the Companies and manage the affairs, business and property of the Companies.

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C O N T E N T S August - September 2011 •

Issue: 113

NEWS UPDATE 4 A round-up of the latest news, contracts, products and people movements.

INDUSTRY FOCUS EDITOR Jason Holland: ASSISTANT EDITOR Joanne Perry: EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS Tony Arrowsmith, Chris Kjelgaard PRODUCTION MANAGER Phil Hine: E-EDITOR & CIRCULATION MANAGER Paul Canessa: MEDIA MANAGER - EUROPE, ASIA & AFRICA Alan Samuel: PUBLISHER & SALES DIRECTOR - USA Simon Barker: GROUP PUBLISHER Anthony Smith: Aircraft Technology Engineering & Maintenance (ATE&M) (ISSN: 0967-439X - USPS 022-901) is published bi- monthly, in February, April, June, August, October and December with an extra issue in July, plus annual issues of the yearbooks published in September, October, and November by UBM Aviation Publications Ltd. and distributed in the USA by SPP c/o 95, Aberdeen Road, Emigsville, PA 17318-0437, USA. Periodicals postage paid at Emigsville, PA. POSTMASTER: send address changes to Aircraft Technology Engineering & Maintenance c/o SPP P.O. Box 437 Emigsville, PA 17318-0437, USA. All subscription records are maintained at UBM Aviation Publications Ltd. First Floor, Ludgate House, 245 Blackfriars Road, London, SE1 9UY, UK. ATE&M UK annual subscription cost is £150. ATE&M Overseas annual subscription cost is £170 or $300 (USA) ATE&M Single copy cost is £25 (UK) or $50 (USA) All subscriptions enquiries to: Paul Canessa: Tel: +44 (0) 207 579 4873 Fax: +44 (0) 207 579 4848 Website: ATE&M is published by UBM Aviation Publications Ltd. Printed in England by benhamgoodheadprint Ltd. Mailing house: Flostream UK Aircraft Technology Engineering & Maintenance (ATE&M), part of UBM Aviation Publications Ltd, has used its best efforts in collecting and preparing material for inclusion in ATE&M but cannot and does not warrant that the information contained in this product is complete or accurate and does not assume and hereby disclaims, liability to any person for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions in ATE&M whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident or any other cause. This publication may not be reproduced or copied in whole or in part by any means without the express permission of UBM Aviation Publications Limited. Aircraft Technology Engineering & Maintenance™ is a licensed trademark of UBM Aviation Publications Limited. All trademarks used under license from UBM Aviation Publications Ltd. © 1999 – 2011, UBM Aviation Publications Limited. All rights reserved.

16 Aviation focus: Central and Eastern Europe The MRO market in Central and Eastern Europe is likely to see many changes as the region’s labour rate advantage diminishes and global competition intensifies. However, there are many new opportunities emerging for those companies that prove strong enough to take them, says Jason Holland. 28 In my opinion: Xavier Hervé, president, Mechtronix The president of Montreal-based simulator manufacturer Mechtronix discusses what the company has to offer the aviation industry, recent developments such as multi-pilot licensing, and why R&D is at the heart of his business. 36 In my opinion: Collin Trupp, CEO, ATE&M caught up with’s CEO Collin Trupp just before its official launch in mid-September, to get his thoughts on the state of the parts supply market, why the timing is right for the launch, and what the future holds.

TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION 44 Narrow bodies, wide potential Over the next five years, the narrowbody market will witness the launch of multiple new aircraft types developed around the world, broadening the manufacturing base considerably.

ENGINEERING & MAINTENANCE 54 Trends in the engine MRO business Financial imperatives, technological advances and emerging markets are all affecting the shape and size of the engine MRO industry. Together, these influences are creating major changes in the way the industry does business. Chris Kjelgaard reports. 68 Sum of the parts As airlines return stored aircraft to service and increase frequencies, the demand for maintenance and spare parts rises commensurately. 74 Subcontracting to the aircraft industry Producing parts for the aircraft industry is a different world from most other industries. Everything that goes into making an aircraft, from the screws to the engine components, has to meet stringent quality controls for safety. 84 NDT inspection and tooling Non-destructive testing is a technique employed in a number of different industries to verify structural integrity, but what requirements are specific to aviation, and what equipment and expertise are used to satisfy them? Joanne Perry went in search of the answers.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY 94 Maximising your MRO operations in the cloud This statement certainly has all the trendy buzzwords, powerful connotations and the promise of something beneficial to the aviation industry. AirVault’s Michael Antonucci brings this concept out of the clouds and grounds it to illustrate some of the practical benefits available today.

REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE 102 ATR: The strength of flexibility ATR has developed a number of solutions as part of its aftermarket maintenance strategy – all of which, says Tony Arrowsmith, integrate one deep-seated ideal: flexibility.

DATA & DIRECTIVES Front cover image: © Sonja Brüggemann / Lufthansa Technik

108 Industry data: Airbus A330 110 FAA AD biweekly summary listings

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The future and us: a perfect match.

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Great challenges are part of our everyday routine. With over 50 years’ experience in maintenance and repair, not to mention acting as launching customer for a great number of new planes, you can rest assured that we are already making all the necessary arrangements and will be ready to go the moment your plane is. Just like all other types of aircraft, your 787 will beneďŹ t from our comprehensive Start-up-Support, including maintenance and component support. We look forward to working together to ensure a perfect launch. Lufthansa Technik AG, Marketing & Sales E-mail: Call us: +49-40-5070-5553

More mobility for the world.

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FlightSafety International has unveiled a new flight simulator design, manufacturing and support facility in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, US. Fixed base operations (FBO) network Signature Flight Support has purchased all of the assets of the former Avitat Boca Raton at Boca Raton Airport (BCT) in Florida from Premier Aviation. Air transport communications specialist SITA says it has reached the milestone of processing two million messages per day for more than 10,000 user aircraft, airline operations centres, air traffic control, and aircraft and engine manufacturers. Messier-Bugatti-Dowty has extended its supply relationship with Airbus for the nose and main landing gears of the single-aisle programme to include the contract award of the A320neo family. Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has awarded Embraer type certification for its Phenom 300 light jet to operate in the country. Austrian Airlines has completed the interior conversion of its type A320 aircraft. The airline said the 21 aircraft will now feature new, modern cabin fittings, including a “completely redeveloped seat with a light construction”. AeroMechanical Services (AMA) has received a provisions-only supplemental type certificate (STC) from Transport Canada for its automated flight information reporting system ‘AFIRS 228’ on the 777. FL Technics has purchased seven 737-300 aircraft for tear down into parts and components. Revisa Aeronautical Services has become an authorised service centre for maintenance, repair and overhaul for B/E Aerospace products. Taiwan-based EVA Airways has signed on for ARINC’s ‘GLOBALink’ satellite communications services, for both the passenger and flight decks. Aftermarket aircraft parts supplier is now listed on businessto-business electronic marketplace ILS with up to $350m/150k+ SKUs. British Airways (BA) has opted to continue using Lido/Flight and Lido/FMS from Lufthansa Systems (LS) for another five years. Lido/Flight covers all aspects of flight planning, using automatic calculations to take into account weather data and aeronautical restrictions.

New opportunities abound as MRO market expects strong growth The global commercial aircraft MRO market is expected to reach $50.2bn in 2011, according to a new report. Fuelled by the recovering economy and an increase in the global fleet — expected to reach nearly 30,000 units by 2021 — the MRO market is expected to see “strong growth” in the next 10 years, with new opportunities opening up for MRO providers. The Visiongain report, The Commercial Aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Market 2011-2021, says medium- to long-term growth will be driven by operators’ desire to clear the backlog of deferred maintenance as they seek to maximise fleet potential. In addition, smaller airlines and operators with ageing fleets who lack capital to purchase new aircraft will increasingly look to fleet maintenance. The massive development taking place in China, the Middle East and India will also significantly increase the global demand for MRO in the next 10 years, according to the report. Other factors identified include the rapid emergence of low-cost carriers, the changing demographic of the world population, developing infrastructure, emerging economies and rising GDPs.

BAE Systems is to provide long-term support to the BAE-built aircraft in the lease portfolio of new asset manager Falko. BAE Systems Regional Aircraft, as the OEM and type certificate holder, will supply total support solutions to existing and future operators of the in-service fleet of 146/Avro RJ, ATP and Jetstream aircraft.

Strong growth rates for the global commercial aircraft engine MRO market, the largest submarket of the MRO market, are also expected. The distinguishing factors in this segment, according to the report, are the complexity and expense of new engines, the fact that there is less reliance on labour rates than in other submarkets, and the general growth in air travel.

The Administration of Civil Aviation of the Republic of Lithuania has issued European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) part M certification to FL Technics, which is now approved for planning and engineering services for Bombardier CL600-2B19 aircraft.

Finally, the Visiongain report highlights a number of new opportunities for commercial aircraft MRO providers. In Asia Pacific and the Middle East, for example, large-scale construction plans for new international and domestic airports will give MROs a “wealth” of opportunities to take advantage of the creation of these new aviation hubs.


❙ Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 ❙

JTT becomes wholly owned P&W facility Pratt & Whitney Global Service Partners has purchased Japan Airlines’ stake in Japan Turbine Technologies (JTT), a commercial gas turbine engine part repair facility. JTT has been a joint venture between Pratt & Whitney (P&W) and Japan Airlines since 2000, with P&W being the majority partner. With the acquisition of Japan Airlines’ 33.4 per cent stake, Japan Turbine Technologies becomes a wholly owned P&W facility. Based just outside Tokyo, JTT provides repair services for turbine airfoils installed on large commercial gas turbine engines. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. GE Aviation to open second Mississippi facility GE Aviation is to open a new manufacturing facility in Ellisville, Mississippi. The 300,000ft2 facility, in which GE has invested $56m, will manufacture advanced composite components for aircraft engines and systems. Production is scheduled to begin in 2013. The announcement follows the 2008 opening of GE Aviation’s manufacturing facility in Batesville, Mississippi. “We are excited to expand our production capability in Mississippi with the opening of a second plant that will create hundreds of new high-tech jobs this decade for the state,” said David Joyce, president and CEO, GE Aviation. H80 engine completes ground certification Ground certification testing for GE Aviation’s H80 turboprop engines has been completed. Design assurance, development, operability and environmental tests were conducted at GE’s Prague, Czech Republic facility. The company has accumulated more than 800 ground test hours and more than 10,000 cycles on the development engines. MTU buys majority share in Retan Aerospace MTU Aero Engines has acquired a 75 per cent stake in Retan Aerospace of Dallas, Texas. Retan is a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approved part 145 repair station which specialises in engine on-wing maintenance and repair, plus A, B and C checks.

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Aeronautical Engineers (AEI) is to perform a 737-400SF, 11-pallet configuration passenger-to-freighter (pax) conversion for an undisclosed customer. Boeing has purchased eleven omni-directional vehicles (ODV) from Hammonds Technical Services for its 787 production facilities in Everett, Washington and Charleston, South Carolina. Ethiopian Airways has selected Esterline CMC Electronics’ new class 2 electronic flight bag (EFB) for installation on its awaited 737NG aircraft. Lufthansa Systems has added new applications to its Integrated Commercial Platform which provides airlines with an overview of central flight operations planning data. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has granted type certificate validation (TCV) to Gulfstream Aerospace for its G150 aircraft, allowing operators to register the jets in China. Bearings and brushes manufacturer Seginus has selected FL Technics as its third official distributor worldwide. BAE Systems has opted to use Maintenix software from Mxi Technologies to support its aftermarket capabilities. Bombardier is planning to open a business aviation regional support office (RSO) in Brazil by the end of the year. The “full-scale” RSO will be located in São Paulo near Bombardier’s parts depot and authorised service facility, OceanAir Táxi Aéreo. Parts supplier Jet Midwest has acquired two Fokker 100 aircraft from Aero Mongolia for dismantlement. US-based Flight Display Systems has appointed SA MENA Avionics, a MENA Aerospace Enterprises repair station with bases in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, to sell, install and support its cabin management and in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems. StandardAero Business Aviation has signed a new 10-year lease with an additional 10-year option on its facility in Augusta, Georgia, in the US. China Southern Airlines’ first A380 entered into the final phase of flight and ground tests. Boeing completed all flight tests required for type certification of the 7878 Dreamliner with Rolls-Royce engines.

photo: University of Southampton

World’s first 3D-printed aircraft flown Engineers from the University of Southampton have ‘built’ and flown the world’s first 3D-printed aircraft. Every part of the airframe was printed and the entire project progressed from design to completion in one week on a budget of £5,000 ($8,200). The printing, still a slow process despite advances in technology, took five days.

Although the Sulsa (Southampton University Laser Sintered Aircraft) drone only has a wingspan of 1.5 metres, much bigger projects are afoot that could have massive implications for the aerospace industry. Landing gear brackets for commercial airliners have already been printed and engineers would like to make every other titanium component in the same fashion. The reason is simple: weight. Since 3D printing dispenses with the cutting or grinding of metal, parts can be designed for truly optimum weight and performance; presently, some compromises are imposed by the practicalities of sculpting down a cube of metal into a complex shape.

Morgan Technical Ceramics (MTC) Certech has introduced a new manufacturing technique which it says strengthens ceramic cores used in the investment casting process by 20-30 per cent. The coating derives from a new urea impregnation method in place of conventional polyvinyl acetate (PVA) glue coating techniques.

Airbus engineers have even talked about printing the whole wing of an aircraft. While that goal will likely not be realised for decades, the next 10 years could see a gradual shift in industrial bases for a range of industries. Printing capabilities could erode the labour cost advantages of China and other Asian countries and allow firms to manufacture certain components closer to home.

❙ Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 ❙

Boeing AHM for Japan’s 787s Japan Airlines is to expand its existing Boeing Airplane Health Management (AHM) coverage to the 35 787s the airline has on order. Japan Airlines, which was an AHM developmental partner, already uses the software for its fleet of 46 777s. AHM monitors, collects and analyses aircraft data to provide operators with real-time maintenance information, enabling work to be carried out as soon as the aircraft reaches the airport gate, thus improving turnaround times. AHM is delivered through; notifications are communicated through the internet, personal digital assistants, e-mail and mobile devices.

The process — which allows three-dimensional objects to be designed on a computer and then printed, layer by micron-thin layer, in metal or plastic — has been used for prototyping for almost two decades, but has only recently gained wider acceptance.

Chromalloy has established a new subsidiary in Seoul, South Korea. Chromalloy Korea will serve as a sales, marketing and customer support office.


CRS and Aeross cement JV in Brazil US-based CRS Jet Spares, a business aviation aftermarket parts supplier, and Repair Group Aeross, a Brazilian MRO provider, have entered into a joint venture. The agreement was initiated last year during a meeting at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) in Atlanta; projects for the JV have continued to evolve. Under the terms of the deal, select parts will be stocked in Brazil to provide immediate availability to the large and growing Brazilian business aviation community. Aeross will increase its repair capabilities with the support from CRS.

MAEL launches design capabilities in Manchester Monarch Aircraft Engineering and Maintenance (MAEL) has introduced design services at its facility in Manchester, UK. Monarch Design Services will provide on-site support, complementing the part 21 design approval currently held by the MAEL facility at London Luton Airport.

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Universal Asset Management (UAM) has inducted a 747-400 into its end-of-life recycling programme. The aircraft will be disassembled at the company’s facility in Tupelo, Mississippi, US. Newbow Aerospace has appointed Singapore Test Service (STS) as its authorised calibration and test facility in the Asia Pacific region. Copa Airlines has placed an order with Quebecbased Mechtronix for a 737NG full flight simulator (FFS) and a maintenance flight simulation training device (M/FSTD). Jet Midwest, Jet Midwest Technik and Phoenix Aerosolutions are to collaborate on the conversion of Fokker 100 aircraft to 14,000kg freighters. 3 Points Machining and Aerospace has established a new facility in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada. Embraer has appointed West Star Aviation East Alton, Illinois, as an authorised service centre for Phenom 100 and 300 aircraft. Metrojet has become an Embraer authorised service centre. The Hong Kong-based business aviation service provider will provide line and base maintenance for Embraer’s Legacy 600, Legacy 650 and Lineage 1000 customers by November 2011. Commuter Air Technology’s ‘Soft Touch Tires’ have been certified by Brazil’s civil aviation agency, Agencia Nacional de Aviacao Civil. Lufthansa Systems (LS) has opened a new data centre in Welwyn, near London, adding to a network which includes sites in Frankfurt, Dallas and Singapore.

FAA issues de-icing and conflict of interest rulings The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a new rule to address a longstanding National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommendation relating to the de-icing of aircraft weighing less than 60,000lbs. Scheduled airlines must now update flight manuals to indicate when crews should activate ice protection systems or install ice detection equipment which provides alerts and/or automatic activation. On the same day (August 19, 2011), the FAA also placed a two-year restriction on the employment of former FAA safety inspectors as company representatives to the agency. “The flying public can rest assured that our aviation safety inspectors will remain focused on protecting the flying public without any conflicts of interest,” said transportation secretary Ray LaHood. The ruling comes in response to concerns in 2008 over “an overly close relationship” between an FAA office and Southwest Airlines.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has qualified to level D an A320 full flight simulator (FFS) from Mechtronix which has been installed in Sharjah, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), for the training of Air Arabia pilots.

GKN opens UK one-stop fuel tank shop GKN Aerospace has launched a one-stop-shop facility in the UK for aircraft fuel tank repairs. The company says the centre will reduce typical repair times by 50 per cent. The facility will offer repairs of all types of flexible fuel tank with selfsealing, crashworthy and explosion suppressing products. Phil Swash, president and CEO, aerostructures – Europe, GKN Aerospace, says there is growing demand for a single point of repair for all kinds of fuel tank. GKN, which has previously supported its own products and customers, will now offer this expertise to the broader market.


❙ Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 ❙

AAR unveils wheels and brakes maintenance facility, Miami AAR has opened a new aircraft wheel and brake services facility in Miami. The new site, which covers 12,500ft2, is an extension of AAR Landing Gear Services. Capabilities will include repair, rebuilding and inspection of wheels and brakes for all major aircraft types. Pastor Lopez, GM of AAR Landing Gear Services, commented: “We’ve grown our wheel and brake services business from fewer than 10 employees to 30 employees today. With this new facility we are well positioned to pursue new business opportunities.”

AELS delivers end-of-life solutions in Mexico and Spain AELS is carrying out an end-of-life solution on three 737-300 aircraft in Mexico City, with assistance from JT Power for the engines and Spectrum Aerospace for the components. All reusable parts are being removed while hazardous materials are disposed of responsibly, before the aircraft are dismantled and recycled. Meanwhile at Madrid Barajas Airport, Spain, AELS is disassembling and dismantling an A340-300 for the Magellan Group. The landing gear is due to be removed shortly, while the cockpit will be taken for re-use in training scenarios. LHT and SCHOTT to collaborate on cabin lighting Lufthansa Technik (LHT) and SCHOTT have agreed to co-operate on the development and support of cabin lighting systems. The arrangement is billed as a “one-stop-shop” strategy covering design, manufacture, installation, approval and lifetime service. The first product being developed under the new arrangement is a lighting technology that combines glass elements and light diodes and is designed to lower maintenance costs and extend service life. It can be used for white cabin lighting or mood lighting. AEM broadens offering with new extinguisher repair facility AMETEK Aerospace and Defense subsidiary AEM has expanded its maintenance and repair capabilities with the addition of a new purpose-built facility at Stansted Airport for the repair and overhaul of aircraft fire extinguishers. Services include auxiliary power unit (APU), engine fire, lavatory and portable fire extinguishers. Esterline finalises Souriau acquisition Aerospace manufacturer Esterline has completed the acquisition of France-based Souriau Group from Sagard Private Equity Partners and other minority shareholders. Souriau supplies highly engineered connectors for harsh environments and will add to Esterline’s sensors and systems segment. The $705m acquisition was financed through a combination of cash and international debt. Souriau recorded sales of approximately $335m for the 12 months ended June 2011.

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Airbus transports first A350 upper wing cover The first upper wing cover for the A350 has been loaded onto a Beluga aircraft for transportation to the Airbus wing assembly site in Broughton, UK. The part, which was manufactured in Stade, Germany, will be united with the lower wing cover produced in Illescas, Spain. EADS says the A350 covers, measuring 32m x 6m, are the largest carbon fibre parts yet made for civil aviation. SuperJet deploys SSJ100 FFS at Moscow training centre A new full-flight simulator (FFS) for the SSJ100 has been installed at the SuperJet training centre in Zhukovsky, Moscow Region. The equipment, which was manufactured by Thales, will enable pilots to obtain SSJ100 type rating training. The new FFS “Reality 7” features liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) projectors, an electro-hydraulic motion system and an instructor operating system (IOS). The FFS will go through a test period before approval by Rosavjacia as level C JAR. Pilot training is due to commence in October 2011. EASA approval to the same level is expected to follow, before an upgrade to the maximum JAR certification, level D. Aerospace leaders create environment/supply chain group Eleven aerospace companies have formed the International Aerospace Environmental Group (IAEG) to develop industry understanding of the environmental requirements challenging the global supply chain. The group has been established in Delaware, US, as an independent, unaffiliated, non-stock corporation, with non-profit status pending. IAEG seeks to build a consensus addressing concerns such as chemical material declaration and reporting. The group also wishes to create a forum for discussing optional approaches for the implementation of environmental requirements. The founding members of IAEG are: Airbus and EADS; Boeing; Bombardier Aerospace; Dassault Aviation; Embraer; GE Aviation; Northrop Grumman, Rolls-Royce; SAFRAN; United Technologies Corporation; and Zodiac Aerospace. Companies active in the aerospace industry are eligible for IAEG membership.


‘Envirotainers’ get first airline usage Emirates SkyCargo says it has become the first airline to transport a “new generation” of containers which can heat and cool temperature-sensitive cargo. Two of the “Envirotainer RAP e2” containers carried pharmaceutical products which were transported on a commercial flight from Hamburg, Germany via Emirates’ hub in Dubai to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. Pharmaceuticals need to maintain a constant temperature during the entire transport process. The containers work using an active temperature control and only light composite materials are used to produce them, resulting in reduced weight and emissions during transport.

Embraer and GE complete HEFA test flights Embraer and GE have concluded a series of test flights powered by hydro-processed esters and fatty acids (HEFA) fuel derived from camelina. An E170 aircraft was flown from Embraer’s Gavião Peixoto facilities, Brazil, with one of its two CF34-8E engines using the maximum ASTM-approved mixture of 50 per cent HEFA with Jet-A. Embraer says efforts to pursue HEFA fuel as a viable sustainable fuel have been stepped up following approval by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). “This series of tests, and their very positive results, gives us a lot of new information to continue our sustainability programme as it relates to fut-ure products,” said Mauro Kern, EVP of engineering and technology, Embraer. Gulfstream launches brake shop, California Gulfstream Aerospace has opened a brake repair, modification and overhaul shop in Lincoln, California, to complement the wheel and tyre shop which was established in March 2010. The 34,000ft2 facility will specialise in GV and GIV brakes, plus wheels and tyres for G200, G150, GV, GIV and GIII models. It will also cater to components from other OEMs such as Bombardier and Hawker Beechcraft.

