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Digest
November 2015

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AAR has completed its 200th aircraft for customer Air Canada. Earlier this year, AAR was awarded an expansion of its contract with Air Canada to provide aircraft maintenance and component repair, adding seven aircraft to its current cost-per-flight-hour agreement and extending it through 2023. The Duluth facility is dedicated to the commercial carrier’s narrow-body Airbus fleet, exclusively servicing A319, A320 and A321 aircraft.

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AAR has marked three years of business in the Duluth region, where it has contributed $47 million annually to the regional economy and encouraged investment in the state’s aviation infrastructure. The aviation sector in the Duluth region is projected to grow by 20% to 2022, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. In recent years, the region has employed more than 50% of the state’s aviation maintenance and manufacturing workers. AAR has contributed greatly to that figure, reopening an abandoned 17,465m² aircraft hangar in November 2012. Today, the Duluth facility supports three lines of aircraft maintenance and 385 full-time jobs.  

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Aeronautical Engineers Inc (AEI) has received EASA approval (Supplemental Type Certificate #10055029) for its McDonnell Douglas MD-80SF freighter conversion. The original FAA STC (ST02434LA) for the aircraft was received in February 2013. The AEI MD-80SF comes with an Ancra Cargo Loading System capable of carrying 12 88in x 108in containers and, depending upon the particular aircraft model, has a maindeck payload capability of up to 21,137kg.

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Aerostar of Romania will complete a record number of heavy maintenance visits in 2015. So far this year, the company has completed 48 heavy checks, predominantly on Boeing 737 (Classic and NG) and Airbus A320 Family aircraft, and is contracted for a further 17, bringing the total for the year to 65 – the highest yearly total the company has recorded since it first entered the commercial aircraft MRO market in December 2004. A grand total of 380 heavy maintenance checks have been carried out so far over this 11 year period. Aerostar has also become one of the first independent MROs in Europe to carry out installations of the new Split Scimitar Winglets on Boeing 737NG aircraft. Since completing the first installation in July 2014, the company has now carried out a total of 14 installations and can offer this work either separately or as part of a heavy maintenance check. Another new avenue for the company is its recent Section 46 re-skinning of a Boeing 737-300SF cargo aircraft for Spanish passenger and cargo charter carrier, Swiftair.

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Airbus Material and Supply Chain Services in the Americas has provided, installed, calibrated and approved its proprietary, production-grade tooling at the NORDAM Repair Division in order to facilitate all A320 Sharklet repairs – up to and including replacement of damaged skin panels, which cannot be achieved with these specific fixtures. NORDAM is the first and currently only company in the Americas qualified by Airbus on A320 Classic and neo Sharklets to replace skin panels and perform repairs that are outside of the Airbus Structural Repair Manual. As the preferred North American repair station for Airbus, NORDAM also repairs proprietary flight-control surfaces used on the A300-600, A310, A320, A330, A340 and A350, as well as replacing Airbus elevator skin panels and attach fittings on A300-600, A310 and A320. 

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Aircraft Propeller Service has opened its new Lake Zurich, IL, facility and is ready to leverage its role as the license holder for repair and maintenance of propeller systems in IATA 1 and IATA 3. The company is the first third-party MRO licensed to perform any OEM-proprietary repairs and inspections, including compression wrap processes, on the UTC Aerospace Systems 568F six-blade electronic control composite propeller systems that are used predominantly on ATR aircraft. APS recently completed its first two compression wrap processes on behalf of a Brazilian ATR operator and a US-based MRO. APS is currently on track to open two new MRO shops: one in Atibaia, Brazil, and a second at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia. These shops are scheduled to be operational by late 2015 or early 2016.

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AJW Engines is to provide engine shop visit management services for Cameroon Airlines Corporation (Camair-Co). A team of engineers from AJW will manage all aspects of the shop visit for two Pratt & Whitney PW4060 engines. Camair-Co has also signed a lease agreement with AJW Leasing for a replacement PW4060 engine which has been fitted to their Boeing 767-300 aircraft.

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ATR has obtained EASA certification for its passenger-cargo combi version of the ATR 72-600. The new cabin configuration of the aircraft allows for an increase in cargo volume of over 19m³ and nearly 3,000kg in weight combined with up to 44 passenger seats. By replacing the forward seven rows with a cargo section that can accommodate four containers, the aircraft load-carrying capacity can be almost doubled. The combi design is also offered for retrofit on existing aircraft. The delivery of the first unit is scheduled to take place before the end of the year to Airlines PNG of Papua New Guinea. Airlines PNG will take eight combi aircraft in total.

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Avmax and True Blue Power have received a Transport Canada Civil Aviation Administration (TCCA) Part 25 Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for installation of the True Blue Power TB44 (44 amp-hour) lithium-ion aircraft battery on Bombardier Dash 8 Series 100/200/300 aircraft. The two companies have filed for FAA Part 25 approval of the same STC.

 

When compared to NiCad and lead-acid batteries, the TB44 reduces empty weight and increases useful load by 25 to 36kg, as well as significantly reducing maintenance costs with a two-year maintenance interval. It also offers superior high temperature and cold weather performance, from -40°C to +70°C. Compared to NiCad batteries, it also reduces fuel and maintenance costs by up to $5,000 per year per aircraft. The total value of all cost savings and benefits equals up to $25,000 per year per aircraft, while also reducing CO2 emissions by up to three tonnes per year per aircraft.

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Avtrade continues its aircraft acquisition programme with the purchase of an ex-flynas EMBRAER 190LR (MSN 19000232) from the lessor. Manufactured in December 2008, it has just over 11,000 flight hours. The deal is for the complete airframe minus core engines. This acquisition follows the recent purchase of ex-Virgin Nigeria EMBRAER 190 (MSN 19000210), manufactured in 2008 and with the exceptionally low total of 5,804 flight hours. This was also a complete serviceable aircraft minus core engines. Both aircraft will be parted out to provide Avtrade with dedicated inventory, certified to both EASA and FAA release for sale, loan or exchange. Components will be fully serviceable, tagged and ready for shipment from Avtrade’s UK Logistics Centre.

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