Sabena Technics’ maintenance facility in Bordeaux, France, is in the process of performing substantial heavy check and repair work on two of Afriqiyah Airways’ Airbus A330 aircraft, which arrived at the MRO last week. Several aircraft in the Libyan operator’s fleet suffered damage during recent conflicts. Philippe Rochet, Sabena Technics’ EVP-airframe services, says the MRO sent a maintenance task force of 10 engineers to Libya to prepare the aircraft for ferry flights to Bordeaux.
In 2009, Southwest Airlines unveiled an ambitious plan to switch out its original Boeing 737 cabin in favor of a sustainable one called the Green Plane. Two years later, the airline has finished rigorous tests of lighter, recyclable aircraft components and tallied survey results from passengers who commented on the new amenities. The project has culminated in Evolve, an interior design that includes newly engineered seats, carpets and bulkheads.
Interior modification is a hot segment of the maintenance, repair and overhaul market, and MRO and airframe companies are coming up with novel ways of dramatically reducing turnaround times for installation of interior components.
At the MRO Middle East conference this month, ICF SH&E Vice President David Stewart said interior upgrades and modification and demand will be responsible for growing heavy maintenance at a compound annual growth rate of 3.3% through 2021, even in the midst of new aircraft platforms and deliveries to airlines.
Kharam Khalsa had an ambitious goal to reach before graduating from the University of Waterloo in Ontario: create a global standard for airline sustainability and establish an international forum for environmental managers to share their ideas about achieving sustainability.
AAR has expanded inventory at its European distribution center for Unison aerospace components, located at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.
The new inventory at the hub is managed by AAR’s Allen asset management division and includes turbine ignition systems, engine-dedicated alternators, sensors, switches and wiring harnesses. Unison specializes in gas turbine structural components plus electrical and mechanical systems for engines, airframes and industrial markets.
In 2012, the best and brightest technology for the MRO sector will surely relate to making data simpler and more mobile. Although some companies already have started to see how tablets, digital records and augmented reality can help them smooth their workflow, most maintenance operations are still behind the times when it comes to sharing data digitally. The best part about this trend is that most of these emerging tools will be available in the very near future. We expect these 10 technologies to be game-changers for MRO in 2012 and beyond.
The Cold War is dead but one of its offspring, nuclear proliferation, is very much alive. Following is a review of programs underway in the Middle East, Asia and Russia, which could soon be flashpoints.
Miami-based Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI) hopes to gain an FAA supplemental type certificate (STC) for an MD-80 passenger-to-freighter conversion in late March or April after supply chain issues made an expected year-end approval impossible.
David McDonald, AEI’s VP operations, says there was a delay in a crucial 9G cargo barrier material that was scheduled for delivery in September. The material is now expected to arrive in the first week of January.
Lufthansa Technik plans to have a new nacelle repair shop up and running in Dubai in the early months of 2012, says Heiko Osterode, the MRO provider’s senior manager of product sales for airframe components. The opening of the new facility is part of a move to consolidate all Middle East sales and repair activities into one company called Lufthansa Technik Middle East Services (LTMES). LTMES will have the capability to repair all types of nacelle parts, including fan reversers, inlet cowls and fan cowls for most common engines.
Despite efforts by industry and educational institutions to cultivate young women's interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), things have not changed much since 2001, at least not on paper. Women still represent less than a quarter of the aerospace and defense (A&D) workforce and only make up a small fraction of engineers.
Mubadala Aerospace has formed a new senior leadership team to manage its MRO companies, Zurich-based SR Technics and Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT).
The United Arab Emirates-based company says it will use the new executive team to create synergies between the two MRO companies, with the goal of growing global business. However, both SR Technics and ADAT will remain separate legal entities.
Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) next year expects to receive supplemental type certificates (STCs) to retrofit its blended winglets on Boeing 767 and 757-200 converted freighters, a spokesman says.
“For the 767, we expect to have an amended Federal Aviation Administration STC showing compatibility between our 767-300ER blended winglets STC and Boeing’s converted freighter by the end of the first quarter of next year,” he adds.
General Electric says it has successfully tested a faster, cheaper way to produce nuclear reactor fuel, and is planning to commercialize the technology by building a facility in Wilmington, N.C. While the prospect of saving resources to generate energy at a lower price sounds like a breakthrough, scientists are concerned that the top-secret method of enrichment that GE is using will indirectly elevate proliferation risks around the world, thus inspiring rogue states to develop their own laser enrichment facilities for nuclear weapons.