IS&S system gains STC The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued a Supplemental Type Certification (STC) for use of Innovative Solutions & Support’s ‘Cockpit/IP Flat Panel Display System’ (FPDS) on 757-200 and 757-300 aircraft. The system is in revenue service on more than 100 757/B767 aircraft including European launch operator Icelandair.

EDAC wins $22m engine components contract Diversified precision components company EDAC Technologies in the US has announced a long-term supply agreement with an undisclosed aircraft engine manufacturer based in Europe. The $22m contract involves the production of rotating engine components and brings the company’s backlog to $217m. As a result of this and other recent increases to the backlog, EDAC plans to ramp up production at the end of 2011 and in 1H 2012.

Two acquisitions for Airbus Airbus has made two separate acquisitions. The first is for aviation aftermarket distributor Satair in a deal valued at $504m. Satair, which specialises in expendables and components, expects $403m of revenues and $36m of EBITDA in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011. Airbus also entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Metron Aviation, a provider of advanced air traffic management products and services to ANSPs, airlines and airports. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals, and the acquisition is expected to be completed later this year. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

KLM operates Fokker anniversary flight with biofuel KLM Cityhopper has flown a Fokker 70 aircraft using biofuel as part of celebrations to mark the centenary of Anthony Fokker’s Spider flight over Haarlem, the Netherlands. KLM says it is “highlighting that biofuel is both a reality and a clean alternative to traditional kerosene”.

❙ Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 ❙


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China needs 5,000 new aircraft by 2031, says Boeing Boeing’s latest projections suggest that China will require 5,000 new commercial aircraft, valued at $600bn, over the next 20 years. "Sustained strong economic growth, growing trade activities, increasing personal wealth and income, as well as continued market liberalisation will be the driving forces in shaping China's air travel market," said Randy Tinseth, VP of marketing at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We expect China will be the second largest country taking new commercial airplane deliveries due to its air travel demand growing at an annual rate of 7.6 per cent on average."

FL Technics gets go-ahead for Russian hangar complex FL Technics is to construct a new MRO facility in Ulyanovsk, Russia, having been granted a residence certificate for operating within the free economic zone there. The new hangar complex will be situated in the aviation cluster in Ulyanovsk. Three hangars will be erected in total, with the first completed by 2013, the second by 2015, and the third by 2017. Operations at the first hangar are expected to begin at the beginning of 2014, with the complex eventually able to handle “short and medium range Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier CRJ, Embraer, Sukhoi Superjet and other types” of aircraft. Global Aviation announces latest expansion Parts distributor Global Aviation has expanded its facility in Georgia, US, to cover 12,000ft2 of warehouse and office space. This development comes after the transition of the company’s subsidiary, Aviation Excellence, to a new 10,000ft2 site in Texas in February this year.

Leap fan tests on schedule, says CFM CFM International says the testing of its advanced 3-D woven resin transfer molding (3-DW RTM) fan is proceeding on schedule and is achieving “outstanding” results. The company has completed a full-scale fan blade out rig test, simulating certification requirements for the proprietary 3-DW RTM technology, as well as full-scale component tests including bird ingestion simulations. The fan logged more than 5,000 cycles during endurance testing. United Continental and IBT to recommence technician talks United Continental and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) have announced a return to the negotiating table ahead of discussions scheduled with America’s National Mediation Board in November. The pair will attempt to come to an arrangement regarding the 4,700 technicians at United Airlines. Continental technicians ratified their collective bargaining agreement in November 2010.

There is only one comp new LEAP engine tha Reliabi Having produced an engine unequalled for reliability, CFM* has now gone further. By developing an engine lower CO2 emissions than the engines it will replace. The new LEAP engine is the best engine option for the

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TransDigm acquires Schneller Holdings TransDigm Group has acquired Schneller Holdings for approximately $288.5m. TransDigm is a global producer and supplier of aircraft components; Schneller designs and manufactures laminates for commercial aircraft found on most of the active Boeing aircraft, all active Airbus aircraft and most of the regional jets. The company expects 2011 revenues to reach approximately $84m. The acquisition was previously announced on August 5, 2011. Camo Air Support to use AD Software’s Airpack Camo Air Support has opted for Airpack software from AD Software to handle airworthiness management. Camo Air Support has part MG-1 certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for the business aviation sector and specialises in aircraft continuing airworthiness. “Airpack” will be used to organise the company’s work to ensure that clients’ aircraft comply with regulations.


FAA approves Aviation Partners’ winglets for Falcon 900 The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a supplemental type certificate for the installation of high mach blended winglets from Aviation Partners on Falcon 900 series aircraft. The winglets were designed in collaboration with Dassault and are standard equipment on the Falcon 900LX. They are also available for the Falcon 2000, while retrofits for the Falcon 50 are planned for 2012. The winglets improve climbing capability and range. Aviation Partners says installation takes approximately one month.

GAMECO begins eight-bay hangar construction Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance & Engineering Company (GAMECO), the JV between China Southern Airlines, South China International Aircraft Engineering and Hutchison Aircraft Maintenance Investment, has broken ground on its “Phase II Hangar” at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport. The new hangar will have eight bays, plus workshops. “This will allow us to support the rapid growth of China Southern Airlines and make bigger steps into third party business at the same time,” commented GAMECO GM Norbert Marx. The investment for the project totals $90m. The hangar is due to be completed by the end of 2012 and become fully operational in 1H, 2013.

Storm acquired by FL Technics FL Technics has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire UK-based line maintenance company Storm Aviation. The acquisition brings FL Technics’ network of line stations to 24 in total across Europe and the CIS, while also extending its line maintenance capability list.

omponent in our brand e that isn’t brand new. iability.

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MTU hands over first GEnx TCF to GE MTU Aero Engines has delivered the first GEnx turbine centre frame (TCF) to GE Aviation, on schedule. MTU has established dedicated production lines for GEnx components at its facility in Munich and aims to ramp up production to enable the shipping of one TCF per day. The backlog for the GEnx, powering the 787 Dreamliner and the 747-8, currently stands at 1,300 orders. MTU, a riskand revenue-sharing participant with a programme share of 6.65 per cent, has responsibility for the TCF from design through to production and assembly. The company says the original TCF design has been modified to accommodate improvements to the hot-gas ducts and a reduction to the weight of the module.

ATA urges Congress to invest in alternative fuels The Air Transport Association of America (ATA) has testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on the needs, challenges and opportunities for alternative jet fuels. As a founding member of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative, ATA strongly advocates the adoption of a global framework to encourage further fuel efficiency and emissions improvements. Sharon Pinkerton, ATA SVP, legislative and regulatory policy, said: “Even with immense ongoing progress to enhance fuel efficiency, we still face headwinds; however, with congressional action, we can help ensure the opportunity of alternative jet fuels is realised.” She urged Congress not only to maintain but to expand existing development programmes and to enact policies which will bring near-term emissions benefits while remaining “technology- and feedstock-neutral”.

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ATK unveils new HQ/composites manufacturing centre in Utah Alliant Techsystems (ATK) has opened a new Aircraft Commercial Center of Excellence (ACCE) in Clearfield, Utah. The facility will operate as the headquarters of the company’s commercial aircraft programmes, supporting the manufacture of A350 XWB composite airframe and engine components as well as GE and Rolls-Royce engines. The building, which was constructed within 12 months of the expansion announcement, provides 615,000ft2 for dedicated, high-rate composite manufacturing. Clean rooms housing automated stiffener forming technology and engine wrap machines cover 100,000ft2 of the site. The production rate will begin at 700 parts per month and will grow to 10,000 parts per month.

Boeing announces the 737 MAX Boeing has officially launched the 737 MAX, its new engine variant for the 737 using CFM International's LEAP-1B engine. “We call it the 737 MAX because it optimises everything we and our customers have learned about designing, building, maintaining and operating the world's best single-aisle airplane," explained Nicole Piasecki, VP of business development and strategic integration. The aircraft will offer a seven per cent advantage in operating costs over future competing aircraft, Boeing said. “We could not have predicted the phenomenal success the CFM-powered Boeing 737 programme has enjoyed," said CFM’s president and CEO, Jean-Paul Ebanga. "This is the best-selling aircraft/engine combination in aviation history.” Boeing forecasts global demand for more than 23,000 aircraft in the 737's market segment over the next 20 years at a value of nearly $2trn. The 737 MAX has already won 496 orders. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2017, two years after Airbus rolls out its A320neo.

Volga-Dnepr UK gains ISO quality and environment approval Volga-Dnepr UK of the Volga-Dnepr Group has received International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) approval for its quality and environmental management processes. The UK branch of the group co-ordinates charter operations and includes an engineering and logistics centre. The approval follows a comprehensive review by external auditors Moody International in July and August this year. Volga-Dnepr UK received ISO9001:2008 for quality management and ISO14001:2004 for environmental management.

Qantas starts 747 reconfiguration work Qantas has initiated a A$250m ($265m) programme to overhaul the interiors of nine 747-400 aircraft, installing “A380 style seats and inflight entertainment [IFE] units”. The existing electrical wiring, fittings and galleys will also be stripped out. The company says the investment is part of a five-year plan to develop “a modern, customer-focused and competitive global airline business”. Work on the first aircraft is taking place at a Qantas heavy maintenance facility at Avalon Airfield in Victoria, Australia. Each aircraft will be fitted with 364 seats: 58 business-class; 36 premium economy-class; and 270 economy-class. It will take six weeks for each interior to be overhauled. The first reconfigured 747 will commence services between Brisbane and Los Angeles in October this year, with the remaining aircraft re-introduced across Qantas’ network by the end of 2012. ($1=A$0.94)

AMES progresses with heavy maintenance on five DHL aircraft Airborne Maintenance and Engineering Services (AMES) has completed heavy maintenance services for the first of five 767200PCF aircraft operated by DHL, ahead of schedule and prior to a freighter conversion. Two further aircraft are presently undergoing similar checks and modifications to be concluded by the end of the year. Work for the final two aircraft is scheduled for 2Q, 2012. AMES currently provides a broad portfolio of services for DHL, including line maintenance, engineering and manufacturing, and component repair and overhaul services.

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CONTRACTS n Boeing subsidiary Aviall has entered into an agreement with Aviation Service Company (ASC) Aviation Equipment of Moscow to supply forecasting services, technology, training and aviation material for distribution in Russia. n Japan Airlines (JAL) has selected Hamilton Sundstrand to provide maintenance support for the systems it has supplied on the airline’s fleet of 35 787s. The total supply chain maintenance solution agreement runs for 10 years with an option to extend for an additional 10 years. The total value of the deal is approximately $350m. n ST Aerospace says it has sealed more than S$260m worth of new maintenance contracts in Q2 2011. The contracts range in length from three to 12 months and are for the company’s Aircraft Maintenance & Modification, Component Total Support and Engine Total Support businesses. The contract awards cover both the commercial and military sectors. n WheelTug has signed ETA Global to perform final assembly and the delivery to customers of its aircraft electrical drive system for 737NG aircraft. ETA will also manage inventories and deliveries of spare parts for the system within North America. n Alliance Airlines has contracted Werner Aero Services to provide component support for three years. Through its NIRVANA programme, Werner Aero Services will supply Alliance with component repair and overhaul management for its fleet of Fokker aircraft. n Virgin Australia has signed up for component maintenance and technical training services from SR Technics and its sister company, Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT). The agreements cover nose-to-tail integrated component solutions (ICS) and are supported by a financing solution from Sanad Aero Solutions. n Oakenhurst Aircraft Services and Spokane Industries have signed an agreement for the promotion and distribution of ground support items. n Boltaron and Avio-Diepen have entered into a distribution agreement relating to the supply of certified plastic sheet material. Boltaron manufactures PVC and polycarbonate plastic sheets for the aerospace industry. Avio-Diepen will add these products to its interior products portfolio. n Icelandair Technical Services (ITS) has selected AeroSoft Systems’ DigiDOC product to provide a digital content management environment to support its aircraft maintenance operation for the Icelandair fleet as well as its third party MRO business. n Atlasjet contracted Turkish Technic for APS3200 auxiliary power unit (APU) repairs and spares support services. Turkey-based Atlasjet offers unscheduled flights as well as domestic and international flights using a fleet of 14 aircraft. n B/E Aerospace has signed Dynomax Aerospace as a supplier of high precision machined metal components for first-class seats on select A380 and 777 aircraft. n Virgin America has selected AAR to supply maintenance and installation services for the airline’s A320 aircraft over a period of 18 months. n Russia-based Rossiya Airlines has signed a four-year contract with Finnair Engine Services for the maintenance and repair of the CFM56-5B engines powering the airline’s fleet of A319 and A320 aircraft. n Airbus, Goodrich and Russian titanium manufacturer VSMPO-AVISMA have penned a long-term agreement for the supply of titanium forgings used in the manufacture of A350-1000 main landing gears. n SuperJet International (SJI) and Volga-Dnepr Technics have signed a letter of intent for the provision of maintenance services for the Sukhoi Superjet100 (SSJ100) aircraft. n Messier-Bugatti-Dowty (MBD) has contracted Sigma Labs to apply its in-process quality assurance (IPQA) software to MBD’s landing gear manufacturing activities. n Eurocontrol has contracted ARINC to provide a test system for VAL Mode 2 (VDL2) avionics in a multi-frequency environment. The new system will be installed at the Eurocontrol Experimental Centre (EEC) in Bretigny, France. n GazpromAvia has signed an agreement with PowerJet for the support of 20 SaM146 engines for the Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft (SSJ100). n Bombardier has selected ViaSat to provide onboard communications terminal equipment as part of a new high-speed internet option on Global 5000 and Global 6000 aircraft. n Airservices has signed a 10-year contract worth over A$100m ($105m) with AeroPearl for the delivery of flight inspection services. n Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium has selected Egyptair Maintenance and Engineering (EGME) for heavy maintenance checks on its fleet of A320 aircraft.

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n SpiceJet has signed a 10-year maintenance contract under Bombardier’s SmartParts programme, following delivery of two of the 15 Q400 NextGen turboprop aircraft the airline has on order. The programme will provide a range of cost-per-flight-hour maintenance services for SpiceJet’s Q400 fleet. n Russian carrier Yamal Airlines has contracted FL Technics to provide aircraft engineering and technical maintenance planning services for its fleet of eight Bombardier CRJs. n Air Europa has signed up for power-by-the-hour (PBH) support from A J Walter Aviation (AJW) for Trent engine component accessories on two A330 aircraft. The deal was agreed in June and will run for five years. n Norwegian Air Shuttle (ASA) has selected Aeroplex of Central Europe for base maintenance services. n Jet Time A/S of Denmark has selected Dublin Aerospace to undertake the loan and overhaul of 131-9B and 85-series auxiliary power units (APUs) installed on the airline’s fleet of 737 aircraft. The work will be carried out at Dublin Aerospace facilities in Ireland over a period of five years. n Enter Air has contracted TP Aerospace Leasing to provide an all-inclusive 737800 wheels and brakes cycle flat rate (CFR) programme, covering the airline’s present and planned fleet over the next five years. TP Aerospace will supply: component maintenance; pool access; on-site lease inventory; and logistics and warehousing. The agreement will initially cover six aircraft. n British Midland International (bmi) has selected IFE Services to provide in-flight entertainment (IFE). The content supplied will include films, TV programmes and music channels. The company will also work with bmi on original productions such as safety films and branded indents. The contract is effective from September 2011. n Yakutia Airlines has selected FL Technics to deliver line maintenance services for 757-200 and 737NG aircraft at Krasnodar International Airport, Russia. FL Technics has been offering line maintenance services at Krasnodor for the past 12 months.

CEO ups his stake in BBA Aviation Simon Bryce, CEO of BBA Aviation, has bought 20,000 shares in the company. The director bought the shares at £160.09 on August 19. He now owns 931,078 shares in the aviation support and aftermarket service provider. BBA Aviation raised its interim dividend to 2.52 pence per share following a 27 per cent rise in pre-tax profit for the six-month period to June 30. Pre-tax profit rose to £50m ($83m) and revenue increased 12 per cent to £660m. FL Technics begins first Hawker 700B base maintenance FL Technics has initiated base maintenance services for its first Hawker 700B aircraft, following recent European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) part 145 approval.The company is newly authorised for line and base maintenance on Hawker Beechcraft 700/750/800/800XP/850XP/-900XP types. The first A, B and E checks will shortly be performed on the aircraft owned by Kazakh charter VIP company Costair at FL Technics Jets facilities in Vilnius, Lithuania. The work will be completed within two weeks, after which FL Technics will service three more private jets in 2011. P&W’s Shanghai base completes first overseas CFM56 overhaul Pratt & Whitney Global Service Partners’ Shanghai Engine Center has delivered an overhauled CFM56 engine to Jetstar Pacific Airlines, its first delivery to an overseas customer in the Asia Pacific region. Delivery was achieved in 57 days. The 23,000m2 facility opened in 2009 in a joint venture with China Eastern Airlines, becoming the first Pratt & Whitney (P&W) centre in China. Correction In the June-July issue of ATE&M we incorrectly referred to ‘TAP Engineering and Maintenance Brazil (TAP E&M Brazil)’ in the ‘Turboprop engine maintenance’ article. The company’s correct name is ‘TAP Maintenance & Engineering Brazil (TAP M&E Brazil)’.

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PRODUCTS Master Chemical Europe has announced a boron and formaldehyde donor free, biostable cutting and grinding fluid — TRIM E950 — whose suitability for purpose has been confirmed by Rolls Royce approval. The company says the fluid ensures exceptional surface finish and tool life on difficult to machine aluminium alloys, inconel, titanium, stainless and high tensile strength steels. Pryer Technology Group, headquartered in Oklahoma, US, has introduced what it says are the first tray-style hydroforming presses manufactured in the United States in over 30 years. The two new Triform machines have been developed specifically for aircraft parts production. “The aerospace industry has been waiting a long time for an alternative to the old, outdated sheet hydroforming presses previously manufactured in the US,” said Scott Pryer, president of Pryer Technology Group. Uson has launched two new leak detection equipment matching services. The company’s ‘Leak Detector Express Proposal’ service assures a 48-hour return on RFPs (requests for proposals), while its ‘Leak Detection Equipment Custom Application Proposal’ service is intended for unusual applications that require multi-phase analysis of best-match leak detection equipment at the concept stage, final designs, training, and factory installation and acceptance testing. Rockwell Collins has unveiled what it says is the industry’s first touch-control primary flight displays for business jets and turboprop aircraft. The displays will be available on future applications of the company’s ‘Pro Line Fusion’ avionics system. Newbow Aerospace has introduced a new range of nitrogen & oxygen service carts. Moving away from the common flat bed service cart, the company says it has introduced a unique, fully demountable service cart that allows one person to load and unload two large cylinders at the same time with minimal effort. Each service cart will also feature an easy to use, high specification- charging panel that makes use of Hale Hamilton valve technology. Machida is now offering standard videoscopes with 4mm outer diameters. The company says the videoscope has the same superior optical quality as the 3mm version, but with a more durable outer covering to allow for inspections in even the harshest environments. It is compatible with either a 15” video processor or portable 10” video processor, and features pure white light-emitting diode (LED) technology and a polyurethane or impregnated steel mesh outer covering. The videoscope also offers archived review and high definition (HD) enhancement.

PEOPLE l Gary Scott is retiring as president

of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, effective October 1, 2011. Guy Hachey, COO, will take the reins until a replacement is named. Scott, whose presidency began in 2008, has spent 30 years in the aerospace industry, at Boeing and CAE as well as Bombardier. l Werner Aero Services has appointed Julie Goodridge to the position of SVP of sales. Goodridge has previously held leadership roles with FlightSafety International, CAE and Embry-Riddle. l Aviation support and aftermarket services provider BBA Aviation has appointed David Best as president, Asia Pacific with effect from 1 January, 2012. l Jude Zimmerman has been appointed as interiors manager at Comlux Aviation Services. l Lufthansa Technik has announced a raft of personnel changes, effective September 1, 2011.

Burkhard Andrich will move from his role as SVP engine services to become SVP aircraft component services, switching roles with Johannes Bussmann. Stephan Drewes, currently VP engine overhaul at Hamburg takes over as CEO in Malta and will be replaced by Bernhard Krueger-Sprengel, presently CEO in the Philippines. Krueger-Sprengel’s current role will be filled by Gerald Frielinghaus (left), VP aircraft overhaul and modification services. Aloysius Giordimaina retires from his position as CEO of LHT Malta but will continue as a member of the supervisory board. l Kai Horten is to succeed Hans Lonsinger as president and CEO of Premium AEROTEC from October 1, 2011. Lonsinger held these roles from the foundation of the company until suffering illness in late 2010. Horten is currently MD of Atlas Elektronik. l Werner Aero Services has named Conor Boden as large engine manager with responsibility for overseeing the buying and selling of large jet engines, plus the reduced-to-spares programme. l SR Technics has appointed Sean O’Connor as general manager for its business in the Americas. He worked for Aer Lingus between 1973 and 1992 and held positions with FLS Aerospace from 1992 to 2005. l Independent MRO CTS Engines has appointed Michel Nanninga as VP of sales and James Green as director of purchasing. Both are industry veterans: Nanninga is formerly of KLM Engineering & Main-tenance while Green is formerly of Volvo Aero Services. CTS Engines specialises in the overhaul of CF6-50 and CF6-80 engines.

l Chromalloy

has named Will Zymndak (above) as director of operations in Orangeburg, New York (NY). Zymndak will lead manufacturing activities and also support the development of industrial gas turbine technology strategy and activities. l PPG Industries’ aerospace business has named Mark Cancilla its global platform director for coatings. Brent Wright will take over his previous role as global platform director for transparencies. l Piedmont Aviation Component Services has named Itsik Maaravi as its president. Maaravi joined the fully owned TAT Technologies subsidiary in 2009 as CMO for Limco Piedmont. l Anthony Aiello is to become VP of assembly, test and overhaul for GE Aviation. He moves from his former role as general manager of the GE90 product line. Alan Caslavka has been appointed VP of avionics systems for GE Aviation Systems. Caslavka recently joined GE from Rockwell Collins where he was VP and general manager for their Precision Strike Platforms and Navigation Products group. l James Wilson has been appointed as business development manager at Marilake Aerosystems, the Dorset-based avionics and instrument repair specialist. l John Heather is to take up the role of business development manager with Baines Simmons. The newly created position focuses on relationships with regulatory authorities.

