Lufthansa Technik Extends 5G Network

Lufthansa Technik first started rolling out private 5G networks at its Hamburg base in early 2020.
Credit: Lufthansa Technik

More than two years after setting up a 5G mobile communication network in one of its Hamburg engine shops, Lufthansa Technik has expanded the technology to a second overhaul facility.

Lufthansa Technik first rolled out 5G through a partnership with telecommunications company Nokia in early 2020 at its engine shop servicing CFM56 and V2500 engine overhauls.

It cited the importance of 5G at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic by using high-resolution video streams for the visual inspection of engine parts via its Aviatar platform.

The extended service will now include the facility that houses CFM LEAP and CF6-80 engine overhaul work and enable more customers to view engine layovers remotely and interact with mechanics in Hamburg.

The German MRO giant has also expanded the number of services using 5G infrastructure. Both overhaul workshops now offer borescope examinations via the campus network in addition to parts inspections.

"In the pandemic situation, virtual parts inspections and digital borescopes have clearly gained acceptance in our company. The 5G-based video streams have helped us enormously," says Michael Kirstein, vice president operations engine services at Lufthansa Technik. He adds: “In the past, such inspections often had to be planned several weeks in advance. Now we can schedule inspections at very short notice…”

The company foresees further expansion of its 5G capabilities in the coming years. To continue operating its own and independent 5G networks, Lufthansa Technik was granted a fixed ten-year license from the German Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) near the end of 2021.

"This secures the independent application of this future technology at the Hamburg headquarters for the long term," the company says. "This also means that nothing stands in the way of further expansion of the campus network there."

James Pozzi

As Aviation Week's MRO Editor EMEA, James Pozzi covers the latest industry news from the European region and beyond. He also writes in-depth features on the commercial aftermarket for Inside MRO.