Propeller MROs Invest In New Capabilities And Equipment

Piedmont Propulsion Systems propeller MRO
Credit: Piedmont Propulsion Systems

1. Broad In-House Capabilities

Company: Piedmont Propulsion Systems

Product: Piedmont Propulsion Systems has been providing propeller MRO to commercial, regional, military, corporate and general aviation customers for more than 70 years. Certified by the FAA and European Union Aviation Safety Agency to provide in-house MRO services for all Class 1 and Class 2 propellers—including nondestructive testing, static balancing, machining, grinding, surface treatments and composite repair—it has invested nearly $10 million over the last decade in its facility in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, adding equipment and tooling and expanding parts inventories. Piedmont says it uses its extensive engineering resources to develop customized preventative maintenance and training programs for operators to reduce unscheduled removals and scrap events. It has managed several long-term propeller maintenance programs for companies such as Jazz Aviation, FedEx Express, Lufthansa Technik, Piedmont Airlines and WestJet Encore. It was recently approved to repair and overhaul Sikorsky UH-60 rotor blades.

2. Virtual Propeller Innovations

Company: Dowty Propellers

Dowty Propellers propeller systems
Credit: Dowty Propellers

Product: Dowty Propellers manufactures electronically controlled all-composite propeller systems for platforms ranging from regional jets and military transport aircraft to seaplanes and marine hovercraft. It offers comprehensive aftermarket solutions for its propeller systems, including full depot maintenance services as well as technical support and training. Dowty has repair and overhaul facilities in Europe, North America and Australia, backed by a team of more than 70 field service representatives (FSR) around the world. During the pandemic, its FSR teams worked with customers to develop solutions that leveraged digital technologies to help aircraft remain in service without consuming excess spare parts. It also developed virtual workshops and examinations to keep its nondestructive-testing engineers accredited. In January, it launched an e-commerce spare parts portal for the R408 propeller system on De Havilland Dash 8-400 aircraft, which offers live inventory updates and functionality to place and track orders.

3. Extensive Repair Capabilities

Company: Aviation Propellers Inc.

Aviation Propellers Inc. machinery
Credit: Aviation Propellers Inc.

Product: Aviation Propellers Inc. has been servicing all makes and models of propellers from its Part 145 repair station in Opa-Locka, Florida, since 1970. It provides service for commercial, military and general aviation propellers and accessories for customers in more than 40 countries. The company’s core services include overhaul and repair of propellers and governors, installation and removal, on-wing dynamic balancing, composite material repairs, troubleshooting, and aftermarket sales and support. It offers a 24/7 AOG support line, extensive inventory on hand and yearly continuing education initiatives for technicians. Its recent customers include Daher, NASA and the Goodyear Blimp. It was recently named the only U.S. authorized repair facility for German OEM Hoffman Propeller.

4. Military Propeller Specialization

Company: Pacific Propeller International

Pacific Propeller International propeller
Credit: Pacific Propeller International

Product: Pacific Propeller International (PPI) is an FAA-authorized repair station that delivers propeller services for large transport aircraft, regional aircraft and agricultural aircraft from its facility in Kent, Washington. Its primary focus is on large aircraft propellers such as the 54H60 utilized on the Lockheed C-130 Hercules and P-3 Orion. In July, its parent company, Precision Aerospace Products, partnered with Turbopower to begin offering a comprehensive MRO solution for the Rolls-Royce T56 engine and Hamilton Standard 54H60 propeller, both of which are used on the C-130 and P-3 Orion. Due to its approval by the U.S. Air Force and Navy, PPI says it is the only OEM-certified company that can support the new U.S. aircraft overhaul requirements. PPI says it is also focused on applying its expertise in composite blade repairs to provide future services on the Collins Aerospace NP2000 and Dowty R391 propellers.

Lindsay Bjerregaard

Lindsay Bjerregaard is managing editor for Aviation Week’s MRO portfolio. Her coverage focuses on MRO technology, workforce, and product and service news for, Aviation Week Marketplace and Inside MRO.