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Aviation focus: Central and Eastern Europe The MRO market in Central and Eastern Europe is likely to see many changes as the region’s labour rate advantage diminishes and global competition intensifies. However, there are many new opportunities emerging for those companies that prove strong enough to take them, says Jason Holland. he airframe heavy maintenance market is highly competitive in Central and Eastern Europe and this competition has squeezed labour rates, and consequently margins. “With so many suppliers competing in a labour rate driven market on price,” says Richard Brown, senior associate at consultancy AeroStrategy, “the outlook remains highly competitive.” Most MROs in the region look to domestic carriers for core business opportunities, with many being tied to their national flag carrier in some form or another. In total, Eastern European airlines — including Russian carriers — will generate approximately $1.3bn of MRO


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business in 2011. AeroStrategy forecasts this to increase to $1.8bn in constant dollars by 2019. “However, for Eastern European MROs their target market is not only non-captive operators in Eastern Europe (airlines that do not perform MRO themselves) but also Russian and Western European operators looking to take advantage of lower labour costs and capacity that Eastern European MROs can provide,” points out Brown.

At the crossroads Jonas Butautis, CEO of Lithuania’s FL Technics, says this labour cost advantage led to the formation of “partnerships and investments”

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A CFM56-3 fan disc inspection at Lufthansa Technik Budapest. in the 1990s, after the Eastern European region ‘opened’ to such possibilities. “This was coupled with the anticipation of the expanding fleet regionally, which would drive demand for more MRO work locally,” he states. This led to a raft of MROs being established or re-developed across the region. Over the last few years, however, the labour rate advantage in the region has become marginal, representing a major challenge for MROs based there. According to FL Technics estimates, savings of 30-35 per cent still stand today as compared to Western MRO organisations, but Butautis believes that while this cost advantage is “sustainable for the next few years as the region is coming out of one of the deepest economic downturns”, it cannot last forever. He explains: “As the MRO industry globally shifts to a more capital-intensive business model, Eastern European MROs may face the danger of being under-cashed to enter the premium value new generation aircrafts and operator-wide deals. It may be hard to compete against Western MROs, backed by global MRO brands, or large financial institutions, who offer a mix of financial and maintenance solutions to the customers in winning large, fleet-wide deals.” For Butautis, Central and Eastern European MROs are at the crossroads of “catching the new exciting wave of new technologies, new platforms, supporting them with major investments; or staying behind and focusing on local,

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© Gregor Schläger / Lufthansa Technik AG

small to medium operators, often operating older type aircraft”. Despite the growth in the size of the domestic MRO market, it is dwarfed by the magnitude of the Western European MRO market — approximately $12.6bn in 2011 according to AeroStrategy — and so MROs in the region will need to find ways to continue to capture some of this market, even as the labour rate advantage diminishes. It may not be a straightforward process, though. Brown explains that because the labour advantage is particularly relevant “in labour intensive MRO activities such as heavy airframe maintenance”, Eastern European MRO players have consequently focused on this type of maintenance at the expense of other types of more profitable MRO, such as components and engines. “It’s also meant that many Eastern European players are attracting older technology aircraft such as 737 Classics, where labour content is relatively higher than on newer aircraft models,” says Brown. Putting the engine capability of the region into perspective, only Central European Engine Services, in Warsaw, and JAT Tehnika, in Belgrade, offer full engine capability in the region, and “this is only on certain engines such as the CFM56”, notes Brown. “This is why most of the engines and high value components continue to leave Eastern Europe for MRO in Western Europe, the Middle East or

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Lufthansa Technik says it has found skilled and trained staff and excellent support from its local joint venture partners and the authorities at its Central and Eastern European locations in Budapest, and here in sofia.

The winners in this market will need to have good financial backing, capability on growing aircraft types (such as the A320 or 737NG), excellent quality, and fast turnaround times. In short, they should be more than another ‘me too’ company. —Richard Brown, senior associate, AeroStrategy

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Asia Pacific,” he says. “And, it’s why Western companies such as Lufthansa Technik and AJ Walter have been successful in winning component MRO support contracts from Eastern European and Russian carriers.” It will undoubtedly be a major challenge for the region to broaden its overall MRO capability. Completing this look at the state of play in Central and Eastern Europe, it should also be noted that Eastern European MROs have focused on the narrowbody market meaning there is little widebody MRO activity in the region. Brown notes: “The decline of widebody MRO activity in the region is interesting. We’ve seen Eastern European carriers such as Czech Airlines and Malev cease widebody flying altogether and those carriers with widebody aircraft, such as LOT Polish Airlines, have sent their aircraft to IAI Bedek in Israel for heavy maintenance.”

A competitive game How should MROs in Central and Eastern Europe move forward then, and not be left behind as Butautis warns? “Access to cash for shifting technologies, the mixing of maintenance and financial solutions, and a true customer focus will determine the winners of the competitive game,” suggests Butautis. Brown’s own assessment is broadly similar. “The winners in this market will need to have good financial backing, capability on growing aircraft types (such as the A320 or 737NG), excellent

quality, and fast turnaround times. In short, they should be more than another ‘me too’ company,” he says. “Whether government or other support will be enough for some of the players to survive remains to be seen.” Brown also suggests that the focus on Eastern European MRO, considered so promising a few years ago, has to some extent been overtaken by developments in other regions, such as the Middle East, Turkey, Malta and North Africa. As evidence, he says companies such as Abu Dhabi’s ADAT, Turkish Technics, Egyptair and others have been winning contracts from Western European or Russian operators that might have previously gone to Eastern European MROs. The decreasing labour rate advantage offered by Eastern European MROs “has benefited the Middle Eastern MROs and North African players”. He says: “SR Technics and Lufthansa Technik have invested in MRO facilities in Malta that have been performing, for example, A320 maintenance that could be seen as a prime target for Eastern European MROs. Moreover, for widebody maintenance the choice for Western European operators largely remains between Western Europe, or sending aircraft to the Middle East or Asia, or even the Americas. So, Eastern Europe has faced increasing competition from stronger players outside the region. It’s a trend that is likely to remain as the MRO recovery continues.”

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Air Maintenance Estonia predicts further economical growth and strength in the Baltic and Scandinavian regions.

As such, MROs in Central and Eastern Europe must look at their service offerings and decide where they want to be as the realities of the current market hit. “Which of those local MROs will stay as back-office MROs for global networks, which will develop their own identity and product range, and which ones will simply disappear from the MRO landscape?” asks Butautis. He is optimistic that there are still major opportunities in the region, which he says are in fact “even greater as compared to a decade ago, when the region was ‘discovered’”. “However, it will take much more hard work, more investment, and a change in the historic way of doing things, to achieve real tangible results and create truly competitive regional players,” he says.

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A natural result of all this will be consolidation. One option is to go ‘back to the future’ and revitalise the partnership model with Western MROs. While this potential exists, there have not been many moves to this effect in recent times, according to Brown. “There are some very large hangars in Eastern Europe and it’s likely that many are not operating at their full capacity, probably being fairly quiet for much of the year,” he says. “In recent years there hasn’t been much investment by outsiders in Eastern Europe. Lufthansa Technik continues to have facilities in Budapest and Sofia but hasn’t added any facilities elsewhere in the region recently. Other players such as ST Aerospace and SR Technics are likely to have studied the opportunities in the Eastern

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The growth of the Russian MRO market is providing Eastern European MROs with new opportunities.

As the MRO industry globally shifts to a more capital-intensive business model, Eastern European MROs may face the danger of being under-cashed to enter the premium value new generation aircrafts and operator-wide deals. —Jonas Butautis, CEO, FL Technics

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European region, but so far have resisted large investments.” André Fischer, sales director for Central Europe at Lufthansa Technik, gives his company’s perspective. “Our engagement in the Central and Eastern Europe region has paid-off for ourselves since the beginning. At both sites, in Budapest and Sofia, we have found very skilled and trained staff, excellent support from our local joint venture partners and the authorities, and a solid customer base,” he says. “Today, Central and Eastern Europe still offers some cost-advantages. Both companies are investing a lot of time and money to maintain these advantages in the future, e.g. through the consistent implementation of lean methods and the extension of capacities and capabilities. Lufthansa Technik Budapest and Lufthansa Technik Sofia are highly recognised by our customers due to their high quality work and are important members of our global MRO network.” It is probable that the global recession has played a major part in this lack of recent investment; what follows as economic recovery takes hold could define the landscape in the region for years to come. Another interesting perspective comes from Air Maintenance Estonia (AME), a MRO based in a country that is considered to be in the Central and Eastern Europe region, but probably has more ties with Scandinavia. “From a national economic, technological and business

© Gregor Schläger / Lufthansa Technik AG

culture viewpoint there isn’t any such thing as Eastern Europe as far as Estonia is concerned,” says CEO Lars-Olof Bolinder. “Looking at the EU countries, including the Eurozone, the big differences today are more between north and south, than between east and west.” Bolinder defines the company’s potential geographical market as being “within some two hours ferry flight time from [its] location at Tallinn airport”. This means that, in addition to the Baltic and Nordic markets, it also covers Northern Europe, as well as a good part of Central Europe and Western Russia. Bolinder says AME still offers very competitive labour rates, and its particular advantage is its “vicinity to the Scandinavian and Russian markets”. This location opens up more opportunities than for a MRO based in a less geographically favourable part of Eastern Europe. “AME strongly believes in further economical growth and strength in the Baltic/Scandinavian region. We believe that Scandinavian, Russian and other North European carriers will be our main clients in the coming years,” says Bolinder. “We still have good potential to grow as Northern European and Scandinavian operators are cutting their costs. A MRO such as AME can be a great help in their cost cutting programmes, offering price competitive and top quality services.” But the diminishing labour rate advantage is affecting Air Maintenance Estonia too. Added to

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this, the company has found it difficult to get local qualified technical personnel, and so has had to bring in foreign technicians, increasing costs. “To counteract this, AME is running an internal apprenticeship programme to increase the number of our own personnel and to educate the newcomers in a way we believe is best fitted for our business needs,” comments Bolinder. Another labour-related threat is the fact that local qualified personnel may perceive they can get better paid jobs in many other European countries – despite the cost of living being higher. Bolinder believes these factors often negate one another. “According to Eurostat’s recent 2010 price level indices for consumer goods and services, Estonia was at a 75 index level compared to the EU27 average at 100 and neighbouring Finland and Sweden ending up at a 123 and 120 level respectively,” he notes. “Realising this, some personnel have returned to us.”

Emerging trends

© Gregor Schläger / Lufthansa Technik AG

In total, Eastern European airlines – including Russian carriers – will generate approximately $1.3bn of MRO business in 2011.

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The landscape of Central and Eastern European MRO is clearly shifting, with consolidation seeming inevitable, and a need to explore new opportunities as historic strengths diminish. Fortunately, as some doors shut for the MROs, others appear to be opening. Looking to the future, AeroStrategy’s Brown lists FL Technics among a crop of strong emerging regional MRO players in Central Eastern Europe. He suggests that the Lithuanian MRO’s recent acquisition of UK-based line maintenance provider Storm Aviation represents a subtle shift in strategy. “This is an interesting acquisition since it broadens their integrated line maintenance offerings outside their core home market of Eastern Europe and Russia,” he notes. More broadly, Brown says the growth of the Russian MRO market is providing Eastern European MROs with opportunities that “play to their strengths”, given their geographical location and cultural ties. Fleet development in Russia and other CIS countries is taking hold, with Butautis estimating that passenger traffic is growing circa 30 per cent year-onyear as older Soviet-made aircraft are being retired at an accelerated pace. “These two forces create a demand for western type aircraft in the region, while programmes for Russian-made aircraft are being finalised in the next few years. We expect the number of western made aircraft to continue to grow, thus impacting positively the demand for MRO operators,” says Butautis. “Most of the narrowbody aircraft usually remain within a twohour flight radius from their base airport for maintenance work, so it is good news for Eastern European MROs.”

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AME’s Bolinder suggests that an everincreasing number of operators are changing their maintenance programmes “by going for smaller phase checks, doing them in-house and stacking the major items into a larger check every second or third year to be outsourced to an independent MRO”. He adds, in agreement with Butautis: “Some airlines prefer to do their checks nose to tail at a destination where they operate regular flight services and thus they don’t have to ferry the aircraft to the maintenance facility. We can see a trend that the maximum ferry flight radius has decreased to approximately two hours, while just a couple of years ago, we used to have clients ferrying their aircraft here for three to four hours airborne.” For Brown, MRO capability remains an important factor. “Some of the Eastern European MROs are adding A320 capability as ageing 737s are retired,” he says. “The high fuel price has made the operation of older generation aircraft such as 737 Classics and MD80s more costly and as these aircraft are retired by Western and Eastern operators, the MROs are seeking new capabilities to fill the gap.” Another major development in the aviation industry that will have an interesting impact on

the region is the move towards total technical support agreements and solutions. With the historic focus on airframe maintenance, it will certainly be a challenge for most Eastern European MRO to find the right financial and technical resources to develop and support these total services. “This creates opportunities for Western MROs to carve a market share in Eastern ‘home markets’, even at premium prices, but offering a complete suite of solutions,” states Butautis. The threats are apparent but the future outlook is still encouraging. “I think that MROs located in Eastern European countries will be important and strong actors in the market for a long time,” concludes Bolinder. “Though salaries and inflation increase here just like everywhere, we, as well as every MRO, have to deal with it.” Some of his suggested coping strategies include the introduction and improvement of lean processes and production, and the strengthening of companies’ competitive edge in terms of both prices and quality. In the end, it will be left to the strongest companies to capture, as Butautis puts it, “the upside potential that this fast developing region presents”. ■

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MROs located in Eastern European countries will be important and strong actors in the market for a long time.” —Lars-Olof Bolinder, CEO, Air Maintenance Estonia

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In My Opinion:

Xavier Hervé, president, Mechtronix The president of Montreal-based simulator manufacturer Mechtronix discusses what the company has to offer the aviation industry, recent developments such as multi-crew pilot licensing, and why R&D is at the heart of his business. Can you give some background information about the company? We’re a completely private company. The shareholders are mostly two independent funds. One is the CDPQ [Quebec Deposit and Investment Fund] — one of the biggest investment funds in Canada — and another one is [Winnipeg-based] Richardson Capital. But the key to this industry goes back to innovation. When you’re placed like us we tailor to very specific markets, niches, types of airlines and we have a business model that’s aligned with that. We were one of the first to get a machine qualified with an all electrical motion system and DLP [digital

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light processing] projectors, now a standard within the industry. There’s a bunch of innovations that occur from a technology infrastructure perspective but also from a business model perspective. Many airlines before [Mechtronix came on the scene in 1987] couldn’t afford a simulator. More importantly, they couldn’t deal with the complexity of a simulator. A simulator required hydraulic technicians, avionics technicians – four or five different types of technicians. Today you take a 25-year-old computer technician and, boom, you’ve got your simulator technician, because simulators have changed. We’ve brought them to a place where they are

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essentially a networked software environment. It took a lot of R&D and a lot of investment with companies like Airbus. A few years ago you were not allowed to build a simulator unless you bought all the aircraft cockpit hardware and integrated it on your simulator. We worked with Airbus and created something that Airbus refers to as the ‘minikit’. The minikit means that instead of buying all this aircraft hardware every time, they give us the essential flight control items and then access to some intellectual property so that we can manufacture the other parts of that cockpit hardware exactly, more efficiently and fit for purpose in a simulator. The switches and the knobs come from the exact same suppliers as on the aircraft but the intelligence in the back of this hardware is software we also get from these same suppliers. We do something now commonly known as re-hosting aircraft and avionic manufacturer aircraft software, which means we don’t have to recreate an aircraft hardware-wise using actual aircraft black boxes; we take the aircraft software from the OEMs and reassemble it so that it supports the training platform. And that enabled the business model of training at home, because all of a sudden we could deliver a simulator that could stand alone. Having a viable business case to operate one simulator only was very exceptional in the past – it’s become common now.

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What proportion of the simulator units being produced worldwide originate from Mechtronix? The industry is very much a majority share of CAE. Then two of us are about tied for commercial simulation: Thales Training & Simulation and Mechtronix for commercial simulation. The two of us are each responsible for between 10 and 15 per cent — it depends how you count it, and on the period of the year. We, Mechtronix, tend to be focused a lot more on the single-aisle market, although we’re entering the double-aisle market this year, specifically the A330 aircraft. So far we’ve been doing 737s, A320s, CJs, CRJs, ATRs, all sorts of single-aisle jet, regional and business aircraft. Why is Mechtronix located in Quebec; what makes it a good place to do business? I think specifically what makes Quebec a great place for aviation is two things. One is that it’s very natural in Quebec to put together international, multidisciplinary teams. We’re a country made of immigrants and there are a lot of different cultures to start with, then when it comes to skills in aviation there are a lot of very skilled people. There’s Bombardier, there’s Bell, there’s Pratt & Whitney, there’s CAE training a whole pool of people. Finding a 10-15year avionics guy is not easy in any country; it’s much easier in Montreal than in many other places. So that’s one of the issues. The second one is financing. We’re a relatively small

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company — 300 and some people — and in this context financing is not simple, for many different reasons. When you’re going to be financing in aviation you’re financing multiple-year R&D programmes. I’m not talking about subsidies here, I’m talking about access to capital. What kind of financial assistance is available? Through Invest Quebec, we were honoured with a programme called PASI [Strategic Support for Investment Program]. PASI helped us finance some of the R&D initiatives a few years ago. Recently we were again helped with financing — not subsidies programmes, but long-term financing for R&D; it’s not the sweet spot of a bank. Organisations like the SADI [Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative] and the technology programme of the federal government provide support. We got access to a loan, again for financing R&D. R&D is at the heart of our business; they basically enabled the business model. Another very important organisation for us is Export Development in Canada [EDC] which, contrary to most export agencies, doesn’t give free money away. It doesn’t indirectly subsidise as you would find in many countries — although such

programmes are not easy to access in those countries, it’s not general practice. EDC’s particularity is that it is truly a bank. It’s a bank with expertise in setting up businesses. In Brazil we’re currently qualifying a simulator for an ATR programme. That whole campaign would have been inaccessible for us if we hadn’t found a bank that was willing to finance it. There are guys [from EDC] who know the country, they know the fiscals, the legal realities of Brazil, Mexico or Vietnam. There’s a leadership at all those different levels in this country that we ride. Aviation is a very competitive industry. It’s a worldwide competition — you are by definition an international market. We do 90 per cent of our business outside Canada; Canada has only 35 million people, Quebec has eight million. We don’t have massive infrastructures like you would find in Seattle or in Toulouse. And yet we were able to build a massive aerospace infrastructure in the Montreal area. What effect do you think the federal election last May will have, long-term? I think that the Conservative Party is one that very much has business in mind, and inter-

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national business and trade relations in mind. Some people say Quebec will be less favoured because it was the Conservative Party which won throughout Canada while in Quebec it was the NDP [National Democratic Party], in a very surprising two-week storm. But I don’t think so. Canada’s aerospace industry is in Montreal and Canada’s aerospace industry is fundamental for Canada globally, so I don’t believe what these people are saying. What impact did the downturn have? Oh, huge. We had a fifty per cent recession in simulation. We’re not a big market, we’re very much a niche market. The full flight simulator market amounts to maybe 60-70 units a year, depending on how you define the open versus closed market. But globally it’s not several thousand units – it’s less than a hundred units worldwide. So when our industry went in one year from a rough order of magnitude of 60 units to 30 units there was a huge recession. There was a recession in terms of quantity but also customers weren’t paying, so cash flow became a huge problem. It had a massive impact on our industry. Has the industry recovered to pre-recession levels? Yes, I think things have recovered now. It’s a two-year old story now, even more. Those of us who have survived have done it. We all had to be creative in all sorts of different ways. But I think the industry is picking up now. The

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weather forecast is nice. The big question I think we all have is: is this going to be steady, is there going to be another massive global event that is going to bring things to a halt? The planet’s stability is a question we all have. What changes have occurred in the simulation business over the past few years? MPL [multi-crew pilot licensing] is a new regulatory framework that was made available via ICAO [the International Civil Aviation Organisation] in the last few years. Canada has been in pilot training since World War Two and that’s very little known by people. It makes sense today that two of the leaders in simulation are in Montreal. CAE leads by market share, and we’re credited for leading by innovation. The bottom line is that this pilot training model, however, has been the same for twenty years. It’s been the same recipe with the same rules, with the same licences, the same checks since most people can remember – twenty years, forty years. MPL is the first time initial or ab-initio pilot training has been done in a different way and it places a much greater dependence on the use of flight simulation. Instead of training people to fly a lot of hours – some 250 hours in twin engines and single engines and instrument rating – the actual pilot flying training in real aircraft was reduced to, on average, about 60-70 hours, then 120 or more hours of additional simulator time. That simulator training is done in the aircraft for which the pilot will be

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licensed. So right off the bat a pilot will be training for a 737 or an A320, for example. That meets the requirements of airlines like Malev, Copa — all those airlines which are fast-growing, which need pilots at a huge rate because the big airlines are taking their pilots away. You get this flow-through, this whole feeding line of pilots, and “poaching” is a very common thing. The big airlines will go to the pilots of smaller airlines and say “Here’s a job, here’s a salary increase and a bigger aircraft”. At the end of the day the guys that are doing all the regional links need their pilots, they need a supply chain and the old way of feeding off the military or general aviation doesn’t work anymore. Thus was born MPL. And MPL was novel in many different ways as it was a competency based approach rather than a more traditional hours building approach. We’re happy to claim today that nine out of ten of the MPL programmes on the planet use one form or other of our equipment. What other developments has Mechtronix been involved in? We also structured a company called ETOPS Aviation services in Toulouse. We very much have a solutions approach to things. ETOPS is a whole network of pilots. We do pilot provid-

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ing. Now, people ask us, “How did you guys go from simulators to pilot providing?” Well, it’s very simple. What a CEO of an airline like TRIP wants is to understand how his pilot supply chain works. There’s a simulator, but there’s also the pilot providing. Who’s going to do the instruction, where are you going to get the instructors? If you decide all of a sudden to show up in the Middle East and you’re going to set up a school, where are you going to get all your instructors? There’s a whole bunch of regulations and requirements that are all of a sudden flowing down the chain. So just looking at one aspect is not good enough. What part does Mechtronix play in pilot providing? We don’t branch into pilot training per se. What we’re here to do is push the logic of innovation all the way through to understanding what the airline wants. Our business model is not to become a training organisation owning schools and equipment. That’s something our competitors such as CAE do. We have no claims to that. What we do, though, is enable airlines to set up their training centres, provide the necessary resources, tools and links with flight training organisations to get them up and running themselves .

