Dowty Propellers re-establishes composite blade production

The manufacture of composite blades for Dowty Propellers’ civil and military propeller systems has been re-established, marking the company’s recovery from a fire that destroyed its original production site in southwest England. Operating from an interim facility at Mitcheldean in Gloucestershire, Dowty Propellers has re-created the complete blade manufacturing capability for its propeller system product lines – with output reaching the highest rates in company history. During its creation of the interim Mitcheldean operation, Dowty Propellers utilized the opportunity to implement new production layouts and processes, as well as introducing updated equipment – thereby enhancing its manufacturing performance when compared Read more

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Safran and Albany inaugurate third composite fan blade production plant for LEAP engine, in Mexico

Safran and Albany have inaugurated a third joint manufacturing plant in Mexico, to make composite parts for the LEAP aircraft engine. This third joint plant is similar to and complements the two existing plants in Rochester, New Hampshire (United States), and Commercy (eastern France), inaugurated in 2014. It involved a total investment of about US$100m and delivered its first parts in October 2017, primarily making 3D woven composite fan blades for the LEAP engine from CFM International. As the LEAP program develops, this plant will also make guide vanes. The investment needed to add this capability will start this year, Read more

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Bristow Helicopters select Honeywell’s avionics protection plan

Honeywell has signed a five-year contract with Bristow Helicopters for its Honeywell Avionics Protection Plan (HAPP). The agreement will cover 26 of Bristow’s Leonardo AW139 helicopter fleet. Under the agreement, Bristow Helicopters will benefit from full maintenance protection coverage for the avionics suite of its search and rescue fleet, providing improved cost forecasting. The company will also have access to repair and parts exchange services in addition to support from Honeywell and its global network of authorized service centers to return its helicopters back to the sky quickly and efficiently. Honeywell offers a variety of maintenance contract options, allowing operators Read more

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Icelandair expands maintenance partnership with MAEL

Independent MRO provider Monarch Aircraft Engineering (MAEL), has won an expanded maintenance commitment from Icelandair. Icelandair, which has been a MAEL customer since 2003, has increased its current maintenance commitment to include base maintenance for a fifth aircraft – a Boeing 757 heavy check to take place at MAEL’s Luton facility. MAEL has carried out a check for Icelandair’s B757 freighter aircraft last November and currently has the second of three planned B767-300 aircraft in maintenance at its Luton facility. Since becoming an independent MRO provider in October 2017, MAEL has announced a wide range of new agreements with airlines. Read more

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Robots driving innovation at SR Technics

SR Technics is partnering with Invert Robotics to implement an innovative robotics solution to enhance its aircraft maintenance inspections. Developed by Invert Robotics, the robot employs a patented mechanism that explores the airframe surface to assess the required maintenance needs. Equipped with a high-resolution inspection camera, the robot records and transmits video images to a ground-based screen, which are then analyzed by SR Technics engineers. The use of this new solution enables efficient visual inspections both on the tarmac as well as in the hangar. In addition, the inspection images can be used for more detailed repair assessments and as Read more

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GE Aviation opens pneumatics laboratory

GE Aviation, Rockford commissioned a world-class facility that enables the company to test jet engine components under a full range of temperatures, pressures and other conditions. The Advanced Engineering Pneumatics Test Laboratory, known as AdEPT, represents a US$13m investment, and will help fuel continued growth at the Rockford plant. The new facility is dedicated to testing of complex, high-precision components including engine pneumatic valves, starter systems, turbo machinery, heat exchangers, and bleed air systems. The 20,000-ft² AdEPT lab is capable of simulating a wide variety of conditions, combining pneumatic temperature, pressure and flow to simulate real-world conditions. The Rockford facility Read more

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PPG awarded heated windshield contract for Bell 525 Relentless helicopter

PPG has been awarded the contract by Bell Helicopter to produce heated pilot and co-pilot windshields for the Bell 525 Relentless commercial helicopter. The PPG windshields will be available for customer specification on helicopters operating in mountainous areas and cold environments and for off-shore rescues. Bell has completed critical design review and approved PPG’s design for the composite windshields, which will have an outboard ply of stretched acrylic with a scratch-resistant coating and an inboard polycarbonate ply for enhanced strength. The windshields will meet Bell’s bird-strike requirement, which is to withstand the impact of a 2.2-pound bird at 185 knots. Read more

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Iberia’s first A350 in final assembly stage

Iberia’s first A350-900 is in the final assembly stage at the Airbus factory in Toulouse, France, with its wings now attached to the fuselage and the engine pylons and horizontal and vertical stabilisers being installed now, as the first electric system tests are also being carried out. Iberia’s first A-350-900 will undergo numerous tests on the ground before the full cockpit and passenger cabin are installed, the engines attached and the entire aircraft painted. Next come flight tests before the aircraft is delivered to the Airbus Delivery Center. Iberia, which flies only Airbus aircraft, has ordered 16 A350-900 that will Read more

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Aircraft wheel and brake specialist becomes Honeywell Authorized Service Center

Rotable Repairs, one of UK’s leading providers of wheel and brake MRO services, has signed a multi-year parts supply and license agreement with Honeywell, to become the UK’s first Authorized Wheel and Brake Service Center. The agreement, which came into effect beginning January 2018 will increase customer value and support. This will allow Rotable Repairs to offer competitive lead times, a low, dedicated pricing structure and a trustworthy service for all Honeywell products. Bryan Croft, Sales and Marketing Director of Rotable Repairs stated: “The agreement further establishes our growing relationship with Honeywell and our requirement to provide our customers with Read more

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Oerlikon and Boeing to collaborate in additive manufacturing work

Boeing and Swiss-based Oerlikon, a leading technology and engineering group, have signed a five-year collaboration agreement to develop standard materials and processes for metal-based additive manufacturing. Additive manufacturing, popularly known as 3D printing, is a controlled process in which material is joined or solidified to create a three-dimensional part. “This agreement is an important step toward fully unlocking the value of powder bed titanium additive manufacturing for the aerospace industry,” said Leo Christodoulou, Boeing Chief Technologist. “Boeing and Oerlikon will work together to standardize additive manufacturing operations from powder management to finished product and thus enable the development of a Read more

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