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September 2016

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AerSale has received FAA STC approval (ST03589NY) for installation of its AerSafe ignition mitigation system on the Boeing 737 Classic series aircraft in compliance with the Fuel Tank Flammability Reduction (FTFR). This new STC is in addition to one for the Boeing 737 NG series, approved by the FAA earlier this year (ST02980NY).


Associated Air Center (AAC) has received the industry’s first approval for a Boeing 787 Series aircraft Limited Airframe rating from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), authorising the company to perform composite bolted major repairs and alterations on 787 Series composite aircraft. The new rating allows AAC to perform repairs at its Dallas facility or any other location deemed necessary by the customer and authorised under AAC’s 14 CFR Part 145 Repair Station – Repair Station Manual and its work away from station procedures.


James Colleary, President of AAC, said: “Owners and operators of Boeing 787 series airplanes that require maintenance and/or composite bolted major repair and alteration work scopes, such as letter checks/inspections and Ku/Ka-band antennae major alterations, now have a choice in MRO providers and no longer rely solely upon the airframe manufacturer for these modifications.”


ENGINEERING Holding has just announced that it opened an engine MRO shop in June at the Moscow base of its subsidiary S7 ENGINEERING for CFM56-5B and CFM56-7B engines. The facility’s EASA Part 145 certificate was extended to cover these variants in May. SR Technics is a strategic partner for the project, providing a full training course on its premises in Zurich and support in lean practices and light maintenance. The shop floor is organised in accordance with modern practices of workflow optimisation and outfitted with tooling certified by CFM International. The engine shop team has already successfully completed its first project, having replaced a gearbox on an Airbus A320 of a Russian carrier. The task was performed without dismantling the power plant from the wing.


Etihad Airways Engineering has announced that a group of students from Belgrade in Serbia have completed the first phase of their engineering training in the United Arab Emirates and will now commence the next stage of their practical learning. The students are from one of several batches of engineering trainees who have undertaken their training in the UAE. Italian and Seychellois graduates are also moving through the system and gaining experience with the UAE’s national carrier. Etihad Airways has strong links with Italy, the Seychelles and Serbia through its equity partnerships in Alitalia, Air Seychelles and Air Serbia. The nine trainees will continue their experience in the engineering division of the Etihad Aviation Group (EAG). Etihad Airways Engineering currently provides airframe and component maintenance services, as well as supply chain management and design engineering to Etihad Airways, its equity partner airlines and third-party airlines.


The Graduate Engineering programmes are run in partnership with the Higher Colleges of Technology in Abu Dhabi. The course incorporates two years of theory training at the college, looking at areas such as aircraft maintenance and engineering development, before the trainees begin two years’ practical training with Etihad Airways Engineering to secure their licence. The licence is approved by both EASA and the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).


The students will spend the first six months of their practical training rotating in the workshop at the Etihad Airways Engineering Hangar at Abu Dhabi Airport, honing their skills and learning from advanced professionals in the division. From there they will commence work on the Etihad fleet moving through different aircraft, as well as gaining experience in different maintenance departments, to ensure their knowledge base is further enhanced, enabling them to complete the full course.


Fokker Technologies has announced that a total of 23 Fokker aircraft were placed with six existing Fokker operators and three new operators during the first half of 2016 by their respective aircraft owners. These comprise eight Fokker 50s and 15 Fokker 100s. This compares with 50 placements in 2015.

In Australia, Network Aviation, a Qantas subsidiary, purchased three more Fokker 100s, enlarging its fleet to 17 aircraft. Increasingly, the Fokker 100s are used for regular public transport (RPT) in addition to operating on more traditional fly-in, fly-out routes (FIFO) in support of natural resources industries. Australasia in general has been rapidly expanding its Fokker jet fleet. Alliance continues to take delivery of Fokker 70s and Fokker 100s as part of a deal announced last year. Similarly, Air Niugini is taking delivery of various Fokker 70s, all of which will have wifi installed by Fokker. In Europe, the Slovak Government purchased two Fokker 100 Executive Jets (F100EJ) from MJet, replacing various Soviet-era jets, while an undisclosed lessor purchased four Fokker 100s. Both are new operators for the type. At the same time, there has been a strong demand for ACMI services from various traditional Fokker 100 operators. North America’s Fokker presence increased through the purchase of six Fokker 100s from Ocean Air by JMW. All eight Fokker 50s went to various operators in East Africa, where the aircraft’s renowned durability has been particularly helpful in typically harsh operating environments.


Fokker does not sell or lease Fokker aircraft. Rather, it facilitates placements by sellers and lessors through its FLYFokker programme and remarketing services, in addition to providing comprehensive support to Fokker aircraft operators. At present there are over 400 Fokker aircraft operational across the world.


Kellstrom Materials has launched a new Fast Track Exchange (FTE) programme. A number of major airline partners have already provided Kellstrom Materials with access to their inventory pools, giving partner operators the opportunity to generate revenue from exchanged or loaned stock managed by the company. Kellstrom Materials, which has invested significantly in the new program, will tailor specific stocking programs for contract customers to ensure onsite stock will be available.