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For TRIP in Brazil we supplied the quality assurance system, the training centre manager and the head of training. It’s one thing to say, “I’m going to give you a simulator”, but you have got to operate the simulator 24hours a day, get it qualified, set up the training, have the type rating instructors, have the quality assurance systems, have everything documented, it’s got to make sense with your SOPs [standard operating procedures], and it’s got to be accepted by your pilot community. So we said, “Let’s create a company that has all the staff, that has instructors, that has the ability to set it up”. We ended up getting TRTO [type rating training organisation] approval. So our company has the type rating training certificates to carry out training for airlines as well if necessary. We do type ratings for Wizz Air, for example. But the whole thing is thought of as a chain, not because we are going to do training instead of the airlines or FlightSafety or CAE. We don’t claim that at all and that’s not our motivation. Our motivation is, how do we structure it so that these guys can build their training centres, or have their MPL pro-

grammes, how can I help an airline set up its MPL programme? Because when they do that, they need both the experts and the equipment with which we can supply them. It’s a solutions approach. What kind of progress has been made at the research facility Mechtronix opened in Montreal in 2009? What are the results of that investment? The results are the R&D programmes mentioned earlier, products for MPL, for example. We launched a product called the XJ trainer. We launched another product called the FFTX MPL. These are infrastructures, training platforms, which came out of those R&D programmes. There are also technology aspects — better use of networks, new technologies for flight models or for simulation models. There are R&D programmes for better actuation of motion systems, R&D programmes for improvements to visual systems. Those things are ongoing. This is the computer industry — you’ve got to think back to video games. We’re highly regulated so it’s slower, but people are impressed with the visual systems in our simulators. ■

This is the computer industry — you’ve got to think back to video games. We’re highly regulated so it’s slower, but people are impressed with the visual systems in our simulators.

❙ Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 ❙ 35

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In my opinion: What is the background and history of the company? is a trading name of Aero Inventory (UK) Limited, which was a provider of procurement and inventory management services for airlines and MROs from 2000 until 2009. The company held a wide range of aircraft parts around the world, in 30 plus locations. The company’s restructure under administration, post November 2009, and the launch of is centred around the consolidation of those parts into a single distribution centre in Singapore, hosted by DHL. A key aspect of the consolidation process was a multiple stage quality inspection process that has allowed us to create a unique, fully transparent market leading e-commerce platform that launches this month [September 14]. Our offering will be one of the largest and certainly widest inventory holdings in the world, made up of nearly 200,000 SKUs (part lines) covering all major commercial aircraft and engine types.

Collin Trupp, CEO, ATE&M caught up with’s CEO Collin Trupp just before its official launch in mid-September, to get his thoughts on the state of the parts supply market, why the timing is right for the launch, and what the future holds.

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Ahead of the official launch, what have been the major steps taken to reach this point and how excited are you now that the moment is close? Have there been any major difficulties along the way? We put in place agreements with our customers that facilitate the consolidation of our inventory to Singapore while protecting as much as possible the customer’s operation by continuing to provide access to parts required for their maintenance operations. We have implemented new backbone business systems to ensure absolute control of our large, diverse inventory holding and have constructed an ecommerce platform that we feel is the best in our target market. We have built a new operational and management team, including a team of sales representatives in America, Europe, and Asia. As I mentioned, our consolidation programme, which consists of reuniting the original manufacturer’s trace paperwork with the c. 20 million parts spread around the globe, has been a monumental undertaking and I’m incredibly proud of the entire team in bringing us to this point. We expect to significantly exceed our launch target of $100m of available stock for the launch of in September 2011.

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Why do you think the timing is right for launch? The fact that we now have such a large inventory in our Singapore hub means that our customers will be provided with a huge range of parts when they visit from day one. Our continued consolidation programme means that significant new stock – multi-millions of dollars – will become available for purchase each week. Additionally, the industry is entering the “winter” maintenance season, which means demand for our parts and service should be high. What will make unique and what are the main advantages it will offer? Our e-commerce platform will be the window into our company and the showcase for what we do differently. We believe in transparency and simplicity for our customers. will list all pricing online and customers can readily view all trace paperwork online before

38 ❙ Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 ❙

making purchases. In the past, I believe the requirement for trace paperwork and the legacy of differing pricing models has stopped many parts suppliers from creating a platform like We believe this changes the game in this market, and our market testing has met with resounding positive feedback. Our customers have a new, simpler way to source and buy spares, so they can focus on what’s important – keeping the fleet in the air. We will never list a part that isn’t on the shelf ready for dispatch as this is a major source of frustration for our customers using other more traditional parts sources. Using technology to integrate our rigorous inspection, data gathering and compliance routines, and making the results of each easily, electronically available we have created a retail like three to four click buying experience online in a highly regulated industry. Equally, we realise that some customers

may prefer to interact directly with one of our team members to place an order or solve a problem, and so we have built a 24/7 customer service team in our head office. Additionally, we will use our technical information to work proactively with our customers to create provisioning packages which deliver real operational and commercial value. Our partnership with DHL means customers can absolutely count on our delivery, anywhere in the world, supported by 24/7 AOG response in both our head office and distribution hub. Can you explain the main features of your web store, and why this will “simplify the purchasing process”? The main features are: self-registration; immediate, on-line pricing; easy-to-view trace paperwork; all parts in stock and available to ship; and buy-it-now functionality – a buyer can find the parts they want, see the price, register

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if not already a signed up user, view the actual paperwork, make the purchasing decision, complete the order and delivery requirements, and have it ship from our hub in four hours. What operator or MRO hasn’t been in the position with an aircraft in check or a component due on wing, working weekends and nights to ensure they become available to meet the schedule, only to find they have a key part missing? If it is the wrong end of the day and the OEM is not holding stock, what do they do? Well, now, they come to and within a minute, any time, any day, will know if they have a solution to the problem. Is your business model sufficiently different that we could see some ‘competitors’ borrowing from it, or indeed could we witness a shift in the parts supply market? I genuinely hope we do see some followers as that will further validate what we are doing

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and demonstrate that the market is truly ready to shift forward. My future intention is to “share” what we are doing with other stockists, distributors, OEMs, airlines and MROs as well, so that they won’t have to borrow or try to recreate, they can simply participate. We believe this approach will help to “defragment” the market, at least from the end customer’s perspective, making it much more efficient for all, including the OEMs. This concept has not existed fully in this industry before. I believe there have been attempts that have not been fully realised, for a variety of reasons, but as we look towards a major fleet renewal cycle and the resultant pressure on inventories (old and new) and service, we believe that the spares market needs a technology platform that all can leverage to the desired effect – reducing inventory holdings, while increasing overall availability.

What do you see as the major trends emerging in the aftermarket parts supply market? There is a continued drive towards online sourcing and purchasing solutions, particularly in the emergent economies, which we hope to have a profound influence on. Customers are of course continuing to seek consignment and other off balance sheet inventory solutions. The OEMs will continue to develop “total care” type offerings, which include some element of spares provision. I also believe airlines and MROs will continue to require an effective process and platform to get surplus inventory on to the widest possible market. In doing so, they will release stored capital for deployment elsewhere while needing to satisfy demand for parts that, due to the age of the aircraft or component, can be increasingly difficult to source from OEMs and authorised distributors. Increasingly, these sources are under pressure to lean their inventories and focus on the support for newer aircraft.

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What do you see as the major challenges facing your company? It is vital that we maintain our momentum and vigilance through the remainder of our consolidation programme. This will ensure that we have the wide range of inventory the platform requires at the highest possible quality standards. OEMs will continue to push for control of the aftermarket and we must continue to develop and offer innovative solutions to our customers and partners to be considered a viable, valuable alternative. We believe our fresh approach and flexibility will allow us to continue on that path. What do you make of the OEMs’ seemingly relentless attempts to take control of the aftermarket? What impact will this have? I believe this will have a major impact on the maintenance and parts sourcing models, particularly for the truly new aircraft platforms which will debut over the next few years. However, I also think this will drive many customers to look for independent solutions where they genuinely exist, rather than being forced to keep all of their eggs in one basket. I believe this drive presents a unique opportunity for as we enter the market with real solutions to common part sourcing problems. Turning more personal, can you describe your aviation background and what has led you to your current role? I am in my ninth year in the industry now and started as a specialist in Information Technology. After spending quite a few years designing supply chain and system integrations with airline and MRO customers, I learned in detail the processes by which these businesses operate and how many technology challenges the industry faces. Even joint, industry agreed, information communication protocols are often used in bespoke ways by different organisations, simply creating new challenges. I then moved into business development, again working with top flight customers such as SR Technics, Qantas and ANA, before taking over as chief executive in late 2009. What I’ve learned is that the fragmentation in the aftermarket has led to a lack of transparency and in many cases an inequality of service and value delivery for customers. I believe the philosophy is a step towards changing that for the better.

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We will never list a part that isn’t on the shelf ready for dispatch as this is a major source of frustration for our customers using other more traditional parts sources.

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What is your personal vision for the company in the next five years? We hope to use the platform to create a marketplace for spare parts that has not existed before – that is transparent, fair, and easy to use. We believe the market has real problems of excess inventory holdings, soon to be exacerbated by fleet renewal programmes on an unprecedented scale. We believe we have the processes, systems and IP to help significantly reduce that problem; and with our customer relationships, in tandem with our partner DHL, create a real supply chain for spare parts in this industry that everyone can benefit from.

What has been the highlight of your career so far? I can honestly say it is the launch of and when that launch is judged successful, I will be fortunate enough to add a new highlight. I am so proud of the people in this organisation and the sacrifices made to rebuild and bring us to this point and feel privileged to work alongside them. We have learned so much together and absolutely believe in what we offer to the market and how we can continue to evolve and bring the spares market along with us. ■

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Narrow bodies, wide potential Over the next five years, the narrowbody market will witness the launch of multiple new aircraft types developed around the world, broadening the manufacturing base considerably. Joanne Perry checks out the facts and figures from the manufacturers promising improved fuel burn, environmental footprints, operational costs, maintainability and passenger experience. t the end of August 2011, Boeing finally confirmed the news the aviation industry had been waiting for: that the manufacturer will launch a re-engined 737 ‘MAX’ in a bid to halt the runaway success of the A320neo. Boeing and Airbus are not the only players with big ideas for the narrowbody market, however. Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC), Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation (MITAC), Bombardier, and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) are all attempting to carve out a share of an increasingly crowded market, albeit on a smaller scale. Bombardier, SCAC and MITAC are targeting the sub-150 seat market with the CSeries, the


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Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100) and the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) respectively; only COMAC is going head-to-head against Boeing and Airbus, with its 168-190 seat C919. Even so, it is possible that there will be some degree of crossover. Sebastien Mullot, director, CSeries aircraft program, is adamant that Bombardier’s aircraft does not compete in the >150 seat market “and therefore we don’t view larger narrowbodies as competitors”, but both the A320 family and the 737 can seat below that number. “Competition will especially exist where the buying airline already has larger A320s (>150 seats) but seeks some aircraft at lower capacity

FPA_check ATEM112_ATEM 112 24/08/2011 13:46 Page 3

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Armenia-based Armavia was the launch customer for the SSJ100 from SCAC in April this year. (A319s),” says David Stewart, a consultant at AeroStrategy. “Given the spares and pilot training commonality between the A319 and A320, such mixed class airlines might prefer an A319 option to (a completely different) CSeries.” Bombardier will be hoping that the performance benefits of the CSeries will be enough to gain a toehold in the market, which might later be expanded.

Already here — the SSJ100 The SSJ100 is the only one of the four new narrowbodies currently in service, having launched commercial flights with Armenian airline Armavia in April 2011. After one month of operations, the manufacturer was able to report that “no failure having impact on the airworthiness was registered” and that the aircraft had proven “suitable both to regional and to short-haul routes”. The SSJ100 commenced operations with its first Russian carrier, Aeroflot in June 2011. “The first Superjet showed its ability on domestic routes,” stated Vitaly Saveliev, general director of JSC Aeroflot Russian Airlines. “These aircraft will [soon] serve our international routes.” During the development of the SSJ100, some observers speculated that, as Russia’s first post-Soviet commercial aircraft, it would struggle to break out of its homeland much beyond the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), despite having been “created as

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an aircraft that would be in demand all over the world” and “designed to the highest international standards,” according to a SCAC spokesperson. It is worth pointing out that a host of global companies have contributed to the aircraft. The avionics are from Thales; the electrical system from Hamilton Sundstrand; the wheels brake and brake control from Goodrich; the landing gear from Messier-Dowty; the fuel system from Zodiac Aircraft Systems; the electronic control system (ECS) from Liebherr; the auxiliary power unit (APU) from Honeywell; and the hydraulic system from Parker Aerospace. The SaM 146 engine was developed by PowerJet, the 50-50 joint venture between Snecma and Russia’s NPO Saturn. Furthermore, Boeing has acted as a consultant on the project, covering design and manufacturing, certification and quality and supplier management as well as marketing and aftersales support. “There will be some prejudice from Western airlines, but this will likely focus more on the ability to deliver adequate standards of operational and technical support,” says Stewart. “Technical and dispatch reliability are key success factors, and it is this factor that remains unproven, not Sukhoi’s and its OEM partners’ ability to manufacture and certify an aircraft.” The SuperJet International joint venture between Sukhoi and Alenia Aeronautica was created with this purpose in mind, to provide

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The MRJ from MITAC will enter service in 2014. aftersales support worldwide via bases in Venice, Italy and Moscow, Russia. In fact, more than 100 of the 176 firm orders so far have come from outside Russia – from Thailand, Indonesia, Bermuda and Mexico as well as Italy, the homebase of Alenia Aeronautica, one of the two parent companies. These might best be described as fringe markets, however. Only one US company has made a commitment to the SSJ100. In September 2010, Willis Lease Finance signed a memorandum of understanding for six SSJ100s with options for four more. However, if the technology and maintainability of the SSJ100 prove their worth in the straightened circumstances of today’s aviation industry, other airlines may be attracted. Indeed, the SCAC spokesperson says that the way the aircraft “merges regional efficiency with mainline capability is very important for airlines in the current tough economic environment, as they need to be more flexible in fleet and crew planning”. In light of ongoing fuel price pressure, one of the most important considerations for any new aircraft offering is fuel burn. PowerJet says the SaM 146 is “the only fully integrated propulsion system designed, from the ground up, for the new generation of regional jets”. As such, each section has been fine-tuned for better fuel burn through increased efficiency and reduced weight, the latter achieved by a lighter aluminium case and a 20 per cent reduction in parts count – fewer fan blades and high-pressure compressor and turbine stages. As a

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result, PowerJet claims that the engine delivers “the best SFC [specific fuel consumption] of its class [13,500 to 17,500 pounds thrust for 70120 seat aircraft]”. The SCAC spokesperson says the fuel burn saving is assisted by enhancements to the airframe, including “superb aerodynamics and a full fly-by-wire system”. Further advantages are to be found in the maintainability of the engine. PowerJet says that the life limited parts (LLPs) are designed for 20,000 cycles, “providing the best trade-off between service life, weight and cost”. Additionally, courtesy of fan cowl access, an engine change can be accomplished in less than two hours and line replaceable unit (LRU) removal and installation in under 30 minutes. There are also built-in health monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities. The end result, says the SCAC spokesperson, is a reduced emissions and noise profile, longer maintenance intervals and lower operational costs — giving the aircraft a 10 per cent advantage over competitors.

Attractive merits — the MRJ The SSJ100 may be “the most advanced 100-seat commercial aircraft in operation” as the spokesperson claims, but aircraft currently being developed by competitors are hot on its heels. Like SCAC, Japan’s MITAC has been working on its homeland’s first commercial aircraft in decades — the 78-92 seat MRJ. Although the aircraft is not due to enter service until 2014, a spokesperson for MITAC is

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unconcerned about the possibility of the SSJ100 opening up a lead in the regional jet market. “The Russian SSJ is only dominant in its domestic market,” he states. “We are confident of gaining a certain share in the global market after our entry into service.” The company is targeting more than 1,000 of the 5,000 aircraft it predicts will be needed in this size category over the next 20 years. “For the demand by region, we are projecting 40 per cent of our sales in North America, 30 per cent in Europe, and 20 per cent in Asia, with 10 per cent in the rest of the world,” says the spokesperson. AeroStrategy’s Stewart describes this target as “challenging” in a crowded market which already contains CRJs and E-Jets, but the MITAC spokesperson is confident that “attractive merits” such as a greener profile plus operational economies “will differentiate the MRJ from others”. The reduced environmental impact will incorporate a better than 20 per cent cut in fuel consumption in comparison with “conventional regional aircraft”. The resultant emissions will comply with the Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP)/6 standard set by the International Civil Aviation

Organisation (ICAO). Noise levels will also be halved, to match ICAO chapter four. Beyond percentages, MITAC is not disclosing specific figures, but promises that “the MRJ will be the most quiet, clean and efficient regional jet compared to others in this class currently in operation”. The technologies needed to deliver these benefits will be found in both the “cutting-edge aerodynamics” and composite content of the airframe and the next generation geared turbofan from Pratt & Whitney (P&W). The composite empennage, constructed by vacuum assisted resin transfer molding (VaRTM) will contribute to airframe weight reduction. MITAC originally designed the aircraft with a higher composite proportion but downgrounded its plans when it became clear that, with current technology, “the composite materials for a wing and a fuselage would not yield the reduction in weight that we anticipated”. Explains the spokesperson: “We prioritised the timing to launch the MRJ into the market.” Lack of certainty over the successful production of a highly composite aircraft evidently also affected SCAC’s decision on manufacturing materials. “The proportion of composite

The Russian SSJ is only dominant in its domestic market. We are confident of gaining a certain share in the global market after our entry into service. —MITAC spokesperson

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❙ Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 ❙ 49

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Component testing for the CSeries is currently underway, in preparation for a 2013 launch.

We’ve always maintained that we expect to capture at least 50 per cent of that [small narrowbody body, single-aisle] market share and we have well surpassed that number over the last two years. — Sebastien Mullot, director, CSeries aircraft program

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materials is rather limited,” says the spokesperson, because the manufacturer “decided not to expose the projects to certification risks”. The PW1200G engine for the MRJ is currently undergoing ground testing at P&W’s West Palm Beach facility in Florida, US. The PurePower PW1000G series engines are designed to deliver a 16 per cent fuel advantage over engines currently on the market, rising to 20 per cent with an “advanced” airframe. P&W estimates that the reduction in carbon emissions will amount to more than 3,000 metric tonnes per aircraft per year, while the NOx will be 50 per cent below CAEP/6. At 20 decibels under the strictest standards of today, the 75 per cent smaller noise footprint makes the turbofan “the quietest engine in its class”, according to the manufacturer. This will enable extended curfew operation around airports with stringent noise restrictions. P&W says it has designed the PW1000G series with fewer airfoils and LLPs and without “exotic materials” — such as the composite fan in CFM International’s LEAP-X. The manufacturer says these characteristics will increase time on wing and lower maintenance costs. MITAC’s spokesperson agrees that the reduction of engine components will be a key contributory factor to the overall improvement in maintainability offered by the aircraft. The MRJ will apparently require “less maintenance intervals because of

its cutting edge airframe and systems”. Part of MITAC’s strategy was also to opt for “highly reliable and proven equipment in the current market”. This includes some systems and companies which found favour with SCAC: Hamilton Sundstrand for the electrical power and air management systems (but also the APU, provided on the SSJ100 by Honeywell) and Parker for the hydraulic system. The fly-by-wire MRJ will also feature avionics from Rockwell Collins and pylons from Spirit AeroSystems. Regionally sourced contributions come from: Nabtesco (flight control actuators); Sumitomo Precision Products (SPP) (landing gear); and Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) (slats, flaps, belly fairing, rudder and elevator). As for the support network for these technologies, MITAC says it is “currently developing the maintenance programme in co-operation with airlines”. The company also concluded an agreement in June 2011 which will see Boeing Commercial Aviation Services providing 24/7 customer support, including spare parts provisioning, service operations, field services and the tailored service and maintenance for web portal and “Airplane Health Management” (AHM). “With this agreement, we are confident of providing the kind of customer support from day one that is as good as or better than that provided by the competitors,” states the spokesperson. Assembly work on the MRJ was initiated in April this year by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). Thus far, the MRJ has received 130 orders, 70 firm and 60 options, from Japan and Hong Kong – but also America. Trans States Holdings (TSH) is the first US company to commit to the programme, and in some style — 50 firm orders and 50 options. But then, Richard Leach, TSH president has described the MRJ as “a game-changing regional jet”.

Unbeatable economics — the CSeries Of course, “game-changing” is a phrase which is bandied around the aviation industry with some regularity. The very same expression is used by Bombardier to describe its CSeries aircraft, which is due to enter service in 2013. Following an awkward 15 months when the aircraft attracted no sales, there are now 133 firm orders. Several CSeries customers remain unnamed, but buyers range across Europe, North America and East Asia. According to Sebastien Mullot, director, CSeries aircraft program: “We’ve always maintained that we expect to capture at least 50 per cent of that [small narrowbody body, single-aisle] market share and we have well surpassed that number over the last two years.” For Mullot, the CSeries is “the only all-new

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The P&W Geared Turbofan will power both the MRJ and the CSeries

The CSeries is designed to deliver a step change in reliability and maintainability. —Sebastien Mullot, director, CSeries aircraft program, Bombardier

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aircraft specifically designed for the 100- to 149seat market segment”, and answers the call for a solution to volatile fuel prices. “One of the key value features of the CSeries aircraft is its 20 per cent fuel burn advantage over any in-production aircraft in the 100- to 149-seat market segment,” he states. The company estimates a 15 per cent cost advantage. He also asserts that the aircraft’s “unbeatable economics” will allow it to maintain a 12 per cent fuel burn advantage over “any re-engined aircraft” – although Boeing would surely challenge that claim. The lower fuel burn will generate what Bombardier describes as an “unmatched reduction in environmental footprint” comprising 20 per cent fewer CO2 emissions than the current competition, 50 per cent less NOx than CAEP/6, and four times less noise than in-service competitor aircraft. Two key factors will contribute to the reduced fuel savings: the PW1500G variant of the P&W geared turbofan engine which will feature on the MRJ; and the high proportion of composites in the airframe. Bombardier has opted for a daring strategy in terms of manufacturing materials, pushing technological boundaries in a bid to deliver a significantly elevated performance. Not only the empennage but the rear fuselage, the nacelles and the wings are composite. Together with the “advanced aluminium” of the fuselage, more than 2,000lb will be saved in weight. As for the MRJ, Rockwell Collins will supply the avionics. Parker Hannifin will provide the fly-bywire, fuel and hydraulics systems, and Liebherr the air management system. In addition to fuel cost reduction, the

CSeries is designed to deliver better than 25 per cent direct maintenance cost savings: 12 per cent derived from the engine; 11 per cent from on-aircraft labour; four per cent from off-aircraft shop repairs; and one per cent from the aircraft health monitoring system (AHMS). Mullot says these features amount to “a step change in reliability and maintainability”. The company indeed appears to be fully committed on this score, in March this year initiating component testing fully one year ahead of the flight test programme – which, says Mullot, is “unique”. Bombardier’s high-tech Complete Integrated Aircraft Systems Test Area (CIASTA) in Montreal, Canada, is in one of several large facilities built specially for the purpose. The manufacturer has also completed several hundred trade-off analyses to estimate life cycle costs, with the result that the line replacement commonality is over 90 per cent.

