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Digest
April 2017

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AerFin has purchased a Boeing 737-800 aircraft (MSN 29039) for spares from the Investec Global Aircraft Fund. The aircraft was manufactured in September 1999 and, like sister ship MSN 29041 (acquired by AerFin in February), will be used to build on AerFin’s support for the global 737NG spares market.

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Airborne Maintenance and Engineering Services (AMES) and the University of Akron have obtained FAA approval for ‘cold spray’ repair of corroded and worn parts on commercial aircraft. Using supersonic particle deposition (SPD), metal particles contained in a supersonic jet of expanded gas impact a solid surface with sufficient energy to cause bonding with the surface. This additive manufacturing process builds up and repairs the surface of the metal part without creating a heat-affected zone that would occur during welding or high temperature thermal spray.

 

Development and testing has been underway for two years, funded by the Ohio Legislature in the last Operating Budget, and supported by the University of Akron’s National Center for Education and Research on Corrosion and Materials Performance (NCERCAMP) in collaboration with AMES, SAFEngineering and US Technology Corporation. The data gathered has provided the foundation required for FAA approval of SPD dimensional restoration of aircraft structure.

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Airbus has selected UnaBiz to advance research in digitalisation of aircraft maintenance operations through the adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. The contract sees both parties enter into a research and technology agreement in the field of MRO. In a data-driven environment, communication between the various components must be available on demand and accurate at all times. Beyond the wired network, most components of the infrastructure are mobile and require some form of wireless communication, especially in transmitting small packets of data over a long distance. By working with UnaBiz, Airbus can leverage on Sigfox’s low-power, wide-area network (LPWAN), a technology that is low cost in terms of capital investment and operation, ultra-low in power consumption, simple to deploy, and has a global coverage.

 

Both Airbus and UnaBiz commented that significant resources will be dedicated to this project to ensure that the solutions defined can be successfully deployed to facilities and operations globally.

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Aircraft Recycling International (ARI) of Hong Kong has taken delivery of six Boeing 737-700 aircraft from Xiamen Airlines. ARI won the bidding in December 2016 at China Beijing Equity Exchange. The six aircraft, aged from 16 to 18 years, are planned for disassembly and parts sales or release.

 

The company recently acquired a 100% equity interest in Universal Asset Management (UAM), based in Memphis, TN, and will combine UAM’s aircraft disassembly technology, business operations experience, industry accreditations, professional recognition and existing relationships with its capital, market network and integrated full-life solutions.

 

The aircraft recycling industry in Asia-Pacific, and China in particular, is growing rapidly, thanks to the sustainable expansion of in-service fleets which is creating strong demand for aircraft maintenance services, and for components and parts. In response, ARI is currently constructing the world’s largest aircraft recycling facility in Harbin, China. Being the first company in Asia to provide total aging aircraft solutions, ARI is poised to capture first-mover advantage in the downstream aircraft market in the region, complemented by UAM’s Disassembly Center in Tupelo, MS, which will serve as a major platform for its services overseas.

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Ameco has completed cabin layout modifications on ten Airbus A330-200s of Air China to cater for the operational requirements in different routes. The work started in September 2016 and was carried out during scheduled C checks. After modification, the aircraft can be quickly converted to meet the market needs for business and economy class. Ameco also modified IFE systems, in-seat power systems and passenger services systems. By optimising working processes, the turnaround time for each aircraft was cut to seven days.

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Ameco has completed its first thrust reverser repair work for a Rolls-Royce Trent 700 powerplant in February. The component is part of an engine belonging to an Air China aircraft. Ameco is the first MRO in China to have this capability. 

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Avtrade has completed the purchase of two Airbus A320s (MSN 1316 and MSN 1345) which will be parted out under a coordinated programme managed by Avtrade Operations and Logistics teams. Currently in Marana, AZ, for disassembly, components from both aircraft will boost Avtrade’s current Airbus stock. These components will be fully serviceable, certified to both EASA and FAA release, and will be available for immediate shipment on sale, loan and exchange.

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Avtrade is to become an Associate Member of the International Airlines Technical Pool.

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Bombardier Commercial Aircraft has strengthened its Bombardier Smart Parts programme by appointing GKN Aerospace’s Fokker Services business as its Authorized Service Provider covering component repair management for the Q400 aircraft. Under the 10-year agreement, Fokker will help through its extensive in-house capabilities, as well as a strong third-party repair agency network.

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Cargolux has become the first operator worldwide to achieve 1 million flight hours with the GE Aviation GEnx engine on the Boeing 747-8. This comes five and a half years after entry into service of its first GEnx-powered 747-8F. It is also noteworthy that Cargolux has experienced no basic-engine-caused inflight shutdown of the engine since its entry into service.

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