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Friday, March 27th, 2020

Airbus adapts wing production amid COVID-19 outbreak

While securing business continuity, Airbus, the world’s largest planemaker, has been taking stringent measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its workforce during the current COVID-19 outbreak. On Monday, March 23, production resumed in Spain and France after four-day break for deep cleaning and re-evaluation of the situation, while operations in the U.K., U.S., and Germany continued at normal production rates.

Having reviewed completed stock levels and assessed them against demand from the Final Assembly Line, the company has chosen to pare back on wing production at its plants in both the U.K. and Germany, a situation that will remain in place for the next three weeks. At Filton and Broughton in the U.K., activities will be reduced and an Extended break at Easter taken. In Bremen, Germany, the working week will be reduced.

According to an Airbus press release, the sites will remain open during this period and will continue to ensure wing deliveries to the final assembly lines, the receipt and control of materials and components from the supply chain, building and installation maintenance, critical administrative support and preparation for activity restart.

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APOC Aviation establishes new dedicated landing gear division

APOC Aviation, the innovative leasing, trading and aircraft part-out specialist, has set up a specialist landing gear division to service a growing number of customers across leading airlines and MROs worldwide. With several A320 and B737 assets already out on lease or in active exchange programs, the company is seeking equipment for a wide range of Airbus, Boeing, Embraer and ATR aircraft types.

According to Karolis Jurkevicius, VP Landing Gear Trading – APOC Aviation, creating a dedicated landing gear division was the next logical step for APOC’s expanding asset portfolio.

“APOC Aviation has just celebrated its fifth anniversary, we are a young company with a dynamic investment strategy to build a strong foundation of engines and LDGs underpinned by independent and flexible repair management services. We have a close network of airline and MRO customers with whom we have been developing short and long-term lease agreements over recent years and now is the time to expand our capabilities. APOC Aviation has a selected number of audited LDG repair shops with whom it manages repairs for customers if so required. It also works with third party experts to tear down LDGs for piece parts for sale or to support customers’ on-going overhaul
projects. However, APOC is not an MRO shop itself. “Our LDGs on lease can be placed by the lessee in workshops of their choice – they are not tied into repair contracts as part of the lease agreement. Our customers like this flexibility which is unusual in the marketplace” says Jurkevicius.

GA Telesis purchases five CF6-80C2B1F engines from Atlas Air

GA Telesis (GAT) has completed the acquisition of five General Electric CF6-80C2B1F engines from Atlas Air for part-out that will be immediately inducted for disassembly.

The resulting used serviceable material (USM) will be directed towards GA Telesis’ CF6 airline and MRO customer base, including GA Telesis Engine Services (GATES). These engines will allow for increased access to engine USM, which will help reduce the costs of heavy jet engine maintenance for airlines worldwide.

In these turbulent times, GAT remains focused on growing and providing continuity of cost-saving solutions for its airline and MRO customers. GA Telesis CEO Abdol Moabery commented that, “While these are very unprecedented times for the aviation industry, GA Telesis is proud to be a leader in the industry with never-ending support of its worldwide airline and MRO customer base.”

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Embraer to collaborate on technologies and solutions to combat COVID-19

Embraer has released that it is working in partnership with companies and research centers on technologies that can increase the availability of equipment and solutions to combat COVID-19 in Brazil.

The actions, developed jointly with Embraer's supply chain, include the manufacturing of parts for the ventilator and respirator industry, the replacement of imported components for ventilators, the development of high-efficiency filtration systems for transforming regular hospital beds into intensive care beds and studies for the development of simple, robust and portable respirators aimed at rapid implementation and availability.

A group of professionals has already been leading initiatives in support of a respirator factory in Brazil, with a plan to start the production of parts next week, in response to the emergency demand for this equipment. Embraer, in cooperation with partner organizations, has already completed the
technical and production capacity analysis required to meet the identified needs.