Unknown quantity — the C919 The final member of the quartet outside the traditional Boeing-Airbus duopoly developing a next-generation narrowbody aircraft, COMAC, is producing its C919 for entry into service in 2016. Like the SSJ100 and the MRJ, it will be a particularly novel entry into the market, as the first large size commercial aircraft of Chinese origin. In an interesting development in June this year, Ryanair signed a design agreement with COMAC for the C919. It is unclear whether the airline is seriously considering a switch from its 737 fleet to the C919 or simply flexing its muscles during negotiations with Boeing. However, if

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COMAC succeeds in producing an operationally viable aircraft — one which maintains reliability while undercutting other manufacturers, few would put it past Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary to take his “no frills” approach to the next level. Detailed information about the C919 is hard to come by, partly because the aircraft is early in the development stage but also because the manufacturer is less than forthcoming. The word from the engine manufacturer CFM, however, is that the aircraft as a whole will be an impressive piece of engineering. Honeywell is also working with COMAC to develop the fly-by-wire system. CFM finalised its contract with COMAC to supply the integrated propulsion system for the C919, comprising the engine, the nacelles and the thrust reversers, in August this year. The nacelle and thrust reverser are being developed in partnership with Nexcelle, while the engine is CFM’s own LEAP-X1C. COMAC has plans to develop its own engine, although CFM will not be troubled for some time yet owing to a lack of domestic expertise in this field. The LEAP-X series, which will supply one of the two A320neo variants — the other being the PW1100G — as well as the 737 MAX, features a unique composite fan produced by 3D

woven resin transfer moulding (3D-WRTM). The engine recently completed fan endurance and blade-out testing with “outstanding results”, according to the manufacturer. The LEAP-X will deliver a “double-digit” fuel burn improvement over current CFM56 engines, halved noise levels and NOx 50 per cent below CAEP/6. The maintenance costs for the LEAP-X are projected to be comparable to current CFM56 engines. Savings will be derived from fewer booster stages and blades and a fan which has no LLPs or scheduled maintenance. The C919 has garnered at least 40 orders with 60 options from within its domestic market but also from GE Capital Aviation Services. In consideration of the huge fleet growth predicted — indeed, already being witnessed — in China and Asia more generally, it may not matter too much how well the aircraft is received by Western airlines or lessors. Unlike SCAC, MITAC and Bombardier, COMAC has thrown down the gauntlet to Airbus and Boeing by competing in the same size category and should have a significant advantage in the market which has by far the greatest potential in the industry. Could the C919 be the dark horse of ■ next-generation narrowbodies?

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❙ Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 ❙ 53

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Trends in the engine MRO business

Financial imperatives, technological advances and emerging markets are all affecting the shape and size of the engine MRO industry. Together, these influences are creating major changes in the way the industry does business. Chris Kjelgaard reports.

54 â?™ Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 â?™

FPA_check ATEM112_ATEM 112 23/08/2011 11:22 Page 3

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TAP Maintenance & Engineering says it is constantly trying to find ways to improve, with the increase of in-house repair capability and process improvement two of the major recurring issues. any factors impact how the turbine engine maintenance, repair and overhaul business is operating. New materials and design technologies are keeping modern engines on-wing longer. Together with on-condition maintenance programmes which use the diagnostic capabilities offered by digital engine control systems, advanced techniques which can repair parts inside the engine without requiring it to be removed from the wing are also improving on-wing times. A continuing increase in the number of leased aircraft is making the management of engine return condition ever more important. Lessors’ requirements for MRO contracts to be


56 â?™ Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 â?™

tailored for specific engines rather than for particular operators are creating significant changes. Meanwhile, the rapid growth of the airline industries in China, India, Brazil and Russia, the CIS nations, and Latin American countries is changing the face of the engine MRO business geographically. No less important is the emergence of the low-cost airline sector, as well as consolidation among legacy carriers. The difficulty the airline industry overall is finding in shaking off the effects of the economic crisis as fuel prices continue to fluctuate is forcing more airlines to outsource their engine MRO business. Even while this is going on, some big carriers are

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full overhauls. Long-term total care contracts are becoming more widespread and more engines are being torn down or traded rather than repaired.

The changes taking place

photo: StandardAero

Above: StandardAero has been able to quantify the costs and benefits of proactive versus reactive engine maintenance to its customers. Centre: SR Technics’ key business strategy is to align itself with OEMs as a licensed repair station, but to keep itself apart enough from them to be able to offer customers an independent MRO alternative to the long-term total-care packages sold by OEMs.

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bringing more business in-house, often through joint ventures with OEMs. And, as new engines become more complex and technologically advanced, OEMs are increasingly controlling the MRO aftermarkets for their products. At the same time, airlines seek cost savings wherever they can be found and are putting pressure on engine MRO providers — OEMs and independents alike. Meanwhile, more airlines have access to new aircraft with new engines, and many carriers operating older engines are doing so for shorter periods — so MRO shops must adjust the services they offer to meet a growing desire among operators of older aircraft for short-term repairs rather than

“It’s not like it is moving in one direction — a couple of different business models are being applied by different players in the market,” says Frank Walschot, SVP of engine maintenance for SR Technics. “We see increasing demand for OEM MRO support or long-term overhaul service agreements,” says Brian Ovington, senior marketing manager, services for GE Aviation. “Rolls-Royce and IAE [already] have a large penetration in long-term agreements on their current models, but Pratt & Whitney is going to market with its service offering alongside the geared turbofan. CFM [International] … is providing services directly by offering customers long-term agreements with its new LEAP engine.” According to MTU Maintenance, airlines’ financial difficulties and a strong shift to newer aircraft (with new engines) from older aircraft are creating price pressures and competition for MROs, creating lower demand for engine-overhaul work. There is also stronger demand for leased engines, as airlines buy fewer spare engines of newer models. Operators are also demanding financing or sale/leasebacks of spare engines and rota-

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costs, high shop logistic cost, and increasing technology input”. For engines in the second and third stages of their life, operators “are getting more savvy on workscopes and parts,” says Brian Neff, owner and CEO of CTS Engine Services, a Fort Lauderdale-based CF6-50 and CF6-80 repair specialist. Neff, formerly CEO of cargo operator Southern Air, says his airline often found when sending engines out that MRO providers would perform (and bill for) a full overhaul as a matter of course rather than just performing the repair that was actually needed. Now, airlines “are

A continuing increase in the number of leased aircraft is making the management of engine return condition ever more important.

bles; and to save cash they try to shift the financial risk of engine operation as much as they can to the MRO provider. For older engine types, MRO payment plans are changing from power-by-the-hour contracts to fixed-price contracts or time-andmaterial contracts, according to MTU Maintenance. “For newer engines, there is a trend towards so-called ‘payment per event’ contracts, where the agreed fixed rate — typically also on a flying-hour or cycle basis — is paid at the time of the shop visit,” rather than in advance or monthly. The company says there is also growing demand for alternatives to using new parts. These alternatives range from buying single used parts (a relatively high-cost option) to tearing more engines down, in order to swap modules to create one serviceable engine from several unserviceable powerplants. Another alternative is to trade out engines which require repair or whose life-limited parts (LLPs) require replacement, rather than overhauling them. Pedro Pedroso, general manager of engine sales for TAP Maintenance & Engineering’s marketing & sales department, is seeing “more exchanges of older engine types needing repair by serviceable engines removed from parked aircraft, as these are still available”. He says outsourcing of engine MRO work by airlines will probably increase, because “new engine types have high shop investment

❙ Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 ❙


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GE and CFM are investing significantly to ensure advanced repair processes are available.

looking for someone more flexible regarding having someone say that only a modular repair is required rather than a full overhaul”. “As fuel prices keep going up and OEM prices increase each year [by] about six to eight per cent, the MRO industry is unpredictable and everyone is looking to maximise value for every dollar spent,” says Charlie Rey, SVP of sales & logistics for Miami-based F.J. Turbine Power. “A lot of MROs in Miami have closed due to the economy. For the next 10 years, as old aircraft like the MD-80, the 737-200 or 737300 get retired, there will be a reduction in engine inductions. New engines being produced will stay on-wing longer … which means

60 ❙ Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 ❙

fewer engines for the OEM and the third-party MRO to work. For example, a CFM56-7B logged 40,000 hours without a single removal.”

Longer on-wing times Walschot says that not only do new engines stay on wing longer, but after their first shop visits the repaired engines stay longer on-wing than older types did. Today, first-run engines usually come off-wing as a result of LLP life limitation, not because of a deteriorating exhaustgas temperature (EGT) margin or another hardware condition. For leased aircraft, particularly, this creates a situation for operators that requires careful decision-making.





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TAP Maintenance & Engineering believe outsourcing of engine MRO work by airlines will probably increase.

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Should the operator replace the LLPs — which can cost as much as $2m — and not obtain all of the useful life from the new LLPs before the engine’s next scheduled shop visit or its lease return? Or should the operator replace the run-out LLPs with others containing only enough life to see the engine through to its next scheduled shop visit? The latter choice means the operator attempting to match the aircraft’s scheduling to the remaining life on the replacement LLPs — often by having the aircraft operate longer flights in

order to keep its utilisation high. Management of these variables to ensure a level of continuity in flight operations is a skill that has been one of the key factors in the success of some low-cost carriers, says Walschot: “They take the last half-degree of EGT margin out of the engine before it goes back to the lessor.” Most engines have now transitioned to oncondition maintenance programmes, giving airlines (and lessors) the ability to develop maintenance programmes which range from being very proactive to extremely reactive, says Jen McNeill, acting SVP, airlines and fleets for StandardAero. McNeill says the increasing capability of remote diagnostics and trend monitoring allow powerplant engineers to monitor engine performance, to schedule shop visits which previously occurred on an unscheduled basis, and to develop “surgical” workscopes that fix deficiencies without having to tear down the entire engine. “Interestingly, we see customers evaluating the cost of preventive maintenance against the benefits of increased time on-wing,” says McNeill. “For those who decide the benefits of preventive maintenance and upgrades are worth the up-front cost, we are seeing increased engine reliability.” Additionally, “as an MRO facility, we have found that we have to be able to quantify the costs and benefits of proactive versus reactive engine maintenance

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According to MTU Maintenance, airlines’ financial difficulties and a strong shift to newer aircraft are creating price pressures and competition for MROs, creating lower demand for engine-overhaul work. to our customers. We are also required to have a workforce that is flexible and can adapt to the variation in our customers’ maintenance programmes.”

Outsourcing of engine MRO MRO providers generally agree that the outsourcing of engine MRO by airlines will grow. MTU Maintenance says this is the natural result of engines becoming more complex and their materials more advanced; as OEMs increasingly aim to control their aftermarkets; and as airlines focus more closely on their core businesses. “There are only a limited number of providers that will be able to access both the

required technology and licenses for newer engines, and obtain economies of scale and capital to justify such programme entries. Of course, some airlines will continue to insource, mostly in developing countries and especially when government backing and financing is available,” the company says. Indeed, “In emerging areas like the Middle East and China, where the fleets are growing more rapidly, some airlines are transitioning from an outsourcing model to one where they are growing indigenous MRO capabilities,” says GE Aviation’s Ovington. “Airlines are building new facilities not only to help them maintain their expanding engine fleets but also to build

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❙ Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 ❙


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photo: StandardAero

A key requirement for engine MROs is to have a workforce that is flexible and can adapt to the variation in customers’ maintenance programmes, according to StandardAero.

For those who decide the benefits of preventive maintenance and upgrades are worth the up-front cost, we are seeing increased engine reliability. —Jen McNeill, acting SVP, airlines and fleets, StandardAero

64 ❙ Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 ❙

a technology base to diversify industrial capabilities in-country.” At present, older engines “are facing strong replacement by newer aircraft and engines,” says MTU Maintenance. This is leading to “a short-to-medium-term trough in demand for some shops, as older engines no longer require MRO and newer types enjoy a ‘honeymoon’ period of, typically, six to seven-plus years. All in all, even though the engine MRO market is growing together with steadily growing fleets in service, engines will see less shop visits during their life cycles and their operations within a certain operator.” A given engine might not even see a shop visit at all with its first operator. Even as engines age, their on-wing time will remain high, says Neff. “As an engine gets older, people understand it better. You get a ‘tribal knowledge’ of an engine that comes with operating it for 20 years.” For ageing engines such as the CF6-50 and mature engines such as the CF6-80, specialists like CTS Engines can prove a valuable resource for operators. “If there’s a problem, you can call us and we can help you so the engine can stay on wing rather than coming off for overhaul,” says Neff. “If the

OEM does a tech insertion [upgrade], that certainly extends time on wing, too.”

Technological advance: a barrier to entry? Technological advance is a key factor in determining the future shape of the engine MRO business. GE and CFM, for example, tend “to design for longer time on wing, which means fewer shop visits and less need for MRO capacity,” notes Ovington. Designing for reliability and fuel-efficiency means using advanced systems integration and component geometry, as well as advanced materials and coatings. New engine models will require advanced repair processes; and as a result GE and CFM are investing significantly to ensure these will be available. “Because of the high reliability and performance expectations on new engines, you’ll see tighter control over the licensing of these advanced repairs, to ensure engines operate to the expectations of the OEM product commitment,” says Ovington. “Airlines also recognise that more advanced engine designs bring a certain level of uncertainty in future maintenance costs. Therefore, more airlines are signing long-

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In emerging areas like the Middle East and China, where the fleets are growing more rapidly, some airlines are transitioning from an outsourcing model to one where they are growing indigenous MRO capabilities.” —Brian Ovington, senior marketing manager, services, GE Aviation

term service agreements much earlier than in the past. This allows them to lock in their maintenance costs in order to ensure engine performance improvements are realised.” GE now has a $60bn backlog of engine-maintenance contracts, in large part because of customers signing long-term agreements. “We need to ensure that our MRO network can fulfil on our long-term service commitments.” SR Technics thinks the technological advances introduced in new engines will prove a major barrier to entry for independent MROs. Accordingly, the company’s key business strategy is to align itself with OEMs as a licensed repair station, but to keep itself apart enough from them to be able to offer customers an independent MRO alternative to the long-term total-care packages sold by OEMs. Such packages are often comprehensive, but they can be costly and not all operators like them. Through technological advance and totalcare agreements, OEMs have gradually eroded their affiliated shops’ and independent MROs’ share of the total market over the past two decades to the point where such shops now control between only 15 to 20 per cent of the market. However, Neff thinks that share “is

pretty much going to stay the same” in coming years, as operators look to keep costs down wherever possible.

Non-OEM shops still needed One reason for this belief is that independent and airline-affiliated shops will be needed merely to offer an alternative to the OEMs, particularly for older engine types. “As an airline we have to lead the changes to improve our own results, with an impact on the customer base,” says TAP Maintenance & Engineering’s Pedroso. “We are always trying to find ways to change, e.g. by increasing in-house repair capability, and process improvement — lean, et cetera — applied to maintenance, logistics and all areas of the company.” Another reason such shops will be needed is that many operators will continue to pick up older aircraft and engines on relatively shortterm leases from lessors, creating a large MRO requirement from the operators and the lessors themselves. By using proxies in the form of licensed MROs, engine OEMs will be able to participate profitably in this market. “GE has changed its network structure from all-OEM-owned MRO facilities to having a nice

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66 ❙ Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 ❙

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mix of OEM, airline and third-party providers in our network,” says Ovington. “This allows our customers greater flexibility on where they receive OEM-quality workscope and material.” As OEMs, GE and CFM are responsible for forecasting the spares and component-repair needs of their engines when their powerplants start requiring heavy maintenance. Ovington says the companies have improved their MRO forecasting and customer-engagement practices to provide advance insights into future demand for materials and repairs, “and ensure materials are available as MRO needs emerge”. GE introduces about 1,000 repair offerings a year on its product lines and has more than 100 specific repairs already developed for the GEnx as the engine enters service in mid-September.

Customers’ needs are changing Cost-reduction and other factors are changing MRO customers’ needs. For one thing, McNeill says that “the increasing proportion of lease aircraft in the marketplace has elevated the role of lessors in the maintenance transaction, and lease return conditions play an important role in establishing engine MRO workscopes.” Additionally, customers have “become more cost-sensitive since the crisis, a demand we try to fulfil by offering customised and financially optimised contracts as well as developing repairs for high-cost items rather than replacing,” notes MTU Maintenance. For older engine types, the company is working on “increasing used-parts usage, which we partly source in by actively tearing down engines. We have also worked out fixed-price workscopes as well as ‘bag-and-tag’ solutions for customers no longer wanting to overhaul, but simply to swap, serviceable engines.” Neff, meanwhile, says there is “fairly constant pressure by the customer to be involved in the process. We believe customer involvement at all stages is a very good thing. We’re very happy to have the customer come in and source things and price things,” to help keep their MRO costs down. “We want customers to be aware of what’s going on with their engines and to put out the best product we can.” GE is seeing that, for new engines, “customers are asking for more spare-engine support”. “As our engines have become more reliable with longer time-on-wing, many customers don’t want to invest capital in large spare-engine fleets. So customers are looking for an OEM spare pool to help when they need a spare,” says Ovington. “Customers who operate mature engines also have evolving spare-engine options. Spare-engine availability has increased as older planes retire — engines are available to run off green time, lease rates are low, and more MROs are offering ‘free’ or low-rate-lease engines to win shop visits.”

As MROs’ capabilities have grown, customers have passed more risk to the MROs by demanding ever-more-stringent guarantees on repaired engines, says Walschot. “Ten years ago you would see 1,500-to-5,000-hour warranties. Now 15,000 hours is normal, depending on the engine model. The customer also tries to pass lease-return conditions on to the MRO, by a guarantee that the engine will meet the lease-return criteria. Under these conditions, you have to have a long-term agreement and a significant number of engines under contract, but the operator requires a lower cost of ownership.” This has made engine condition monitoring more important to MROs, which are requiring operators to accept real-time monitoring of their engines through monitoring centres run by the MROs themselves. “Contracts have become more complicated — there’s no such thing as a standard contract anymore,” says Walschot. “There’s price pressure on the MRO, but the operator has to make a longer-term commitment, so the MRO can put in an engine condition monitoring system there. But, for the MRO, the risks are still there if you make a mistake in your calculations and assumptions.” Fast-changing though it may be, the engine MRO business is a risky one. ■

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Sum of the parts — spare parts supply As airlines return stored aircraft to service and increase frequencies, the demand for maintenance and spare parts rises commensurately. Alex Derber investigates how the industry will respond to the uptick in demand following a savage recession. here are roughly four million parts in an A380, and a good majority will be repaired or replaced during its lifetime — which gives some idea of the complexity of inventory management at airlines and maintenance shops. Essentially, demand for spare parts correlates to the volume of flight activity, but there are always time lags and different approaches to stock-keeping. For instance, ‘Airline A’, despite ramping up frequencies, might turn to a full warehouse of spares; whereas ‘Airline B’ could be nearing the start of a maintenance cycle without that back-up. Most airlines today take ‘Airline B’s’ approach, holding lean inventories and ordering parts to arrive ‘just in time’, thereby maximis-


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ing cost efficiencies. This requires technical and bureaucratic sophistication all the way down the supply chain, to ensure that inventories at every level are properly monitored, and that the documents attesting to the airworthiness of each part are present and correct.

Forecasting At the top of the supply chain, lean inventories make sense, but further down, suppliers must keep themselves adequately stocked to respond to customer demand. Predicting which parts will be needed when and where is a tricky business, which can depend as much on the customer as on the part. Consumables, for example, are expendable items such as nuts and bolts where demand is



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calculated according to historic usage. But parts that can be repaired and reused — socalled rotables and repairables — are stocked according to the importance of the item. “The forecasting side of the business creates a bit of an issue for us,” says Dennis Zalupski, CEO of Fort Lauderdale-based Kellstrom, which supplies aftermarket parts for both commercial and military application. “On the new parts side we have access to and use the same types of demand forecasting tools many others use, and we are constantly working to improve our processes. The issue we struggle with is on the surplus side of the aftermarket: we can identify the parts we want to procure on an ongoing basis, but we struggle with how to find a steady stream of desirable material at attractive pricing.” Then there are differing approaches to inventory management, which require suppliers to read their customers as well as prevailing economic conditions. During the global downturn, for instance, many airlines opted to conserve cash by burning through their spares provision. This created a demand spike after the recession that threatened to catch out any suppliers who had neglected their own inventories. Fort Lauderdale-based GA Telesis is a global distributor of airframe and engine parts and components. It exploited favourable pricing in the recession to boost stock levels. “Because

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we increased our inventory position during the downturn, once the economy began recovery we experienced an immediate positive impact comparing our inventory to airline demand. We have about $500m in our inventory pipeline for delivery to our customers. This is unprecedented as we are aggressively seeking to increase our customer base and product offerings,” says Russell Bonnell, SVP of global sales at GA Telesis. Magellan, based in North Carolina, also boosted inventory during the downturn, acquiring several aircraft for disassembly and securing a consignment deal with Bombardier for CRJ regional aircraft. “In fact,” says Rob Fessler, SVP of sales and marketing, “Magellan’s most profound growth occurred during the downturn as a result of the diversification into other aircraft types at the right price.”

Pooling and PMA As airlines worldwide have looked to coordinate their front-end operations through alliances and codeshares, they have also re-evaluated their aftermarket and maintenance structures. One obvious way to lower investment in spares has been to pool parts between themselves. Suppliers might be expected to be against such pooling, as it could reduce overall demand for spares, but their views are remarkably wide-ranging. GA Telesis partners its

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airline and maintenance customers in pooling programmes, which allows it to monitor their likely future requirements. “Pooling is definitely an area where you will see increased activity,� says Bonnell. At Magellan, however, Fessler says: “The most notable pooling programmes appear to have hit their limits on numbers of participants and not many copy-cat endeavours have materialised. They have not had a significant impact on the spares market, as evident from the number of independent [spares] companies carving out their share of an ever-growing market. It appears that the concept is compelling to airlines yet the management and execution of such programmes are burdened with complexity.� Zalupski offers alternative reasons why pooling has “minimal impact� on Kellstrom’s business. “Many of these inventory pools are focused on harder-to-procure, newer-generation assets and this is typically not where our sweet spot is in the aftermarket,� he says. Airlines can also lower spares costs through the use of PMA parts. These parts are not approved by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), but are still airworthy and, crucially, cheaper than OEM-branded components. Suppliers like Kellstrom that offer overhauled parts believe they can offer better cost savings than PMA, but third-party manufactured parts remains a touchy subject. GA Telesis does not supply PMA parts at present, as end-users often don’t accept them. OEMs also dislike them, as Bonnell explains: “I find it interesting that Pratt & Whitney does not like the use of PMA parts in their engines, but they manufacture PMA parts for CFMI engines and feel it is acceptable. The truth is, OEMs

don’t like the competition and therefore loss of business. I don’t think they truly feel that PMA parts are un-airworthy.� GA Telesis’ decision not to stock PMA parts is backed by experience at Magellan. Fessler reports one engine at the company proved unacceptable even to leasing customers because it contained PMA parts. “The cost saving of PMA is the driver and that will always appeal to an operator. However, once the asset is transitioning from its first home to its next, the rest of the industry is flummoxed. The appraisers don’t really know how to value engines with PMA installed because the lessors are not altogether willing to take such an animal onto their balance sheets. The market has seen the operational performance and the obvious economic benefits of PMA, yet the subject is still considered taboo amongst the finance circles.� Due to this intransigence, Fessler believes PMA “may never have the impact once envisioned by several luminaries�.

