Tag Archives: #maintenance

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Bombardier Opens Its New Toronto Production Line for the Global 7500, 6500, and 5500 Jets

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The Canadian aircraft maker hasn’t moved far from its Downsview plant, but the manufacturing site at Toronto Pearson Aircraft is already transforming the way it makes the Global family of business aircraft. New technology and processes have been combined with a refreshed working environment for Bombardier’s skilled employees.

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ExecuJet Malaysia Unveils the Country’s Largest Business Aviation MRO Center

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Grand opening marks ambitions to expand maintenance support around the Asia-Pacific region

Wholly owned Dassault Aviation subsidiary ExecuJet MRO Services Malaysia held a grand opening ceremony Thursday of its purpose-built MRO facility at Subang Airport.

Measuring 149,500 sq ft, the facility ranks as Malaysia’s largest business aviation MRO center. It covers more than twice the area of ExecuJet MRO Services Malaysia’s previous operation and serves business jet operators from across Asia.

Guests of honor included YB Anthony Loke, Minister of Transport for Malaysia; Jean Kayanakis, senior v-p of worldwide Falcon customer service and service center network at Dassault Aviation; and Graeme Duckworth, president of ExecuJet MRO Services Group.

“Today’s opening marks a pivotal moment for ExecuJet MRO Services’ presence in the region,” said Duckworth. “We are expanding support for operators of multiple aircraft brands across the region. The Subang facility is key to that strategy.”

ExecuJet MRO Services invests heavily in internationally certified training for its personnel, allowing it to perform line and heavy maintenance on Falcon, Bombardier, and Gulfstream aircraft registered with regional civil aviation authorities and with the FAA and EASA. The facility includes new training space at Subang to support such authorizations and expand the workforce. Ivan Lim, Execujet MRO Services’ regional v-p for Asia, said the company expects to increase the size of the Subang workforce from 84 to 100 by the end of the year and to continue adding personnel over the next five years.

For Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, the ExecuJet MRO Services Malaysia facility stands among several development projects under the Subang Airport Regeneration Plan (SARP). Calling the project a critical step forward in advancing the plan’s business aviation sector, the SARP program managers aim to help Subang Airport become a regional hub for business aviation.

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Turkish Airlines signs cooperation deal with Rolls Royce

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Turkish Airlines has inked an agreement with Rolls Royce regarding the maintenance services and the supply of engines for Airbus A350 aircraft, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Abdulkadir Uraloğlu has announced.

The flag carrier already firmed up the purchase of 230 aircraft, including A350 and A321NEO jets, from Airbus, Uraloğlu recalled, speaking at the event which was held in Istanbul on April 29 to unveil the “Strategic Türkiye Enhanced Program” to be implemented in cooperation with Airbus and Rolls Royce.

Within the scope of the aircraft purchases, negotiations were also held with Airbus and Rolls-Royce on Competitive Industrial Cooperation, according to Uraloğlu.

Turkish Airlines, Airbus and Rolls-Royce also agreed to bring new business models to Türkiye and to increase the country’s production in the field of aviation by bringing together domestic aviation service providers and parts manufacturers with these companies, Uraloğlu said.

The minister noted that the flag carrier operates a fleet of 24 cargo planes and 416 passenger jets, flying to 364 destinations in 133 countries.

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Robinson Helicopter Acquires UAV Maker Ascent AeroSystems

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Ascent’s production will now migrate across the country to Robinson’s California factory

Robinson Helicopter has purchased Massachusetts-based UAV manufacturer Ascent AeroSystems. Now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the California rotorcraft manufacturer, Ascent is recognized for its compact helicopter drones, designed for a variety of industrial, public safety, and defense applications.

Through its expertise in autonomous electric flight technology and modular design, it is expected to enhance Robinson’s products. Ascent will now move its production facilities to Robinson’s vertically integrated 600,000-sq-ft manufacturing facility at Zamperini Field Airport (KTOA) in Torrance, where it will have room to grow and scale.