In partnership with the Albert Einstein Hospital, located in São Paulo, Brazil, Embraer is also working to provide technical support for the development of biological air filter systems for air-quality control, which can convert regular hospital beds into intensive care beds. Using highly
efficient filters for absorbing air particles, already utilized in air conditioning systems on aircraft, the objective is to provide this solution to hospitals with immediate needs.

Another work front is dedicated to analyzing the manufacturing of control valves and flow sensors for another respirator industry in the country, in addition to adapting an existing respirator model for use in combating COVID-19.

HAECO acquires Jet Engine Solutions

Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company (HAECO Group) has acquired Jet Engine Solutions, (JES), an engine MRO based in Dallas, Texas, U.S.A. JES specializes in quick-turn repairs and lease-returns for commercial aircraft engines.

The acquisition of JES forms part of HAECO’s strategy to grow its Global Engine Support business. This includes the opening of a new GES location near Amsterdam. This facility is EASA Part 145-approved and located 20 minutes by road from Schiphol Airport, the Netherlands. The HAECO Global Engine Support facilities are located in the U.S., Europe and at HAECO’s headquarters in Hong Kong.

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Etihad Cargo deploys cargo-only Boeing 787s to complement freighter fleet

Following the directive issued by the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, and the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of the United Arab Emirates to temporarily suspend all passenger services to and from the UAE, Etihad Cargo continues to play a vital role in connecting key cargo markets and ensuring the UAE’s import and export needs are adequately covered in line with current demand.

To complement its fleet of Boeing 777 Freighters, Etihad Cargo is introducing a fleet of Boeing 787-10 aircraft as passenger freighters to operate 34-weekly flights, serving 10 markets initially. Each aircraft will provide capacity for 12 lower-deck pallets and four containers, carrying up to 45 tons of payload.

The passenger freighter network will introduce capacity, subject to permits, into India, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, South Korea and other places where borders remain open for cargo. On top of that, the current freighter schedule will be enhanced by additional flights into Riyadh, London, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

By utilizing the Boeing 787 in addition to its freighter fleet, Etihad Cargo will ensure the continuity of vital imports into the UAE including fruits, vegetables, meat, medical supplies, mail and ecommerce.

Cessna SkyCourier starts ground engine tests

Textron Aviation has successfully completed initial ground engine tests on the prototype Cessna SkyCourier twin utility turboprop, featuring Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-65SC engines. These ground engine tests verified the functionality of the fuel system and engines, as well as the interface with the avionics and electrical systems.

The Cessna SkyCourier program continues to advance with assembly of the prototype and additional five flight and ground test articles. The tail was installed on the fuselage in early February 2020. Power to the aircraft’s electrical system was turned on in January, and the wings were successfully mated to the fuselage in December 2019.

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Babcock joins forces to develop new ventilator solution

British engineer Babcock International Group (Babcock) has joined forces with a leading medical equipment company to design, manufacture and supply thousands of critical care ventilators for the NHS in response to the Government’s urgent request for help from industry.

A team of Babcock engineers and other specialists have worked round the clock to develop
a supply chain solution to produce the ventilators. Positive input from the Cabinet Office has also facilitated engagement with a panel of leading clinical experts, including London’s Royal Brompton Hospital, reputed worldwide for its expertise in respiratory medicine.

Modern day ventilators are composed of hundreds of different specialist parts, however, with the race against time to save lives a fully functional prototype with the focus on simplified ventilation principles and thereby fewer parts has been created in a matter of days, whilst meeting strict clinical requirements.

Jon Hall, Managing Director of Technology for Babcock, said: "This is a critical time for the country as a whole and for the NHS in particular. When the opportunity arose for us to get involved in helping the NHS to save lives, we knew it was the right thing to do. I’m really proud of the commitment and innovation of everyone in the team, across Babcock and our medical and supply chain partners."

"Combining our engineering expertise with advances in medical technology has resulted in a solution that will help the NHS save lives. That capability, combined with a diverse supply chain will ensure that we can get this equipment manufactured, processed and delivered as a matter of urgency."

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