A typical engine customer is interested in used serviceable parts after an engine has operated about 10 years and this is when many of the initial OEM support contracts expire. The market is more competitive than the OEM at this juncture. —Russell Bonnell, SVP of global sales, GA Telesis

OEM influence and automation The travails of the PMA industry may not make economic sense to operators, but they are a boon to OEMs that can continue to supply branded parts at a premium. Manu-facturers, especially on the engine side, see the aftermarket as a major source of growth. Until recently, this has seen them sell products at significant discounts in deals that tie customers to the OEM for maintenance, which offers more attractive margins than new product sales. The next step would be to move into spares provision as well. “We do see this trend,� says



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With all the variances in values on like items it’s a statistician’s worst nightmare to come up with a functional program to correctly value products. We prefer to rely on the expertise of our staff to monitor product values on a real-time basis. —Rob Fessler, SVP of sales and marketing, Magellan

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GA Telesis’ Bonnell, noting that General Electric, Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney have all entered the used serviceable parts market. Nonetheless, he remains unconcerned, stating: “A typical engine customer is interested in used serviceable parts after an engine has operated about 10 years and this is when many of the initial OEM support contracts expire. The market is more competitive than the OEM at this juncture.” Fessler is similarly unfazed. He believes the OEMs’ intrusion into the aftermarket has mostly been at the expense of one another and also points to the number of independent maintenance shops — themselves creating a demand for spares — that offer competitive pricing for airframes and engines some way through their operational lives. Increasingly sophisticated IT solutions, such as electronic data interchange (EDI) are needed to track the movement of increasingly numerous parts. Zalupski says that an IT solution has become a “pre-requisite”, but he also points out that the usefulness of any system, be it on- or off-the-shelf, depends on its ability to interact with systems above and below it in the supply chain. The flexibility of information transfer that IT provides allows GA Telesis to ensure the right products are available to the right customer at the right time. The inter-operability of systems remains crucial, but matters are improving in

this respect. “We have had to make sizable IT investments to better serve our customers’ growing needs for automated information transfer. We sometimes struggle internally to try and be everything for everyone technology-wise, but more of our customers are beginning to use the same or similar EDI and ERP platforms, which allow us to continue specialising our support programmes,” says Bonnell. While technological progression does afford vendors and customers greater visibility, it also brings its own challenges. Fessler says: “Several airline operators are mandating EDI technologies to communicate with vendors but it is not entirely for the better… operators are not only demanding RFQ traffic [information on price and availability] but also automated purchasing conducted over an electronic data interchange. Purchasing transactions become complicated enough due to the need to review supporting documentation, let alone the ability to negotiate price.” Thankfully for luddites, technology has its limits, and will not be pushing warehouse workers out of a job any time soon. GA Telesis maintains a blue- to white-collar ratio of 2:1 and Bonnell says that the complexities of aviation supply, where each part has a unique history and paper trail, will always require a human input. Fessler agrees. “There are too many variables in aftermarket parts. With all the variances in values on like items it’s a statistician’s worst nightmare to come up with a functional program to correctly value products. We prefer to rely on the expertise of our staff to monitor product values on a real-time basis. It’s always been Magellan philosophy that our strengths are in our people and technology is just one of the tools available,” he says. Independent suppliers, OEMs, PMA manufacturers and pooling pro-grammes will shape aviation logistics in the future. The precise input of each will probably change according to needs of end-users — the airlines and MRO shops. Each has different requirements, but both look for cost savings driven by accurate forecasting and planning. Kellstrom’s Zalupski offers his view on where the industry is headed: “I think the dramatic fleet changes that have occurred over the last few years, coupled with the changes that will occur in the near- to mid-term, is the biggest challenge facing the aviation supply chain industry today. Going forward, there will be an over-abundance of old- to mid-generation assets that will need to be absorbed by the marketplace. At the same time, airlines must fund the build-up of their inventory levels to support multiple new fleets being put into service.” ■

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Subcontracting to the aircraft industry Producing parts for the aircraft industry is a different world from most other industries. Everything that goes into making an aircraft, from the screws to the engine components, has to meet stringent quality controls for safety. Compromising quality, which in other industries may be inconvenient, can be fatal in aerospace. ost aircraft parts need to be of high quality material for safety and durability, and made to precise specifications to fit into the complex workings of an aircraft. Certainly all must comply with AS9100 — the quality management standard for the aerospace industry. Aerospace companies work hard to ensure high standards of production and inspection are maintained at all stages. This is combined with a commitment to ensuring aircraft are produced quickly and to specification to meet the needs of their customers. But there are times when aerospace companies don’t have the capabilities, expertise or


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capacity to produce the components they need. This is often the case where a company needs very accurate parts or small batches of specialised components that don’t justify investing in new technology and training. It can also be because they need to produce more parts than they have capacity to create, or simply because a machine has broken or staff are unavailable. In these cases, manufacturers have to rely on subcontractors to provide these parts.

When you can’t do it in-house… Using an external organisation means relinquishing a level of control, which is always a concern when standards are so high and so






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AT113_E&M_AT113_E&M 14/09/2011 12:06 Page 76


The Mitutoyo Crysta 7106 CNC co-ordinate measurement machine (CMM) allows inspection at incredible accuracies. much is at stake. Aircraft manufacturers need to be confident that such organisations will meet their own exacting standards and tight deadlines. Engineering companies that want cheap components, where quality is not too important, can find them for next to nothing abroad, and it is very difficult for UK companies to compete with this. Within industries like aerospace, where components must be produced reliably, and on time, many companies find that these cheaper components do not consistently deliver the quality they need for safety critical applications. Of course many suppliers in these countries are fine, but uncertainty about

76 â?&#x2122; Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 â?&#x2122;

material certificates or quality standards means such parts can be unreliable. As a result, aircraft manufacturers expect to pay slightly higher prices for suppliers which guarantee quality and quick turnarounds. One such company is Dawson Precision Components (DPC), a precision engineering company based in Greater Manchester, UK. Whilst it strives to offer competitive prices, its main selling point, says sales director Paul Dawson, is a commitment to meeting the high expectations of the aerospace industry and other industries where quality is more important than cost. It achieves this through continued investment in new technology and staff. In

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the past few years it has spent more than £2m ensuring it keeps up to date with the very latest machinery. Simon Dawson, managing director of DPC, believes that a commitment to quality, and putting up the money to underpin this commitment, is what makes them so attractive to the aircraft industry. “There’s no secret formula to being a good subcontractor, it’s about investing in the latest equipment, training staff and meeting industry standards,” he says. “It’s about showing the industry you have the capability to do the job, and then doing it to the standard they expect.” DPC has been called on to make a wide variety of aircraft parts, from optical and cathode ray tube display components to replacement cockpit screws and fastenings. It makes specialist fasteners, electronic housings, and aircraft seat fixings, amongst many other parts which form the nuts and bolts of the aircraft industry.

Finding a subcontractor There is no shortage of subcontractors out there but not all offer the specialist capabilities required by aircraft manufacturers. Paul

Dawson advises companies looking for subcontractors to identify what they need — large or small parts, degrees of accuracy, speed of turnaround — and look for a company that fits the bill. “The usual rules apply for identifying the right company; search the web, look for recommendations, read the manufacturing press, talk to other people in the industry. Once you’ve identified a likely candidate, call their customers and check that they would recommend them.” Aerospace subcontractors may make things easier by meeting AS9100, or more commonly ISO 9001:2008, the internationally recognised standard for the quality management of businesses on which AS9100 is based. These qualifications are a good starting point, but even when subcontractors can demonstrate these standards, it is usually necessary to carry out an audit to confirm they meet your specific requirements. Your standards may well be higher than the industry baseline. Audits should be carried out with the rigour that an independent auditor would use. Paul Dawson says: “Being audited by aerospace companies is like undergoing the ISO

The usual rules apply for identifying the right company; search the web, look for recommendations, read the manufacturing press, talk to other people in the industry. Once you’ve identified a likely candidate, call their customers and check that they would recommend them.” —Paul Dawson, sales director, Dawson Precision Components

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These parts have been sorted and placed on a shelf (main), while a DPC technician sets up the Goodway CNC GS280MSY lathe for demanding turning applications (inset).

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9001:2008 all over again. Companies go through all our calibration records to make sure all equipment is maintained and calibrated at regular intervals to reassure themselves that the machinery can guarantee the levels of accuracy the industry requires.” Most aerospace companies will also check parts against their own equipment and compare reports, to ensure they get the same reading. “This makes good sense,” he says. “It’s good for both parties to start out by agreeing that their machines agree, and this saves a lot of time and money later on if they don’t.” Furthermore, machines aren’t infallible. Dawson recalls a time when a customer’s

co-ordinate measurement machine (CMM) disagreed with their reading, only to discover the customer’s measuring shaft had been turned so it was moving the part it was measuring. After DPC had checked several times and confirmed with a micrometer, they could confirm the accuracy of their machine and identify an error with the customer’s machine, saving the customer a lot of trouble with its own production process. Precision is vital to an industry which relies on hundreds of tiny parts to make sure advanced technology functions correctly and safely, and sub-standard machines won’t make the grade. DPC, for example, use the Goodway CNC GS280MSY lathe for many aerospace applications. This is a high spec machine for demanding turning applications offering 77mm dia bar capacity. Live tooling, C-axis, Y-axis, and sub-spindle capabilities mean it can complete milling, drilling, and front/back-end turning applications in one run. More complex parts aren’t suited to combined turning and milling so are turned on the Goodway machine and completed on two pallet and 4th axis machining centres. These machines are both versatile and competitive, with no loading time on larger batches. Production machines aren’t foolproof, so must be backed up by the latest high quality inspection equipment such as video measuring systems and CMMs. Manufacturers expecting

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Various aerospace components, including parts for seat arm mechanisms; carbon rings for satellites; and instrument and display brackets for cockpits.

When we identified that one of our customers was making incorrect measurements, it was because we were making informed decisions about measurement and they were simply trusting the CMM which, like all machines, is not infallible. —Paul Dawson, sales director, Dawson Precision Components

high levels of quality control need to know their suppliers have machines which measure quickly and to high accuracy. If components don’t receive first-off, intermediate and final inspection from trusted machines and expert metrologists, the whole run can be useless. DPC recently invested in a Mitutoyo Crysta 7106 CNC CMM. This high-end piece of kit allows inspection at incredible accuracies, enabling the levels of assurance on material quality and tolerances that give suitable confidence

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to the aerospace industry. Paul Dawson explains: “We were in a situation where we had the production machinery and the skills to make the parts, but not the inspection capabilities to prove we can do it. Such investments represent a big outlay for a company of our size, but we are confident that the added value this will deliver to customers in industries like aerospace will justify the cost.”

The people behind the technology Such advanced machinery requires considerable expertise to set up, program and operate. Customer confidence comes not just from having the technology to do the job, but from seeing that the engineers know what their doing, and where possible have independent certifications to prove it. One course which offers important benefits to customers is the dimensional measurement training framework from the National Physical Laboratory, now nationally accredited by EAL. This teaches a real understanding of geometric symbols and tolerances, how to interpret drawings, and an appreciation of the conditions or inaccuracies that can affect measurement —

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broad range of vital components because, like most manufacturers who require subcontractors, it has a level of specialist expertise that is better subcontracted that developing in house. DPC produces various parts from 1mm to several centimeters, in a range of batches. Mark Jones, support engineer at Qioptiq, is convinced that subcontractors like DPC are up to the job. He says: “Whilst other companies try to be all things to all people, DPC only offer products they know they can deliver to the highest standard. As a result, their components are

Precision is vital to an industry which relies on hundreds of tiny parts to make sure advanced technology functions correctly and safely.

rather than just trusting a machine to do the job. This results in increased confidence in inspecting components, improving reliability and efficiency in the production process, and providing added confidence to customers in the product they are receiving. “This is the kind of course which stops us making measurement mistakes,” says Dawson. “When we identified that one of our customers was making incorrect measurements, it was because we were making informed decisions about measurement and they were simply trusting the CMM which, like all machines, is not infallible.” Not everything is certifiable, nor should be. Manufacturers about to make a big order for important parts benefit from talking to the engineers, and they feel a lot more confident about undertaking work if they can see that engineers understand the machines, and can check their drawings and advise on the best approach. One of DPC’s customers is Qioptiq, which develops and manufactures optical solutions for commercial and military products, including modules for head up displays for aircraft, night vision systems and sightings. It uses DPC for a

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ISO 9001:2008 is the internationally recognised standard for the quality management of businesses on which AS9100 is based. consistently delivered on time and to the highest quality, which makes it easier for us to meet our targets.”

Ensuring quality throughout

If components don’t receive first-off, intermediate and final inspection from trusted machines and expert metrologists, the whole run can be useless.

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Underpinning this whole process is traceability. Manufacturers ordering parts which may be holding aircraft together as they fly through the air need to be assured of traceability throughout the production process, from material selection to inspection. This needs to be guaranteed through certificates of conformity, material test certification and, where absolute precision and consistency is critical, bespoke inspection reports. When outsourcing production engineering, it is important that the material continues to meet quality requirements in a traceable manner. AS9100 requires product identification throughout the product’s life cycle, high level inspection and testing procedures and documentation throughout, both in-house and for suppliers. This does not just apply to your suppliers, but for their suppliers too. A subcontractor may have an excellent reputation for larger parts, but not so much for smaller ones, and may need to use their own subcontractors to fill their gaps in expertise. This is not a problem, but it makes it harder to audit. Manufacturers need to assure

themselves that subcontractors meet AS9100 standards (whether they hold the certificate or not) and be assured that they demand the same of their suppliers. They also need to be able to see that the requisite certificates are provided from start to finish, whoever is involved. Traceability requires all runs to be recorded, and records properly maintained and traceable right back to material batches. “Even if we’ve made a part 50 times,” says Dawson, “batches are still bagged individually and traceable to the materials batch.” This makes repeat batches easy to produce, simplifying future business. Even more importantly, if there are any problems with the finished product, traceable records can be easily accessed and problems up the chain identified — though if the components have been properly manufactured by experts using traceable techniques, this shouldn’t ever be an issue. By ensuring a subcontractor offers a combination of the right expertise, equipment and processes, aerospace manufacturers can be confident the parts they need are delivered quickly and to specification. This allows jobs to be completed quicker without compromising standards. All of which provides confidence to their own customers, delivering value further down the chain in terms of increased sales, and ultimately safer, more efficient aircraft. ■




8-9 February

Aero-Engine Conference USA

Miami Florida, USA


Airline Engineering & Maintenance India Conference

Mumbai, India


ap&m Online Europe

Virtual Event

1-3 May

ap&m Europe Expo & Conference


15-16 May

Airline Engineering & Maintenance Middle East Conference

Abu Dhabi


Airline Engineering & Maintenance China Conference

Bejing, China

23-24 May

Engine Leasing, Trading & Finance Europe Conference

London, UK


ap&m Online Alternate Parts

Virtual Event

12-13 September

Airline Engineering & Maintenance Asia Pacific Conference



Airline Engineering & Maintenance Latin America & Caribbean Conference

Rio de Janeiro / Panama


ap&m Online USA

Virtual Event

3-4 October

Aircraft & Engine Financing & Leasing USA Conference


17-18 October

Aero-Engine Conference Europe

London, UK


ap&m USA Expo & Conference


14-15 November

Airline Engineering & Maintenance Central & Eastern Europe Conference

Istanbul, Turkey


Managing Aircraft Maintenance Costs Conference

London, UK

N.B. All events and dates are subject to possible change or omission.

For more information on sponsoring, speaking or exhibiting at any of the above events please contact: Michael A. Oakes, UBM Aviation Events, Tel: +44 (0)20 7579 8278, Email: Colin Hall, UBM Aviation Events, Tel: +44 (0)20 7579 4864, Email:

Aviatio events list.indd 1

2/9/11 15:16:50

AT113_E&M_AT113_E&M 14/09/2011 12:10 Page 84


Testing times for structural integrity: NDT to the rescue Non-destructive testing is a technique employed in a number of different industries to verify structural integrity, but what requirements are specific to aviation, and what equipment and expertise are used to satisfy them? Joanne Perry went in search of the answers. n April this year, Southwest Airlines flight 812 from Phoenix to Sacramento in the US came close to disaster when the skin of the 737300 tore open at 34,000ft. The aircraft landed safely at Yuma International Airport, Arizona, with only two minor injuries sustained, but the incident sparked a major investigation which caused the cancellation of 300 Southwest flights. Seventy-nine Southwest 737 aircraft were subsequently checked for the lap-joint fatigue cracking which caused the depressurisation incident. The method stipulated by Boeing’s service bulletin (SB), enforced by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airworthiness directive


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(AD), was high-frequency eddy current testing. This classic non-destructive technique proved its usefulness by detecting cracks in five other aircraft, which were then removed from service for repairs. Non-destructive testing (NDT) can be defined as the assessment of material integrity without compromising future use, for example by taking samples for analysis. It is a collection of processes used across a number of different industries, such as power generation and construction as well as transportation. The simplest form is a visual inspection, aided by remote visual inspection (RVI) equipment such as borescopes for areas that would be

FPA_check 110_ATEM 110 18/03/2011 16:07 Page 3

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Top and above: Technicians perform thermographic NDT.

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inaccessible without disassembly. However, this method is only useful for superficial problems and is heavily dependent upon the skill and dedication of the technician. The American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) lists six basic methodological categories: mechanical and optical; penetrating radiation; electromagnetic and electronic; sonic and ultrasonic; thermal and infrared; and chemical and analytical testing. The ASNT supplements these with image generation and signal image analysis. Varieties of NDT too numerous to mention branch out from each main type. In aviation, NDT is used not only during post-incident investigations as in the case of Southwest, but during component manufacture, to preclude flaws, and in the maintenance and repair of both airframes and engines to

detect not only cracks but disbonding, corrosion, scratches and other problems or damage. Steven Shepard, president of Thermal Wave Imaging (TWI), based in Michigan, US, explains some of the requirements of aerospace NDT: “Speed and economy are essential for NDT equipment in almost any industry in today’s economy. However, aviation requires a higher degree of accuracy and reliability than most”. The Southwest incident provides a timely example of the important role NDT has to play in verifying the airworthiness of aircraft and the safety of passengers. Mike Fortman, president of NDT service provider Aerotechnics in Minnesota, US, says that “nearly all aircraft components require some sort of special attention or detailed inspection”. With a constant drive to reduce aircraft weight because of its impact on fuel burn, parts are called upon to perform their respective functions at high load relative to material strength. They must furthermore withstand the stress created by repeated loading and unloading of the aircraft, temperature and pressure changes, and other atmospheric conditions such as lightning strikes. The need for NDT does, however, vary across the aircraft. As Mark Ginn, chief inspector at Delta TechOps, explains, many components “require special attention when receiving NDT as a result of their criticality to safe flight”, whether they are located in the engines, landing gear or airframe. Albrecht Maurer, senior

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product manager testing systems, at GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies agrees that the difference in safety requirements is the main factor in determining the intensity of the NDT which is conducted. “Primary structures receive more NDT attention than secondary or tertiary structures,” he states. Shepard adds that, in an additional complication for the aerospace industry, many aviation inspections “involve large areas in which the component construction may vary considerably”. A central aspect of this variation stems from the material used in manufacture, but further considerations are the nature of the suspected flaw and the conditions of inspection, says Philippe Boiteux, COO managing director of NDT Expert, an NDT solutions provider based in France. The latter include the expertise of the company and technicians concerned, and whether it is a manufacturing or maintenance operation performing the NDT. Maurer points out that the choice of NDT technique is also governed by manufacturer and certifier approvals. MRO provider Delta TechOps maintains a broad portfolio of NDT capabilities in order to balance out the strengths and weaknesses of the different methods: eddy current; magnetic

particle; fluorescent penetrant; ultrasonic; radiographic; and infrared testing. As an example, Ginn explains that the magnetic particle method, which involves the dusting of a magnetised surface with iron particles to highlight anomalies, cannot be applied to non-ferrous materials. In addition, although magnetic particle NDT can be used to identify subsurface defects, its effectiveness decreases with depth. It also requires the removal of paint from the test surface. Meanwhile, eddy current testing, which involves the generation of electrical currents by a changing magnetic field and the noting of any flow disruption, cannot be performed on non-metallic materials such as composites.

Many aviation inspections involve large areas in which the component construction may vary considerably. — Steven Shepard, president, TWI

NDT for composites “Infrared (thermal imaging), ultrasonic testing (resonance, low frequency pitch-catch, pulse echo, through transmission), and radiography (digital or film x-ray) need to be used to find flaws in composite materials,” according to Fortman. GE Sensing & Inspection’s Maurer believes that for such applications ultrasonic testing (UT) “is the most reliable method with least technical restriction, i.e. minimum/maximum thickness and complexity of structure”.

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❙ Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 ❙


AT113_E&M_AT113_E&M 14/09/2011 12:11 Page 88


Top: Eddy current NDT can only be applied to metallic materials. Inset: “Bondtracer” from GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies.

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In UT, both geometric surfaces and internal integrity can be analysed by the transmission of high-frequency sound waves into the test material. Resonance testing in its most rudimentary form consists of a “tap” test, which is what the name suggests, but is computerised at the highest levels. In through transmission, a transmitter is positioned on one side of the test material and a receiver on the other, while pulse echo is a single-sided technique for less accessible areas, and in the pitch-catch method the transmission occurs at an angle and is useful for the testing of non-linear objects. Linear array UT involves a single source of transmission, while a more complex

and more commonly used version with multiple pulsing elements — phased array — creates a kind of steerable “searchlight” for inspection. Newly launched NDT products in the UT category include the “Bondtracer” unveiled by GE in May this year in collaboration with Boeing. This is a portable composites inspection tool which is designed to enable mechanics to assess minor impact damage at an airport gate. The quick feedback produced by “Bondtracer” determines whether an aircraft is fit to fly or requires further investigation and repair. In radiographic testing (RT), gamma or X-rays — which one depends upon the thickness of the material in question — are directed through the test object onto a film, which produces a shadowgraph depicting internal features. As in the well-known medical application, variations in density are represented by lighter and darker areas. Radiography has the advantage of removing disassembly requirements, but brings with it the disadvantage of safety concerns. Owing to the hazardous nature of X-rays and radioactive isotopes such as iridium 192, which produce gamma rays, extra precautions must be taken when using this technique, such as protective equipment and warning systems. Shepard asserts that thermography is also a good option for composites, because “the cost of a large-scale thermography system is significantly less than the alternatives”. As a result, “many companies have replaced C-scan

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AT113_E&M_AT113_E&M 14/09/2011 12:11 Page 90


Top: NDT is performed on an engine. Above: An NDT employee analyses results by computer.