“This strategic acquisition is in line with our vision to broaden our offerings and meet increasing global demand for enhanced mission capabilities in law enforcement, public safety, firefighting, utility, and defense,” said Robinson president and CEO David Smith. “Ascent’s advanced technologies and versatile designs complement our ability to be the preeminent choice in global rotorcraft.”

Ascent’s UAVs feature cylindrical bodies with coaxial rather than symmetrically distributed rotors and are designed to operate in the most challenging conditions including high wind, heavy rain, sleet, snow, and even blowing sand.

“Drones based on consumer-grade electronics will never be able to provide the safety and dispatch reliability needed to support operations at scale,” explained Ascent CEO Peter Fuchs. “The laws of physics and aerodynamics favor coaxials, and with Robinson’s 50 years of experience, there is now no better domestic source for reliable, mission-critical UAV platforms.”

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Honeywell Creates AI-based Tool for MROs, Manufacturers

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Honeywell Performance+ for Aerospace uses the Forge platform to offer AI and machine-learning efficiencies

Honeywell today unveiled a cloud-based platform through its Forge technology that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help manufacturers and MROs modernize production and lower operational costs. Honeywell Performance+ for Aerospace is part of an overarching effort by the aerospace manufacturer to support the advance of automation, the company said.

“During a time of increasing workplace complexity and operating costs, operators need to be able to leverage data to inform critical decision-making and embrace automation,” said Karen Miller, general manager of Honeywell Connected Aerospace. “As the aviation industry grapples with issues such as aging fleets, higher maintenance costs, and ongoing supply chain challenges, Honeywell Forge Performance+ for Aerospace can help organizations achieve key outcomes such as quicker turnarounds, increased asset utilization, and decreased maintenance times.”

The platform is designed to increase operational awareness and improve asset management, such as quickly locating assets. In addition, it is designed to help better manage data that may be siloed, combining predictive maintenance, site optimization, and workforce intelligence into a single site.

“Today’s aerospace companies need to improve their operational efficiency and gain better visibility into their assets, but disconnected and manual processes hold them back,” explained Michael Rowe, v-p of industry analyst Aerospace & Defense at Frost & Sullivan. “A smaller MRO team may have more than 1,200 open maintenance actions to tackle. Instead of focusing initially on work that seems easiest to complete, software solutions such as Honeywell Forge Performance+ for Aerospace can enable companies to first address those tasks with the highest impact on operations that improve productivity and decrease costly downtime.”

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CFM CEO Expects Leap Engine To Hit CFM56 Benchmark Soon

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HAMBURG—With some 75% of the new single-aisle engine market and the worst post-pandemic supply chain issues in the rearview mirror, CFM International’s focus is now on increasing the time on wing of its Leap engines.

Speaking at Airbus’ Hamburg Finkenwerder site as easyJet took delivery of its latest Leap-powered Airbus A320neo, CFM CEO Gaël Méheust told Aviation Daily that the durability of the Leap is set to meet the standard set by the previous generation CFM56.

“When it comes to time on the wing of the CFM56, it took us probably 25 years to reach that level where we are right now—we have to keep that in mind,” Méheust said.

The Leap went into service eight years ago. “We are already way higher than we were in terms of time on wing with the CFM56 at a similar time of the program,” he adds.

However, the Leap is not where many airlines upgrading from the CFM56 want it to be in terms of cycles before it has to be removed for maintenance.

Shane Lord, easyJet’s director of strategy, network and fleet, told Aviation Daily that the Leap engines on its A320neo-family fleet “maybe come a bit earlier from the wing than we would like. It is part of the maturity—introducing new components, that gets us to where the CFM56 benchmark is. There is a lot of work we do with CFM to improve the engine.”

Méheust acknowledged that there are nagging issues that need to be resolved. “We have a couple that are left for which we have certified solutions that we are going to bring to the product in the coming months,” Méheust said. Once these new components are introduced, he sees no reason why the Leap cannot reach the CFM56 benchmark.

