MRO Memo: From Oshkosh to the Olympics

Credit: EAA AirVenture

This week marks the official start of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. What MRO Digest readers may not realize is that our very own European MRO Editor, James Pozzi, has a personal tie to the games. His brother, Andrew Pozzi, will be competing for Team Great Britain in the Men’s 110m Hurdles. Like James, who spearheads Aviation Week’s MRO Podcast, Andrew recently launched his own podcast that follows the road to the Tokyo Olympics and updates from the games. Be sure to watch the Olympics and cheer on Andrew as part of the #PozziPatrol, and keep your eyes peeled for new episodes of Aviation Week’s MRO Podcast.

Aside from Olympics excitement, this week saw some interesting MRO developments within the business and general aviation segments. In the U.S., Kentucky-based MRO Thoroughbred Aviation—which supports helicopter and general aviation customers—announced its expansion to Huntington Tri-State Airport in West Virginia. It said the move was driven in part by a new joint Aviation Maintenance Technology program from Marshall University and Mountwest Community and Technical College, which will be launching next year. The new educational program and MRO tenant are likely to drive aviation development and workforce in the previously underserved region of western West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and southern Ohio. You can read more about these developments from my coverage earlier this week.

In Europe, German MRO and aircraft sales provider Rheinland Air Service (RAS) completed purchase deposit agreements for five all-electric Bye Aerospace eFlyer 800 aircraft. In addition to serving as a designated reseller of the eight-seat electric aircraft, RAS will leverage its MRO capabilities to support eFlyer800s in Central Europe through its service and support facilities in Germany. The deal is the first of its kind that Aviation Week’s technology and MRO editors have seen, and it will be interesting to see if other maintenance providers follow suit to position themselves for the future surge of electric aircraft.

Speaking of business aviation and electric aircraft, next week I will be at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh looking for interesting aircraft and MRO-related news. At the last AirVenture show in 2019 I found a variety of new MRO tools and technology, as well as all sorts of innovative aircraft. This year I’ll also be riding along for my first aerobatic flight with the Phillips 66 Aerostars and getting an inside look at the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital, which will be on display as part of EAA AirVenture’s salute to humanitarian aviation. Stay tuned for my coverage as the show re-commences following its cancellation in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you know of any interesting news or aircraft from the show that I should be sure to check out, please reach out via email or Twitter.

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.