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[UT] systems with thermography”. In thermography, the test material is heated so that the temperature decay can be observed over time, with structural anomalies disrupting normal cooling. However, Shepard notes that the unprocessed images from the standard infrared camera used to detect the thermal patterns “are not sufficient for many aviation NDT requirements”. TWI therefore uses a thermographic signal reconstruction (TSR) processing method which analyses the time evolution of each pixel, enabling not only the identification of anomalies but quantitative measurement of thickness, thermal diffusivity or porosity. He says this effectively

allows a user to “drill down” into the test item. “This combination of fast area coverage and the ability to ‘self-validate’ image results using time response is a unique advantage of thermography,” he states. Other advantages include a fair tolerance of non-planar geometries, surface characteristics and ambient conditions. “The most fundamental limitation is the one imposed by the physics of diffusion, which requires that the diameter of a subsurface feature is larger than its depth,” states Shepard. Maurer says that, in summary, the NDT methods which can be used for composites are “ideal to detect lack of bonding (delamination) as well as porosity over the whole area of each component without impacting its properties”. This is because composites “rely strongly on the perfect bonding between individual layers and on absence of pores which may develop during the hot curing process”.

Flaw characteristics and inspection conditions The properties of material flaws which impact on NDT include size, depth and accessibility, says Fortman. He gives the example of rotating engine parts such as turbine blades and discs, which may contain very small defects that require the use of special penetrants and/or automated scanning. In penetrant testing (PT), a simple NDT method based on the capillary action of liquids, a solution of

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visible or fluorescent dye is applied to the test object, before the excess solution is removed to highlight any breaks in the surface. A developer is used to draw the penetrant out of the defects. Visible dyes rely on colour contrast between the penetrant and the developer, while fluorescent dyes are activated by ultraviolet light. However, as Ginn points out, a key drawback is that penetrants can only detect superficial discontinuities. The chemicals may also damage composite materials. Care must be taken in any case to properly clean off the penetrant, or risk misleading results. This method, like magnetic particle testing, also necessitates the removal of paint from the test material. As regards the differences between NDT for manufacturing and maintenance applications, Maurer explains: “Parts with MRO-testing requirements demand instant image output rather than time consuming scanning processes, e.g. impact analysis through shearography [optical NDT], remote visual inspection and in special cases UT testing with portable scanners.” TWI, for example, provides large-scale thermographic systems for manufacturing contexts and portable/ handheld products for in-service use. There is some crossover, however. GE’s Phasor XS and DM phased array UT products can be used for volumetric inspection during both manufacture and maintenance, as can the company’s range of RVI equipment. In light of the pros and cons of different NDT methods, it can be necessary to use multiple techniques during inspection. For example, the emerging NDT technique of process compensated resonance testing (PCRT) offers a high degree of objectivity through the compilation of statistical data — but relies on a known sample set to establish basic parameters. In this method, samples of defective and defect-free parts identified by destructive analysis or another NDT technique are used to build a customised software algorithm, based on the contrast between a series of natural frequencies or resonant responses from the two groups. As Greg Weaver, director of operations at Vibrant Corporation in New Mexico, US, explains: “The software is defining not only the absolute response differences, but more importantly the relationship difference across multiple responses.” The system can be “taught” to recognise acceptable and unacceptable differences between components of the same type, compensating for the unintentional variation generated by even the most modern manufacturing processes. Like other NDT types, PCRT possesses a mixture of good and bad points. On the negative side, although PCRT can detect a decline in

structural integrity, it does not specify the defect type or location as would magnetic particle testing and phased array UT. However, Weaver says the technique does challenge FP and X-ray NDT, and at a comparable cost. One of the key advantages, he explains, is that PCRT can detect more than one defect type, internally and externally, in a single inspection. Additionally, it is “the only NDT method that can detect metallurgical issues such as alloy overtemp and intergranular attack”. The inspection time is also impressive — between four and six seconds for the resonance test itself. Importantly, PCRT can be applied to both metallic and non-metallic parts including composites, during either manufacture or maintenance processes. “A PCRT test at the front of an MRO receiving process could save companies an enormous amount of time and money,” states Weaver. “The same goes for blade manufacturing, where PCRT can not only be used as an inspection tool, but also as a process control measurement.” In aviation, PCRT is mainly used for turbine components, including solid and hollow turbine blades, silicon nitride bearing elements and forgings/castings. Weaver believes that PCRT “should become a dominant inspection in the

GE’s “Phasor XS” phased array NDT solution.

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PCRT systems can recognise acceptable and unacceptable differences between components of the same type. turbine blade world” and that it might be included in most OEM standard practice manuals within five years, bearing in mind the difficulty of making predictions. Delta TechOps received FAA approval for PCRT in September 2010, and Ginn views the technique as “an important capability in years to come and an important part of the Delta TechOps NDT portfolio”.

The latest on NDT

Parts such as bolts may be tested by NDT.

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“Even conventional techniques are permanently moving on,” Boiteux observes. One of the biggest sources of change in the NDT business is the trend in airframe manufacturing toward greater proportions of composite materials. Jeff Stetson, senior product manager, ultrasonics, at GE, says that on the UT side, “composite airframes are driving some changes in equipment”. According to Boiteux, the increase over the past decade has led to an expansion of UT, thermographic and shearographic capabilities. As the composite level rises, “NDT methods such as ultrasonics, radiography, and infrared inspections become more valid,” notes Fortman. “Established methods such as penetrant testing, magnetic particle testing, and eddy current are nearly obsolete or unusable on composite materials”. At Delta TechOps, Ginn has witnessed the growing importance of UT, “with ultrasound being the method of choice for many composites”, but also a similar trend in eddy

current testing. He adds that eddy current NDT, UT, RT and infrared testing have all “benefited from technological advancements over the last few years”. Referring to NDT as a whole rather than composites-focused NDT, Ginn says the use of mature methods such as magnetic particle testing and FP “has remained fairly constant”. Stetson adds that for engine inspections one of the most noteworthy technological advancements has been the “huge transition from film to digital RT”, for which GE has developed products such as the DXR 250P, a digital and portable RT solution for on-wing inspections. There is clearly a wealth of NDT equipment and expertise on the market. If the near-disaster of flight 812 is anything to go by, it is more a question of ensuring that these services are called upon as appropriate. Although eddy current testing detected cracks in a number of Southwest aircraft during the fleet-wide investigation, prior to the incident only visual inspections were required for the 737 Classic serving the flight. Nor was this the first such incident involving a Southwest aircraft; something of a track record had even led to a $7.5m settlement in 2009 for missed fuselage inspections. It seems safe to say that a little more non-destructive testing on the ground could prevent a whole lot more destruction in the air. ■

ATEM 107 AMusa vers2a_278x210_ATE&M 08/09/2011 12:22 Page 1

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Media supporters:

AT113_IT_AT113_IT 14/09/2011 12:17 Page 94


Maximising your MRO operations in the cloud Maximising your MRO operations in the cloud. This statement certainly has all the trendy buzzwords, powerful connotations and the promise of something beneficial to the aviation industry. AirVault’s Michael Antonucci brings this concept out of the clouds and grounds it to illustrate some of the practical benefits available today. he promise of housing all sorts of airline records in a secure vault in the cloud doesn’t, at first glance, seem much different then storing them in your own company’s database. But take a further look — and some clear benefits start to become apparent. Gartner Research, The Harvard Business Review and The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have provided reference models on the virtues of a cloud-computing model. Apple, Amazon and Google are building massive cloud infrastructures, and everywhere you look you see articles on the subject. Surely there are efficiencies to be gained and opportunities to promote passenger safety as a


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culture among the airline industry and its partner ecosystem? First, let’s define “cloud architecture” as an enabling platform for MRO operations. According to NIST, suitable cloud architecture is about providing everything as a ‘service’. Some think of this as Enterprise Cloud Computing (ECC). So why does this matter? ❏

On the cost side, many but not all IT and data centre costs can be reduced and tied to usage. On the revenue side, risk and start-up costs for innovation initiatives can be cut dramatically.

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Flow of MRO records in the aircraft supply chain

FAA 121



Internal (SWA)

MRO (Delta Tech Ops)

In-house Records

Customer Records


3rd Party

Internal Repair own products (Goodrich)

Supplier Records Major Class IV (TIMCO)

Component Shops (NORDAM)

FAA 21 Manufacturing - 2nd Tier OE (Goodrich, Parker)

Supplier to Aircraft OE (Boeing PC)

Licensed Aftermarket Direct Sales (PMA)

Aftermarket (PMA/TSO)

OE License (Wencor)

Design Holder (HEICO) Source: AirVault

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No upfront capital expense means new projects can be started up and discontinued as needed. On average, more than 20 companies make up today’s value chain. In aviation that number is much larger. Collaboration, a key to gaining competitive advantage, is the way the airline industry must work in a global economy. Within the aviation industry two additions to the NIST ‘suitable cloud architecture’ include: 1) Business Process Management (BPM) as a service; and 2) Management Controls as a service. Both provide the controls needed to manage the extensive aviation ecosystem.

Identifying an infrastructure Recent high-level aviation MRO IT roundtables and conferences have identified the creation of a cloud infrastructure as critical to providing discrete and secure grantable and revocable access to data in the aviation ecosystem. So at AirVault, we established a basis for why cloud architectures function as a suitable architecture and the fact that the aviation industry supports that notion.

Next, let’s discuss some direct aviation business benefits and use cases. The chart opposite illustrates a number of the constituents that make up the highly regulated airline supply chain as it applies to the flow of MRO related records. It represents one view from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) applicable to managing aviation MRO records to assure the airworthiness of a fleet and to comply with regulations. A similar view can be drawn representing regulatory bodies on a global basis. Any number of aviation business use cases can immediately benefit from understanding the supplier side ecosystem represented by carriers, MROs, PMAs, and OEMs. So assume you have a cloud based environment that connects these partners together. It’s important to understand the value that can be derived:

The real benefit becomes apparent when you consider that you can respond to an incident quickly and proactively knowing that you have access to supplier provided maintenance, real time notice of service bulletins, vendor and consultant certifications all across your ecosystem of partners and suppliers.

1. Information accessibility on a controlled and need-to-know basis: granting and revoking access privileges as required without being a ‘user’. Applies to the FAA, NTSB, internal auditors, lessors, M&A and other global regulatory agencies.

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Cloud Architecture INFRASTRUCTURE as a SERVICE

Network, Computing and Storage resources


Development environment to build and deploy cloud services.


Unique applications used by individuals and organisations

2. Proving compliance: by getting maintenance records online quickly, historical records conversion (backfile), and providing best-practices workflows and processes to capture records quickly and get them online. Carriers, for instance, can prepare for audits of supplier provided maintenance, research service bulletins, handle incident co-ordination with regulators, and more. 3. Ecosystem connections: providing an easy, cost effective online private cloud-based service that connects a carrier with their MROs, suppliers, and regulatory partners and standardises data and process. In a similar fashion, MROs can connect to other MROs and suppliers they do business with. Any numbers of possibilities exist to collaborate.

AirVault Cloud repository schema

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4. Operating efficiencies and bottom-line savings: can be realised in several ways. Reduced capital expenditures are inherent in a cloudbased model as described above. Reduced operating expenses are derived from more efficient resource utilisation as skilled labour doesn’t have to search for records in boxes, and aircraft can get back in the air quicker. Best practices for streamlined maintenance records management also improve efficiencies. Getting records online fast, including those of your suppliers, provides rapid access with either a browser or mobile device and offers great savings. Some direct savings are also possible with the promise of cloud-based platforms operating very cost effectively. The real benefit becomes apparent when you consider that you can respond to an incident quickly and proactively knowing that you have access to supplier provided maintenance, real time notice of service bulletins, vendor and consultant certifications all across your ecosystem of partners and suppliers. The ability to prove compliance quickly can substantially reduce finds associated with non-compliance and allow you to get aircraft flying again quickly.

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Let’s take the concept of leveraging the cloud to maximise your MRO one step further. So you have a cloud-based repository. You are connected to your suppliers, you have a complete set of all compliance related documents. How can you further maximise your MRO operations in the cloud? Your aviation related records are securely hosted in the cloud, and you can grant and revoke access as needed. Your backfile (warehouse of records) is uploaded, indexed, searchable and retrievable quickly and discretely from almost any location and on most mobile devices. We illustrated how connecting your MROs and other suppliers reduces your compliance risk and allows you to proactively ensure passenger safety, operate more efficiently, prove compliance and collaboratively manage incidences when they occur. Consider that maximum benefits are gained when you connect the other entities in your ecosystem as detailed below. Carriers to MRO: where a carrier can provide upload capability to their MRO partners to input maintenance data in real-time to save on transportation, make then immediately accessible, and provide a standard format for that data as well as a best-practice approach (workflow)

AirVault counts Atlas among its list of customers.

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2nd-Tier MRO

Part 145

Component OEMs




Parts 121/135



Airline A


Airline B



Part 21

AirVault document flow within the aviation ecosystem

Airline C

Leasing Company

Part 121

Regulatory Agencies: (FAA, NTSB, CAA, ICAO, CAAC, TSB, EASA, JAA, EPA, DOL, ...) Manufacturer Aircraft Lifetime Birth


10-year source: AirVault

associated with the maintenance process. This provides a more consistent approach to maintenance records management and a level of control important for the owner/operator who is ultimately responsible for their aircraft. In addition, MROs of all sizes and levels of IT (technical) sophistication can provide the same quality of maintenance records management and process. MRO to MRO: MROs are outsourcing work to smaller and specialty players. By extension, connecting them together from a records management perspective has similar benefits. Carrier to lessor: more and more aircraft are being leased. Being able to demonstrate the airworthiness of your fleet to your lessors has real business benefit. Lessors can also benefit as they have higher value aircraft to sell. Carriers to regulatory agencies: holds the promise of valuable connections between the FAA, NTSB, internal and external audit consultants,

100 ❙ Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 ❙

M&A discovery teams, etc. One can envision proactively involving regulatory bodies on an asneeded basis for specific incidences.

Passenger safety — the big play The regulatory authorities today are pushing the airlines and MROs toward a Safety Management Systems (SMS) culture. SMS is recognised by regulatory authorities, airlines and manufacturers as the most effective way to attain world-class safety objectives. SMS is the application of technical and management principles, criteria and techniques to optimise safety. The goal of system safety is to optimise safety by the identification of safety related risks, and by eliminating or controlling them through the application of institutional procedures, based on proven system safety precedence. An important component of an SMS culture in aircraft maintenance is the implementation of

AT113_IT_AT113_IT 14/09/2011 12:21 Page 101


an error management system. Generally an error management philosophy is based on the idea that safety and economic success are not separate issues. Fewer errors not only improve safety but also enhance the economic performance of the company. There are many Quality Control and Quality Assurance processes in use that are intended to identify and correct errors but a common thread is that they all rely heavily on maintenance records as the data source. Once an error is investigated and the contributing factors are identified, a corrective action plan is developed that focuses on contributing factors identified during the investigation. This information is maintenance recordsbased such as non-routine task cards that are opened when a discrepancy is identified. Maintenance records of this type may identify pre-delivery discrepancies, procedural errors, post delivery operational problems, records accuracy, and audit results. Records are considered to be the principal form of evidence, and documented evidence is essential in analysing and determining the root cause of maintenance errors or deficiencies. Records also substantiate the effectiveness of corrective actions so that improvements can be identified for broader application. A strong data research tool can supplement or form the basis of the error management analysis process. These records, and the associated analysis, can then be used to develop metrics information describing the success or failure of the corrective actions, and further analysis of these maintenance records can identify repeat occurrences and trends that indicate systematic problems or the success or failure of corrective actions. ■

Southwest Airlines is another AirVault customer.

The world of aviation maintenance is evolving. Maintenance organizations looking to maintain their competitive edge and safeguard their future need adaptable maintenance software.


With its unparalleled commitment to quality and innovation, Mxi Technologies delivers industry-leading software that lets you keep pace. Don’t just react to changes in the aviation industry. Evolve with them.

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❙ Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 ❙ 101

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ATR: The strength of flexibility ATR continues to gain new customers on a global basis. New customers represent new desires, and with existing customers continually changing in response to external factors, the company is constantly working to achieve the perfect balance in its aftermarket maintenance strategy. ATR has therefore developed a number of solutions — all of which, says Tony Arrowsmith, integrate one deep-seated ideal: flexibility.

TR was established in 1981 when a European joint venture was formed between Aerospatiale and Aeritalia. Since then, the company has established itself as a prominent manufacturer of one of the most costeffective families of short-haul aircraft in the aviation world. From the very beginning, the company manufactured and optimised its unmistakable highwing design, twin turbo propped fleet with three key aspirations: efficiency, passenger comfort and operating flexibility. Thirty years on, ATR has become the benchmark for regional turboprops with its ATR 42 and 72 models. More recently, the -600 series


102 ❙ Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 ❙

was introduced — a development that according to the company “represents a significant step forward in the regional transportation market”. In 2010 total turnover exceeded $1.35bn, with the company selling 1,100 aircraft and customers comprising over 175 operators in more than 90 countries. Almost every twenty seconds, an ATR aircraft takes off somewhere around the world. With these inspiring statistics and an incredibly high saturation rate in the modern airline industry, the maintenance challenges confronting ATR are of course many and complex. An unpredictable and volatile global economic climate, and the secondary effects it is

having on ATR’s customer base, only adds to the difficulties. Customers are continually reevaluating their own business and therefore ATR is not alone in having to adapt and align itself with these evolving ambitions. The question is: how can ATR best position itself to address these new challenges? To discover the answers, ATE&M spoke with Luigi Mollo, VP of commercial for ATR Customer Services. “Over the last few years, we have noticed that airlines have a growing need to concentrate on their core business and gradually make more use of the services available on the wider market,” he says. “In addition, ATR customers are increasingly looking for cost

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When it comes to ATR spares, you are in Safe Hands. Meet us at MRO Europe September 28-29, IFEMA Madrid, Spain ACLAS is a key supplier of ATR 42/72 and Bombardier Shorts spares and components, with extensive inventories of rotables, consumables and airframe structural parts. Providing advanced and innovative inventory solutions to its global clients for over twenty years, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in safe hands with ACLAS.

ACLAS is part of the


1702 548 504

ATEm113_RegPersp_ATEm113 14/09/2011 12:24 Page 104


ATR’s high-wing design, twin turbo propped fleet was manufactured with three key aspirations: efficiency, passenger comfort and operating flexibility. effective services, particularly small operators and low costs airlines.” Historically, he points out, ATR’s service role ties in with the company’s desire to extend and consolidate its ability to make new services available, and in different fields of expertise. “This reminds us that since the beginning, what we have offered has been in response to what clients demanded, in particular, in the areas of delivering spare parts and managing repairs of equipment.” Over time ATR has worked to minimise turnaround time issues from an airline’s list of repeated operational concerns. “Evidently, the demand for services is increasing; airlines are searching for service providers capable of integrating the widest variety of services which can help them manage, maintain planes and equipment, and provide expert assistance with some of their tasks in progress,” says Mollo. To further extend these sentiments, and in order to continue to support its operators, especially taking into account the economic constraints of the past few years, Mollo says ATR has developed a new concept of maintenance service tools which afford customers extra peace of mind. The ‘Time and Material Plus’ (T&M+) option is one example. Mollo says it is an entirely new business model that takes economic fluctuations into account, T&M+ offers favourable conditions on a shortterm but renewable basis when customers wish to set up time and material (T&M) agreements.

104 ❙ Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 ❙

Mollo believes that this “fresh and customer-centric” service is “indeed a model of flexibility and customisation. Operators can outsource either some or all of their maintenance needs through the terms of agreement, without the complications of having to set up a separate logistics contract.” The T&M+ option integrates access to ATR’s global repair network of top ranking (in terms of service quality and compliance to ATR work standards) MROs, OEMs, and repair shops. In addition to securing strong repair and delivery performances, the service makes tracking and the accurate reading of technical reports/shop findings easier. T&M+ also incorporates a reward system based on the actual turnover achieved by the customer at the end of a given period and from the ATR catalogue of repair services and charges in force. “We have also developed innovative and competitive support solutions to complement operators’ own capabilities, meeting various requirements and providing a cost-effective level of service for ‘off-aircraft’ and ‘on-aircraft’ maintenance,” says Mollo. In order for a continued and effective customer care programme, he believes it is “essential” that all the basic services embrace the highest professional standards. As with the most successful and flexible service and maintenance tools, ATR “will continue to adapt to market and operators’ requirements.” ATR is aiming to galvanise these initiatives by forging new partnerships and co-operation

programmes with vendors and repair stations. Mollo hopes this will enable the company to offer an even more comprehensive range of services to assist regional airlines in operating their ATR aircraft by reconciling revenue and cost targets.

Added flexibility and value By now, any reference to the global economic climate is enough to make anyone sigh with boredom. But the almost unbearable truth is that its threat is still very real. With T&M+, ATR are acutely aware of this, as well as the adverse effects the recession has had on its customers’ operations. The same presentiment has been applied to the company’s ‘Global Maintenance Agreement’ (GMA) solutions. GMA is an innovative and fully comprehensive ATR concept to provide its clients with customised and flexible solutions for on-aircraft and off-aircraft maintenance. Mollo says GMA constitutes ATR’s contribution to reducing maintenance costs and is compliant with budget control. With flexibility being the common denominator throughout the ATR service portfolio, GMA has been developed with the remit to meet a wide range of specific needs based on the operator’s choices in investment, local resources, aircraft fleet and expected use, and on-site stock protection levels. This innovative pay-by-the-hour programme makes maintenance cost planning a straightforward and manageable task.