The supply chain issues that plagued the engine-maker at the tail-end of the pandemic when demand returned are now largely resolved. “We have far less [trouble] than we had two years ago where suppliers had difficulties, but still [we have] a few problems,” the CEO said. “We are managing them very closely, but we are the [engine] OEM in the industry with the highest ramp-up.”

Leap engine deliveries in 2023 were up 40% on 2022. “And for this year, if you look to the output versus 2023, we will be somewhere between 20% and 30% [higher]—this is another big step,” Méheust said.

CFM is now producing a similar number of engines as before the pandemic. “For 2024, we should be around somewhere between 1,800 and 1,900 engines [production],” he said.

Leap engines delivered so far have flown some 14 million hr. and 20 million cycles. While the Leap’s time on wing could be longer, CFM customers are achieving higher utilization than those airlines which opted for the A320neo family’s other engine option, Pratt & Whitney’s GTF.

As Pratt-powered A320neos have been grounded for inspections, CFM has seen an uptick in interest from GTF operators. “They are currently coming and knocking on our door and asking if we can deliver,” Méheust said. “We are making proposals.”

“For us, we have sold so many engines that we have covered almost all of our capabilities in terms of MRO,” he continued. That lack of capacity is why CFM opened the Leap MRO network to third parties. “That has always been CFM policy. And now, licensed third parties are stepping in and offering solutions to customers. I think in a combination with having those MRO stepping in providing solutions and capacity, that will open up ability for us to accept more orders from customers who are willing to fly the Leap—and there are many.”

One improvement that CFM has now introduced on the Leap is a new reverse bleed system (RBS) designed to prevent a fuel nozzle problem—coking—linked to carbon deposits. Coking occurs when core engine hardware releases heat, or soaks back, after shutdown. The RBS is designed to eliminate the issue as well as related maintenance inspections and nozzle swaps in place now to mitigate risk.

Regarding the challenges Boeing faces in producing fewer 737 MAXs than planned because of quality issues, Méheust said CFM is doing what it can to support the OEM. “We have a very close relationship with Boeing, and we are trying to match their requests as closely as we can. It is an active dialog, and we deliver the engines that they need,” the CEO said.

CFM International is a 50-50 joint venture between Safran Aircraft Engines and GE Aerospace.

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FAA Consults on Special Conditions for Safran Electric Engine

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The EngineUs family of electric motors has been selected for several new aircraft

The FAA this week opened a consultation on proposed special conditions for certifying Safran’s EngineUs 100 electric motors. The propulsion systems have been selected for use on multiple new electric and hybrid-electric aircraft, including the nine-passenger eSTOL model being developed by Electra and Bye Aerospace’s eFlyer family.

In a document published on March 20, the U.S. air safety agency said that special conditions will be required since the characteristics of electric engines are not adequately covered by the requirements of the existing 14 CFR Part 33 rules developed for turbine and reciprocating engines. It has given interested parties until April 19 to comment on its proposals for handling the type certification application that France-based Safran Electrical & Power filed back on Nov. 27, 2020.

The special conditions would require Safran to comply with Part 33 airworthiness standards, apart from those specifically applicable to turbine and reciprocating engines. Additionally, the manufacturer would need “to establish engine operating limits related to the power, torque, speed, and duty cycles” specific to the EngineUs powertrain.

The FAA is proposing additional requirements covering materials, fire protection, durability, cooling, and attachments for engine mounting and accessories. Safran will also have to prove the safety with regard to potential consequences from rotor overspeed, unstable torque, and variances in temperature, vibration, and high-intensity radiated fields. The conditions cover the reliability of electronic control systems and data collection, as well as mitigation for system failures.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, Safran Electrical & Power is in the advanced stages of work to secure EASA type certification under the European regulator’s existing CS-23 rules. Last year, the business unit of the French aerospace group obtained an EASA design organization approval and began certification testing. During the June 2023 Paris Air Show, the company indicated it was targeting EASA type certification by the end of the first quarter of 2024.

