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BY BILL BURCHELL

BY BILL BURCHELL
Articles
LHT Pulses Engines In Hamburg 

HAMBURG, Germany—Lufthansa Technik’s newly opened Engine Overhaul Center for CFM56s in Hamburg sets new standards for engine MRO, thanks to strong collaboration between designers, engineers and the engine technicians and mechanics who undertake the work. Its in-house design focuses on super-efficient overhaul production lines and a well-lighted, comfortable work environment. A key feature of the facility is a ceiling-mounted gantry from which engine cradles hang.

Bureau Operators 

LONDON—There can’t be many occasions when new regulations stimulate business, but that seems to be the situation with EASA Part M.

Since the original compliance deadline of Sept. 28, 2008, demand for sub-part G approvals for Continuous Airworthiness Management Organizations (CAMO) has surged, and so has interest in IT systems that provide the data necessary for complying with continuous airworthiness regulations.

New Niche for Low-Cycle Regional Aircraft 

There’s nothing like expediency to foster innovation. Take BAE Systems Regional Aircraft, for example, which, after 15 years of leasing, managing and re-marketing passenger aircraft, is moving into the market for fire-fighting aircraft.

The move follows the sale of a BAe 146-200 to Minden Air Corp. of Nevada for conversion to an air-tanker/aerial water bomber. The aircraft was delivered in early January.

TISICS Fine Line Spawns New Business 

FARNBOURGH, U.K.—Fiber technology specialist TISICS has become the U.K.’s first manufacturer of silicon carbide fiber, a material known for its high strength and ability to reinforce metals and ceramics.

Surviving the Great Unknown 

LONDON—Crystal balls have been worn out worldwide over recent months as businesses try to predict the length and effects of the global recession. Even eminent economists are loath to make predictions, aside from the consensus that 2009 will be “a difficult year.” Beyond that, there’s light at the end of the tunnel with a sharp up-tick expected from 2010 onward. Between now and then, however, lies the great 2009 unknown. What will it bring and, most importantly, what can be done to get through it unscathed?

Reliability: the Critical Component 

If there's one thing airlines and operators the world over are more than happy to pay for, it's aircraft availability. Even the lowest of low-cost airline models recognizes availability as a key contributor to operational profitability, prompting strict penalty clauses in contracts with maintenance providers. Often, that availability hinges on component reliability.

Monarch's Mix and Match 

Monarch Aircraft Engineering initially was created in 1967 as a foundation on which to build Monarch Airlines, a U.K. operator that flies charter and scheduled flights for itself and others with a mix of Airbus and Boeing aircraft. Ever since then, the two organizations have remained separate companies but have supported each other. Monarch Airlines only provides 30% of its engineering sister's work, however, so outside customers clearly are important.

Northern European Carriers and MROs 

SAS GROUP

For the past 5,000 years, the people of Europe's northern countries have traveled far and wide -- initially as warriors and later as explorers. Today, the total population of the Northern European region countries tops 60 million people, with the biggest concentrations around the major cities.

Icelandair's Niche Operations 

People who have never been to Iceland likely judge it by its name: a land of ice that must be snow-covered, mountainous and permanently cold -- after all it's 66 degrees north and inside the Arctic Circle. Yet reality is very different. It may have snow-covered mountains, but its climate benefits from the warmth of the Gulf Stream current, which keeps average winter temperatures only just below freezing.

Mexican residents soon will be given the option 

Mexican residents soon will be given the option of traveling in style in a converted Boeing 727 limousine. Guadalajara-based Limousines de Guadalajara Vaca Meters acquired a stored Boeing 727 and transformed it into a state-of-the-art vehicle after three months of work modifying the aircraft's fuselage and installing a six-cylinder, turbocharged diesel engine in the back and air brakes and suspension.

RUSLAN heavyweight freighters 

RUSLAN heavyweight freighters could once more be produced in both Russia and the Ukraine following an upturn in demand for the aircraft. A strong increase in charter demand and recent export sales of the Antonov An-124 to Libya and to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have raised the possibility of relaunching series production of the heavyweight freighter.

Cost-Saving Kitting 

Aircraft maintenance has carried a lot of baggage for much too long, with many traditional practices slowing its progress. But the economic downturn changed this and prompted an overdue overhaul. Since then, almost every unnecessary expenditure has been hunted down and hounded out to streamline structures and engender further efficiencies -- or so some believe.

FlyBe Builds Capabilities 

U.K. maintenance provider FlyBe Aviation Services (FlyBeAS) aims to create up to 100 new jobs in southwest Britain with a 3.5 million expansion at Exeter Airport. A new 2.5 million maintenance hangar, due for completion in mid-October, will enable the organization to undertake more third-party maintenance work in addition to supporting the fleet of sister company FlyBe, the U.K.'s third-largest low-fare airline.

Deploying Convergent IT 

The networked battlefield, where real-time battle information can be gathered from forces on land, sea and air and collated into a single view, is the future vision of military strategists. This would allow military commanders to watch a fight unfold and deploy their resources to maximum effect.

Lufthansa Technik's companies 

In 2003, Lufthansa Technik's companies increased their total number of customers to 458. Two-hundred-and-one new contracts were signed that were valued at 284 million -- 54 of them with new customers. This compared favorably with 2002 when 119 new contracts were signed, including 35 new customers. The number of aircraft being serviced by the group, including the Lufthansa fleet, rose by 11% to a total of 959.

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