Some of the key points of FTE include dedicated material for contract customers; initially supporting Airbus A320 and Boeing 737NG and 777 no go items; local stocking in Chicago, France and Singapore; same day shipping, 24-hour AOG support; and component maintenance and repair services managed by Kellstrom Materials through tier one vendors.


Leading Edge Aviation Services, a sister company of International Aerospace Coatings, has recently completed two interesting paint jobs. The first, in Amarillo, TX, was a Boeing 737-900 of United Airlines, which emerged in a retro Continental Airlines livery. The process of stripping and repainting the aircraft took the painters nine days and 1,700 manhours. The AkzoNobel base coat/clear coat paint system was used on the fuselage, tail, and engines and the AkzoNobel Eclipse single stage gloss paint system was used on the wings and horizontal stabilisers.


At its Victorville, CA, facility, the company painted the McDonnell Douglas MD-10 aircraft which has become the latest Flying Eye Hospital for Orbis International. The aircraft itself was generously donated by FedEx and custom designed to incorporate the latest in hospital engineering, technology and clinical expertise. It includes a fully accredited surgical suite, treatment rooms and a 46-seat classroom. The aircraft is used to provide hands-on training to local eye care professionals in under-resourced communities around the world. The new aircraft is about to enter service, visiting China and Indonesia before the end of the year.


Lufthansa Systems completed the biggest ever go-live of a portable IFE solution when its BoardConnect Portable wifi system was fitted to over 70 Airbus A320 aircraft of Eurowings in a single weekend at the end of July. The remaining aircraft were completed by the middle of August.


Lufthansa Technik Group has 171 young people starting either traditional or dual-study training programmes, 14 more than in 2015. All told, Lufthansa Technik in Germany will now be home to 575 young people on their way to professions in technical aircraft services or aircraft logistics. Applicants were able to choose between 16 different professions and courses of study.


The range of programmes for electronics technicians has been expanded substantially. In addition to aircraft electronics specialising in working on aircraft, for which 36 new training places are available, 12 trainees will commence a new apprenticeship trade as ‘electronics technicians for devices and systems’ for the first time for deployment in the specialised workshops. Three of the overall 18 tool mechanics starting out in Hamburg are deaf trainees. Lufthansa Technik is thus continuing a project that has been successfully ongoing since 2000 as part of the normal training and subsequent workshop deployment.


In Hamburg, 90 trainees and dual-programme trainees are joining this year. Most of the slots go to young people who will become aircraft mechanics with specialties in repair technology (12), engine technology (12), manufacturing technology (six) and aircraft electronics (12) as well as the new apprenticeship trade as electronics technician for devices and systems (12). Moreover, this year 18 people will begin their training as tool mechanics, eight as warehouse logistics specialists (Lufthansa Technik Logistik Services, LTLS) and two as surface coating technicians. In addition, there are new trainees in Hamburg for the following degree-based professions: three practice-oriented aircraft engineers (Bachelor of Engineering), one practice-oriented electrical engineer (Bachelor of Science), two mechanical engineers (Bachelor of Science) and two students of mechatronics. The degree coursework for these programs takes place at the University of Applied Sciences.


In Frankfurt, some 55 traditional and dual-study trainees will be starting this year: 18 aircraft mechanics specialising in repair technology, 24 specialising in aircraft electronics and nine destined to become warehouse logistics specialists (LTLS). Four trainees are commencing a dual-study program in aviation system engineering and management for maintenance engineers in cooperation with the Bremen University of Applied Sciences. At N3 Engine Overhaul Services in Arnstadt, 12 aircraft mechanic trainees with a specialty in engine technology will strengthen the workforce. The company will also offer training as a warehouse logistics specialist for the first time with two slots initially. Lufthansa Technik AERO Alzey will have five aircraft mechanic trainees with a specialty in engine technology and one machinist in milling technology. Two additional dual-study places have now been filled on the Bachelor of Engineering in cooperation with the University of Kaiserslautern following the launch in 2015. In Munich, three people will begin training at Lufthansa Technik Logistik Services as warehouse logistics specialists and one at LEOS as an automotive mechatronics technician.


Only 8% of the new trainees are women, significantly down on previous years. Lufthansa Technik cannot see any reasons for this development. There are indications of a turnaround for 2017 based on the current applications received. The increased efforts by the company over recent years to interest women in technically-oriented future professions will be fully maintained.


Lufthansa Technik has developed a mobile procedure in the framework of its research and development activities that allows even the smallest leaks at doors and windows in the aircraft cabin to be located. The Vacuum Leak Check allows inflight pressure differences of an aircraft to be simulated on the ground without any significant effort. The new procedure will replace the existing time-consuming process of activating the cabin pressurization system.

The windows and doors to be examined are closed during the Vacuum Leak Check and covered from the outside by a special textile fibre as well as an airtight latex film with hose fittings. Air is then pumped out from between the latex film and the fuselage to create a vacuum. 


Even the smallest leaks can now be precisely located in the interior of the cabin by means of a leak detector. The procedure excludes the possibility of other error sources, reduces costs as only two instead of four employees are required to carry out the work and reduces process and aircraft ground times significantly. 


The test equipment can be stowed in a practical toolbox so that the Vacuum Leak Check can be used flexibly anywhere for selective identification and resolution of errors.

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