The EngineUs 100 covers a power output range of 100 to 180 kilowatts and a power density of 5 kilowatts per kilogram. It has also been selected for hybrid-electric aircraft being developed by French start-ups VoltAero and Aura Aero, as well as for Volocopter’s next-generation eVTOL aircraft and the E20 eVTOL being developed by China’s TCab Tech.

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Duncan Aviation Extends MRO Support to Cargo Drones

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Dallas satellite shop performs scheduled and unscheduled work on UAVs

Duncan Aviation’s Dallas satellite shop recently started performing repairs to commercial cargo drones, the company said Tuesday. The first Duncan Aviation service facility to add the capability, the satellite shop provides scheduled and unscheduled work, troubleshooting, wire harness repair, GPS signal inspection, and replacement of failing components on UAVs.

With the increased popularity of the use of commercial drones in the U.S. for aerial photography to delivery of items such as groceries, medicines, and food, Duncan sees an opportunity to meet the growing demand for maintenance in the UAV sector.

As Duncan Aviation works to anticipate industry needs, the company said it continues to research and invest in additional resources to keep expanding the services associated with emerging technology.

“We are excited to begin serving customers who are investing in this emerging technology,” said Mark Cote, v-p of Duncan Aviation components, services, and satellites. “Providing services for UAV operators is an extension of our core business and a good example of how we grow and innovate to better serve the industry and our customers as they evolve.”

Along with complete facilities in Battle Creek, Michigan; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Provo, Utah, Duncan operates 30 satellite stations throughout the U.S.

Recently, eVTOL aircraft developers Joby and Archer announced they have secured FAA Part 145 approvals as they prepare to support their vehicles.

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P&W Seeing MRO Benefits from Singapore Technology Accelerator

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STA has spurred some 30 innovations to improve MRO processes

Pratt & Whitney already is reaping benefits from its recently established Singapore technology accelerator (STA), citing more than 30 innovations that have emerged from the initiative to maximize maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) productivity. In 2022, the company announced a collaboration with the Singapore Economic Development Board to establish the technology accelerator program.

The STA works with more than 20 Singapore companies to develop new technologies in the commercial aviation sector. Its projects have focused on automation, advanced inspections, connected factories, and digital twins, P&W said, noting that the innovations are being applied across its four Singapore-based MROs.

“STA is a focal point for the innovative thinking and enterprising spirit of our employees, applied to scale technologies across our MRO facilities faster and better,” said Gilbert Sim, P&W’s director of aftermarket global operations technology and CORE (customer-oriented results and excellence). “We will continue working with MRO facilities and centers of excellence in Singapore and throughout the network to deliver more technology insertion projects.”

As the technologies undergo evaluation at the Singapore facilities, P&W plans to roll them out throughout its global MRO footprint to improve throughput and turnaround time, the engine maker said.

Beyond STA, P&W has worked with centers of excellence around the world to develop and deploy other advanced repair capabilities in emerging fields such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

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Embraer, Saudia Technic To Cooperate on Mx and Training

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Agreement includes collaboration on business aviation support

Embraer Services & Support and Saudia Technic have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on maintenance and training capabilities. The agreement, reached at Riyadh’s World Defense Show 2024 on February 4, aims to enhance cooperation on civil aviation, namely the E2 jets family and Embraer Executive Jets maintenance.

“Through this memorandum of understanding, we embark on a journey of collaboration and growth,” said Saudia Technic CEO Fahd Cynndy. “The aerospace industry in Saudi Arabia is thriving, and together with Embraer Services & Support, we are poised to make remarkable advancements. This partnership will propel us towards new horizons, shaping the future of commercial aviation and paving the way for excellence in maintenance.”

Saudia Technic performs services in line, base, components, and engines across the aviation industry.

“We are very pleased to sign a broad memorandum of understanding with Saudia Technic,” added Carlos Naufel, president and CEO of Embraer Services & Support. “The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has one of the fastest-growing aerospace industries worldwide, and Embraer Services & Support is well-positioned to advance in the region by working in partnership with Saudia Technic.”