By Kristin Majcher

By Kristin Majcher
Frontier Airlines Reveals New Routes 
In early April it will add flights between Colorado Springs, Colorado, and San Antonio, Texas; San Jose, California; Minneapolis and Seattle.
U.S.-Mexico Bilateral To Enter Force In August 
A long-awaited, updated aviation agreement between the U.S. and Mexico will enter into force next month, the Transportation Department (DOT) confirmed.
FedEx Changes Cuba Plans 
FedEx has amended its request to provide scheduled Miami–Havana cargo flights in favor of serving another city in Cuba.
Chorus Orders New CRJ900s, Reconfigures Fleet 
The parent company of Canadian regional carrier Jazz Aviation will purchase new regional jets and reconfigure some of its existing aircraft with more seats.
JetBlue To Compete With Boston–LaGuardia Shuttles 
JetBlue will go head-to-head with legacy carriers providing shuttle service between Boston’s Logan International Airport and New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
MROs Cite Concerns About Skills Shortages 1
Aviation maintenance service providers express concern about workforce challenges.
Distinguished Drill 

When Stephen Morse invented the twist drill bit in the 1860s, the aviation world was characterized at best by gliders, parachutes and birdlike machines that achieved flying for only a few minutes. Things have certainly changed immensely in the field of aeronautics since then, but the drill bit has more or less stayed the same. That is, until Perfect Point created a forceless drilling process that uses an electrode to remove a fastener in seconds.

Stimulating Seating 

1. Light As A Feather

Manufacturer: Timco Aerosystems

Applications: Timco's new 3200 FeatherWeight seat is designed for economy class with high density configurations.

Specifications: Special design features, such as a curved seat back shell and injected molded armrests, maximize comfort for high density configurations. Timco worked with its customers to build the seat based on features they preferred.

Automating Ablation
A new composite surface preparation can lessen the labor-intensive process.
Case Study: Faster Fastening 

Problem: MROs and airline technical departments can never plan for the exact number of fasteners needed until they inspect a part.

Solution: Interfast's customized inventory management services and just-in-time inventory delivery.

Trendy Tools 1. Intelligent Drill 

Manufacturer: Perfect Point EDM

Applications: The E-Drill de-flanges fasteners in sizes ranging from 5/32 to 5/16 in. within seconds through a forceless process.

Specifications: Utility cabinet is 19-by-38-by-16 in. and weighs 148 lbs. Hand tool is 7.5-by-5 in. and weighs 1.5 lbs. Removes aluminum flanges in three seconds, titanium flanges in six seconds and Iconel flanges in 12 seconds.

Smart Storage 

1. Keen Kitting

Manufacturer: CribMaster

Applications: The KitMaster tool storage container prevents foreign object debris with containers that includes custom foam shadowboxes with cutouts that fit each tool perfectly.

Specifications: Custom options include laser etching, multiple color combinations and varying depth of foam cuts.

2. More Mobility

Conserving Composites 

Suppliers that make aircraft composite components likely have a substantial amount of leftover composite fiber material, such as pre-impregnated scraps and laminates. Until recently, the only thing to do with this excess waste was to dispose it. Now, a handful of companies have developed highly specialized processes to transform this trash into recycled treasure, and aerospace companies are doing their part to give back to the environment by utilizing this capability.

Brightening Buildings 

For maintenance, repair and overhaul tasks, low lighting levels are more than just an annoyance—they could lead to a host of safety concerns. Workers straining to see intricate aircraft parts could hurt themselves if the lighting is inadequate, or a worker could mistakenly miss foreign object debris left in an engine. Despite this fact, industrial-grade lighting can be difficult to replace and some facilities may wait until bulbs are nearly dead or burned out to replace them, leading to long intervals of very low light.

Getting in Gear 

Landing gear overhaul opportunities in 2012 will again be led by short-haul narrowbody aircraft, especially the Airbus A320 family. Data from Aviation Week's MRO Prospector shows that 1,378 landing gear overhauls were scheduled for 2011. In 2012, that total number is expected to drop slightly to 1,224. That number could dip even lower depending on the retirements of MD-80s and other legacy aircraft models.

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