ATEm113_RegPersp_ATEm113 14/09/2011 12:24 Page 105


“In an increasingly competitive market, the aviation industry endures massive on-going economic pressure. Initial parts provisioning, anticipation of spares requirements, parts reliability, turnaround times and the management of repairs, stock levels and warranties are some of the crucial tasks every airline needs to carry out,” says Mollo. They involve considerable up-front investment and man-hours, without truly solving downtime and risk probabilities. “So to offer operators the peace of mind that will allow them to concentrate more on their core business is to create a strategic opportunity for them to boost their competitive edge,” and therefore, he emphasises, “the ATR GMA is a combination of multiple services designed to provide maximum aircraft availability and costefficiency.” Naturally, and as many operators have learned in recent years, big operational changes have been a running theme if business is to continue at economically viable rates. So how difficult is it to keep pace? “The ATR GMA concept is to offer airlines as many maintenance options as possible, whilst integrating their existing uses and capabilities,”

says Mollo. “Such a concept was borne out of ATR’s belief that every airline has specific needs and ideas on how to best run its operations. ATR operators make their GMA selection only for the services which they consider to be of value to their organisation and current objectives.” ATR is also continually developing a number of added-value resources, such as engine consulting. According to Mollo, the management of fleet power plants in terms of technical maintenance and associated costs is a serious matter as it implies “key choices with key players”. This, he says “is in a context where sharper competition and pressure to cut costs make striking the right balance, between optimum operational efficiency and budget constraints, a constant challenge.” To fully support its operators with their engineering and maintenance solutions for the Pratt & Whitney PW121, PW124 and PW127 engine series, ATR is now offering a new modular engine consulting service, so a “customer’s selection can be a ‘combination choice’, to best match the airline’s current situation”. The service includes a number of subcategories including; engine assessment,

Passion for Details

With more than 75,000 orders delivered each year, ATR has an unrivalled experience in spares handling. —Luigi Mollo, VP commercial, ATR Customer Services

‘More than Repair and Overhaul‘ That is part of our service philosophy as a globally recognized company with a substantial portfolio of MRO Services on GE’s CF34 turbofan engines, P&WC’s PW100 and PW150 turboprop engines as well as PW901A APUs. All our efforts are focused on one target: provide services at highest quality levels, increase efficiency through innovation and ultimately keep your aircraft where they naturally belong: in the air.

We offer our services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just call +49 (0) 172 620 35 03 Lufthansa Technik AERO Alzey Rudolf-Diesel-Str. 10 55232 Alzey, Germany Phone +49 (0) 67 31 497 - 0 Fax +49 (0) 67 31 497 - 197

The Fine Art of MRO Services

❙ Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 ❙ 105

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Many applications have been made available through ATRactive, covering all the different aspects of support and services activities comprising training, spares trading, engineering, technical publications and communication, according to Mollo. This brand new customer support portal is an integrated e-marketplace designed to enhance support services. It is widely available to all members of the ATR regional market and ATR is proactive in continuously enhancing the site contents by providing additional features in the fields of training and flight operations, spares and technical support. Mollo states: “In ATR Customer Services, we are also working on the development of an E-catalog for retrofit solutions – to provide our customers with guidelines to identify the available retrofit most adapted to their type of fleet and profile of operations.”

Never standing still

Over time ATR has worked to minimise turnaround time issues from an airline’s list of repeated operational concerns. maintenance audit visits, tooling recommendations, the establishment of work packages, analysis of repair estimates vs. invoices, assistance at repair stations during shop visits, and even consulting for the preparation of requests for proposals (RFPs) to repair shops. “The service offer is more than just an addition to our service portfolio. It is the product of extensive aircraft and engine manufacturer’s knowledge, added to invaluable data gathered from collective hands-on experiences,” says Mollo. “It is then shared and used to enable ATR operators to optimise time on wing, repair management processes, and maintenance costs versus accrued performance or asset values.”

New solutions The issues of data tracking, advances in material and spares management and e-solutions are three other spotlighted areas in which ATR saw room for manoeuvre. As part of its overall objective to broaden its web-based services, ATR has developed a new on-line service enabling electronic data collection and fleet performance analysis – a webhosted service, which utilises the ‘Airline Fleet Data Management System’ from Data Systems & Solutions. This ATR flight data collection tool, ‘AWARE’ (ATR Website Aircraft Report and Exchange), ensures quick and valuable feedback to operators, according to Mollo. “Each ATR operator is entitled to free access to this tool, in order to compare its own performance to the ATR world fleet in terms of

106 ❙ Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 ❙

utilisation, technical dispatch and components reliability,” says Mollo. “Through this system, each ATR operator can assess its own reliability and maintenance data, and compare it easily with the ATR fleet worldwide average.” In terms of material and spares management, ATR as an aircraft manufacturer believes it is in the best position to ensure off the shelf availability, any time round-the-clock – with more than 35,000 part numbers available in stock to provide more flexibility and efficiency to an operator’s field operations. Since airlines’ on-time performance is of utmost importance, ATR offers its customers in 70 different countries efficient spares deliveries and extensive spares services worldwide. The ATR offer is set up to meet spares requirements through a wide range of services including but by no means limited to 24 hour repair test and overhaul services right through to efficient logistics solutions. “Over 230 suppliers and their associated repair stations have been certified worldwide to guarantee the reliability of repaired and overhauled units,” notes Mollo. “With more than 75,000 orders delivered each year, ATR has an unrivalled experience in spares handling.” Last but not least, ATR now offers several web-based tools and services, as well as the expertise and guidance to help airlines implement and integrate e-enabled systems. ‘ATRactive’ offers a number of potential benefits, including greater efficiency and improved airline operations.

ATR Customer Services has recently developed a revitalised structure, with the function of services development. Its mission is to collect, assemble and evaluate the requirements from operators and from market changes in order to cover more of the aspects of managing and flying ATR aircraft. “At the same time, the role of our service development department is to investigate the internal and/or external feasibility of responding to such demand, of evaluating how best and when to provide those additional services,” says Mollo. “We are, first and foremost, an aircraft manufacturer. However, we are dedicated to bringing maximum safety and ease in ATR aircraft operations, together with the airlines’ growing appreciation for support services, which have firstly enabled and then motivated the growth of our services division.” Moreover, ATR is actively looking to extend its MRO network by adding a number of ATR vetted and approved working partners. To qualify, potential partners must be able to demonstrate extensive as well as rigorous aircraft experience. “As of today ATR is going through the selection of MRO partners in South East Asia and Africa,” Mollo reveals. He expects this process to be completed respectively by the end of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012. Mollo adds that the company is also looking for suitable partners in the Americas and Europe. “We will keep providing ATR operators with maintenance support and services, at high quality standards and competitive prices,” he concludes. “ATR Customer Services has the capability of adapting to the growing market, and we will continue to provide modular services to suit to the different profiles of ATR operators worldwide. Flexibility is also our strength.” ■

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AT113_DataDir_AT113_DD 14/09/2011 12:41 Page 108


Aircraft data: Airbus A330 family Operator fleet listing with engine Operator

Operator Country

Equip. Type

Engine Family

Equip Utilis.



A330-200 A330-300 A330-300 A330-300 A330-200 A330-300 A330-200 A340-200/300 A330-200 A330-200 A330-200 A330-200 A330-300 A330-200 A330-300 A330-200 A330-300 A340-200/300 A330-200 A340-200/300 A330-200 A330-200 A330-200 A340-200/300 A330-200 A330-200 A330-200 A340-200/300 A340-200/300 A330-200 A340-200/300 A330-200 A330-300 A330-300 A340-200/300 A330-300 A330-200 A340-500/600 A330-300 A330-200 A330-200 A330-300 A330-200 A330-300 A340-200/300 A330-300 A340-500/600 A330-300 A340-200/300 A340-200/300 A330-200 A330-300 A340-500/600 A330-200 A330-200 A330-300 A330-200 A330-200 A330-200 A330-200 A340-200/300 A330-200 A330-200 A330-300 A330-200 A340-200/300 A330-200 A330-300 A340-200/300 A330-200 A340-500/600 A340-200/300 A330-200 A330-300 A340-500/600 A330-200 A330-200 A330-300 A340-200/300 A330-200 A330-200 A330-200 A330-300 A330-200

CF6-80E CF6-80E CF6-80E PW4000-100 TRENT700 TRENT700 TRENT700 CFM56-5C PW4000-100 CF6-80E CF6-80E PW4000-100 PW4000-100 CF6-80E TRENT700 PW4000-100 PW4000-100 CFM56-5C TRENT700 CFM56-5C PW4000-100 CF6-80E CF6-80E CFM56-5C PW4000-100 PW4000-100 CF6-80E CFM56-5C CFM56-5C CF6-80E CFM56-5C TRENT700 TRENT700 CF6-80E CFM56-5C TRENT700 CF6-80E TRENT500 PW4000-100 TRENT700 TRENT700 TRENT700 TRENT700 CF6-80E CFM56-5C TRENT700 TRENT500 CF6-80E CFM56-5C CFM56-5C TRENT700 TRENT700 TRENT500 PW4000-100 TRENT700 TRENT700 CF6-80E PW4000-100 TRENT700 TRENT700 CFM56-5C TRENT700 TRENT700 TRENT700 TRENT700 CFM56-5C TRENT700 TRENT700 CFM56-5C TRENT700 TRENT500 CFM56-5C TRENT700 TRENT700 TRENT500 PW4000-100 CF6-80E CF6-80E CFM56-5C PW4000-100 TRENT700 TRENT700 TRENT700 PW4000-100

18722 44706 4569 8183 13067 11653 21234 21401 9144 9261 10970 48842 11297 8135 28846 3735 18369 22111 72796 11054 28038 31849 67007 86348 1769 6256 6454 25724 7665 5002 20552 14081 7895 4395 5113 47723 15174 6263 31565 40916 4480 2512 9703 12982 71961 130503 1846 54864 24175 14322 18286 36563 16282 6512 19484 21213 13128 3256 3087 4633 1569 8614 6702 41553 4688 11662 25230 19161 30462 103748 41222 2014 63861 21293 53188 17134 31689 36552 27990 4633 8583 11584 23275 3152

108 ❙ Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 ❙

A/C Count 4 10 1 2 3 3 5 6 4 3 5 10 3 2 8 1 4 6 23 3 6 6 15 19 1 2 2 7 2 2 5 3 2 1 2 12 4 2 8 9 1 1 2 3 15 34 1 17 6 5 5 15 5 2 6 8 3 1 1 1 1 2 2 15 1 3 7 5 8 29 10 1 16 5 12 4 11 8 5 1 2 3 6 1


Eng Count 8 20 2 4 6 6 10 24 4 6 10 20 6 4 16 2 8 24 46 12 12 12 30 76 2 4 4 28 8 4 20 6 4 2 8 24 8 8 16 18 2 2 4 6 60 68 4 34 24 20 10 30 20 4 12 16 6 2 2 2 4 4 4 30 2 12 14 10 32 58 40 4 32 10 48 8 22 16 20 2 4 6 12 2

Engine Utilis. 37444 89412 9138 16366 26135 23306 42468 85604 18288 18522 21940 97684 22594 16270 57693 7469 36739 88445 145592 44216 56076 63697 134014 345390 3537 12512 12908 102895 30658 10004 82206 28163 15789 8789 20454 95446 30349 25052 63131 81833 8960 5024 19407 25963 287843 261005 7385 109727 96701 57287 36571 73126 65126 13025 38968 42426 26256 6512 6174 9267 6277 17227 13404 83105 9376 46648 50459 38323 121848 207495 164887 8057 127722 42586 212754 34269 63378 73103 111960 9267 17166 23168 46550 6304

AT113_DataDir_AT113_DD 14/09/2011 12:42 Page 109


Operator fleet listing with engine cont... Operator

Operator Country

Equip. Type

Engine Family

Equip Utilis.



A330-200 A340-200/300 A330-200 A330-200 A340-500/600 A330-300 A330-200 A330-200 A330-200 A340-200/300 A340-500/600 A330-300 A330-300 A330-200 A330-200 A330-200 A330-200 A330-200 A330-300 A340-200/300 A330-200 A340-200/300 A330-200 A340-200/300 A330-300 A340-500/600 A330-200 A330-300 A330-200 A330-200 A330-200 A330-200 A330-200 A330-300 A340-200/300 A330-200 A330-300 A330-200 A330-300 A340-200/300 A330-200 A330-300 A330-200 A330-300 A340-500/600 A340-200/300 A330-200 A330-300 A340-200/300 A330-300 A330-300 A340-500/600 A330-300 A340-200/300 A340-500/600 A340-200/300 A330-200 A330-200 A340-200/300 A330-200 A330-300 A330-200 A330-200 A340-500/600 A330-200 A340-200/300 A330-200 A330-300 A330-300 A340-500/600 A330-200 A330-300 A330-200 A330-300 A330-200 A340-200/300 A330-300 A330-200 A330-200 A330-300 A340-200/300 A330-300 A340-500/600 A330-300 A330-200 A330-200

PW4000-100 CFM56-5C TRENT700 TRENT700 TRENT500 PW4000-100 TRENT700 TRENT700 TRENT700 CFM56-5C TRENT500 PW4000-100 TRENT700 CF6-80E CF6-80E PW4000-100 CF6-80E PW4000-100 PW4000-100 CFM56-5C TRENT700 CFM56-5C TRENT700 CFM56-5C TRENT700 TRENT500 PW4000-100 PW4000-100 TRENT700 TRENT700 TRENT700 TRENT700 PW4000-100 PW4000-100 CFM56-5C TRENT700 TRENT700 TRENT700 CF6-80E CFM56-5C CF6-80E CF6-80E CF6-80E CF6-80E TRENT500 CFM56-5C PW4000-100 TRENT700 CFM56-5C TRENT700 TRENT700 TRENT500 PW4000-100 CFM56-5C TRENT500 CFM56-5C TRENT700 PW4000-100 CFM56-5C PW4000-100 TRENT700 CF6-80E PW4000-100 TRENT500 CF6-80E CFM56-5C PW4000-100 PW4000-100 TRENT700 TRENT500 TRENT700 TRENT700 TRENT700 TRENT700 CF6-80E CFM56-5C PW4000-100 TRENT700 PW4000-100 PW4000-100 CFM56-5C TRENT700 TRENT500 CF6-80E TRENT700 TRENT700

9144 32772 30778 16428 2860 3265 4633 50197 3152 104285 70530 4494 9552 54297 29402 38248 56355 25612 64796 12487 3652 21742 8379 131115 74150 113706 10785 40655 7072 12303 8922 3652 44468 87270 15983 22639 12776 4706 24360 19121 27014 41365 64892 55361 15508 13957 3231 25551 34823 19605 65417 22500 3711 46924 35669 19527 17105 2447 79621 37742 50260 25252 59344 7436 27889 16009 33457 40715 28910 37896 25385 4526 9291 8090 31309 32593 40322 62732 13846 3156 22013 4569 81506 3022 9790 6258

A/C Count 2 9 10 5 2 1 1 13 1 21 15 1 2 15 6 14 12 6 16 4 1 5 2 27 15 24 3 11 2 4 2 1 11 21 4 6 3 1 8 4 6 10 16 13 4 4 1 6 7 4 19 5 1 12 9 4 4 1 15 8 11 5 13 2 5 4 7 12 8 10 5 1 2 2 7 9 9 15 4 1 6 1 21 1 2 2


Eng Count 4 36 20 10 8 2 2 26 2 84 60 2 4 30 12 28 24 12 32 16 2 20 4 108 30 96 6 22 4 8 4 2 22 42 16 12 6 2 16 16 12 20 32 26 16 16 2 12 28 8 38 20 2 48 36 16 8 2 60 16 22 10 26 8 10 16 14 24 16 40 10 2 4 4 14 36 18 30 8 2 24 2 84 2 4 4

Engine Utilis. 18288 131087 61556 32856 11438 6531 9267 100393 6304 417141 282122 8987 19104 108594 58805 76496 112710 51223 129591 49948 7304 86969 16759 524460 148300 454825 21570 81309 14144 24606 17844 7303 88937 174539 63933 45278 25551 9412 48721 76483 54028 82729 129784 110723 62032 55829 6462 51103 139292 39211 130834 89998 7422 187697 142674 78108 34210 4895 318484 75483 100520 50505 118689 29744 55778 64036 66913 81431 57820 151586 50771 9052 18583 16180 62617 130372 80644 125464 27691 6311 88053 9138 326023 6045 19581 12517

❙ Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 ❙ 109

AT113_DataDir_AT113_DD 14/09/2011 12:42 Page 110


FAA airworthiness directives - large aircraft Summary of biweekly listings for the last two months Biweekly 2011-06/cont’d 2011-05-11S


747 series



777-200, -200LR, -300, and -300ER



Model SAAB 2000



DHC-8-400, -401, and -402




Supersedes AD 2007-19-19. Replace all hi-lok Group B fasteners IAW SB 747-54A2203. Do a detailed inspection for disbonding and tearing, and a measurement for wear of the internal diameter (ID) of the Karon-lined bushings of the bulkhead support jackscrew fitting and of the jackscrew fitting of the horizontal stabilizer; replace bushings with new bushings. Do a detailed visual inspection for corrosion of the LH and RH horizontal stabilizers, do a detailed visual inspection for chafing or damage on the harness installed in the adjacent area, and install convoluted tubing on the harness IAW SB 2000-55-013. Do a detailed inspection for proper operation of the MLG AES cam mechanism. Revise the Limitations section of the airplane flight manual (AFM) to include applicable statement.

Biweekly 2011-07 2011-06-03


747 series



737 series

2011-06-08 2011-06-09S

Bombardier Airbus

CL-600 A300, A310

2011-06-11 2011-06-12

Rolls-Royce Boeing

RB211 MD-90-30


General Electric



Pratt & Whitney


Measure the electrical bond resistance between the MOV actuators and the airplane structure for the main, centre, and auxiliary fuel tanks, as applicable; and do all applicable corrective actions IAW 74728A2292. Supersedes AD 2007-18-52. Replace the hardware of the down stop assembly with new hardware, do a detailed inspection or a borescope inspection of the slat cans on each wing and the lower rail of the slat main tracks for debris, and replace the bolts of the aft side guide with new bolts IAW SB 737-57A1302. Modify the air-driven generator (ADG). Install an enlarged shim for the horizontal switch actuation on each affected seat IAW SB A300-256217. Incorporate software 10.6 to the EEC. Do eddy current inspections to detect cracking of the left and right upper center skin panels of the horizontal stabilizer IAW SB MD90-55A015. If crack is found, replace the skin panel with a serviceable skin panel. Where applicable P/N, replace forward centerbody and aft centerbody. Supersedes AD 2005-02-03. Replace the bolts and nuts. Install crushable sleeve spacers.

Biweekly 2011-08 2011-07-04


DC-9 series


Sicma Aero Seat

Sicma Aero Seat





Fokker Services

Model F.28



A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, -313

110 ❙ Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 ❙

Install new in-line fuses for the fuel level float switch and new in-line fuses for the pressure switch, as applicable; and change the wiring; on the left and right wing forward spars, center wing forward spar, forward auxiliary fuel tank, and aft auxiliary fuel tank, as applicable; IAW SB DC9-28-217. Replace both backrest links of seats where cracking is found, as appropriate. Revise the Limitations and Normal Procedures sections of the Canadair Regional Jet Airplane Flight Manual (AFM), CSP A-012, to include the information in Canadair (Bombardier) Temporary Revision (TR) RJ/164-2. Do a detailed inspection for minimum clearance of the gap between the FQTU wiring harness and the outer wing FQTU hole reinforcement structure IAW SBF28-57-097. On the upper inboard thrust reverser pivoting door of each engine, replace the primary lock with a new primary lock IAW SB A340-78-4037.

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AT113_DataDir_AT113_DD 14/09/2011 12:43 Page 112


FAA airworthiness directives — large aircraft (cont...) 2011-07-10S




Dassault Aviation

Mystere-Falcon 50

Supersedes AD 2010-10-18. Replace the cabin pressure-sensing port plug having part number (P/N) 2844-060 in both safety valves with a new gridless plug having P/N 2844-19 and re-identify the safety valves IAW SB A100-21-08. Inspect the improperly installed lines for deformation, and replace if required, IAW SB F50-519.

Biweekly 2011-09 2011-07-12

Fokker Services

F.27 Mark 050


Fokker Services

F.27 Mark 050



A340-541 and -642



CL-600 series



A300 series



ERJ-170 series



RB211-Trent 768-60


BAE Systems

BAe 146 series



A330 & A340s



A340-541, and -642



340A & B


Lockheed Martin

382, 382B, 382E, 382F, and 382G



777-200, -300, and -300ER



A330 & A340

Inspect the part numbers of each fuel pipe (two in each nacelle), and install new fuel pipes in both engine nacelles, if applicable, IAW SBF50-28-031. Do a general visual inspection for the presence of the rubber sleeve and cable tie on the cables of each FQP IAW SBF50-28-027. Perform a high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection for cracking of the forward and aft attachment fittings of the aft hinge on the affected aft NLG door IAW SB A340-52-5016. For applicable P/N, perform a onetime detailed inspection and all applicable corrective actions on the torque link apex joint. Do a general visual inspection of the THSA upper attachment to determine if the THSA upper attachment secondary load path is engaged. If applicable, replace the RAT balance screw(s) with a new balance screw(s), and mark the RAT identification plate with the symbol ''24-5'' IAW SB 170-24-0048. Supersedes AD 98-19-12. Reposition the oil metering jet up into the oil distributor within the bevel gearshaft, using RR SB RB.211 72-C270. Supersedes AD 2005-13-19. Do an external eddy current inspection of the forward fuselage skin to detect cracking IAW SB.53-167. Do a vacuum loss inspection to detect defects, including de-bonding between the skin and honeycomb core of the rudder. Do a tap test and detailed inspection or a thermography inspection of the affected inner aileron panels at the left and right wings to detect any previously accomplished repairs performed IAW any de-validated structural repair manual (SRM) defined in SB A340-57-5026. Remove the external adapter plate of the antennae installation and do a general visual inspection of the fuselage surface for corrosion and cracking behind the external adapter plate of the antennae installation. If any corrosion or cracking is found, repair before further flight. Do eddy current inspections to detect cracking of the centre wing upper and lower rainbow fittings on the left and right side of the airplane. If required, replace the rainbow fitting and do all related investigative actions IAW SB 382-57-82. Perform bonding resistance measurements and rework the airplane installation as applicable. Install new software in the electrical load management system (ELMS) electronics units in the P110, P210, and P310 power management panels. Supersedes AD 2002-02-07. Perform a detailed inspection and an operational check of the spring function of the emergency exit door slider mechanism.

Note: The letter ‘C’ after the AD number denotes a correction to the original AD The letter ‘S’ after the AD number indicates that the AD supersedes a previous AD The letter ‘R’ after the AD number indicates a revision to the original AD The letter ‘E’ after the AD number indicates an emergency AD The letters ‘FR’ indicate the final rule of an emergency AD Please note that the above information is quoted for interest purposes. The latest versions of the ADs issued by the FAA must be used for reference purposes

112 ❙ Aircraft Technology - Issue 113 ❙

ACS_Ad_3 [210mm x 278mm], fc.indd 1

2/18/2011 5:08:09 PM




Page 3

Our work... flies with you. Put your components in our hands. Because at Iberia Maintenance we have the capacity to overhaul and repair over 7,000 kits per year and we know how to care for everything down to the tiniest detail, so your aircraft will operate faultlessly. But we really like to go that bit further: we want to take you further, because our work... flies with you.

IBERIA MAINTENANCE Commercial & Development Direction. Madrid - Barajas Airport, La Mu単oza. 28042 Madrid, Spain. Phone: +34 91 587 49 71 / Fax: +34 91 587 49 91. E-mail:

Aircraft Technology Engineering & Maintenance issue 113  

Aircraft Technology Engineering & Maintenance (ATE&M) has been covering the latest manufacturing advances and maintenance trends in commerci...

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