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June 2017

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AerFin and SR Technics (SRT) have agreed a new long-term engine repair agreement. The agreement will add CFM56-5B and CFM56-7B component coverage to the already existing CFM56-5C agreement for repairs at both the SR Technics’ Zurich and Cork facilities. This enhances the relationship between both companies following on from the announcement of the BeyondFleetServices agreement with Philippine Airlines last December to support the phase-out of their Airbus A340 fleet. 


AerFin currently have a CFM56-7B (ESN 875310), purchased from Aero Capital Solutions and previously in service with Brazilian operator GOL, in teardown at SRT in Zurich and this engine will be held there on consignment to support the material demand for SRT’s increasing shop visit activity.


AerFin will acquire the Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) fleet of 15 Embraer E170-LR aircraft, including all the spare parts, engines, tooling and equipment necessary to support the entire fleet.


The E170s entered into operation from December 2005, and accumulated more than 350,000 flight hours over an average of 10 years with the airline. The last of the aircraft completed its last flight on 19 December. Deliveries to AerFin are expected to commence in summer 2017. 


AerFin Chief Executive Officer Bob James commented: “AerFin is evolving very quickly as we focus on delivering the innovative solutions regional jet operators need to be competitive, from usage-based pricing to whole aircraft leasing. The Saudia E170 fleet is barely 11 years old and, while we expect some aircraft to be reduced to spares, eight aircraft had D Checks within the past 12 months and provide excellent lease candidates. Securing this volume and quality of product was key to delivering on our strategy to offer the lowest possible E-Jet spares maintenance costs world-wide. By expanding our BeyondFleetServices programme (pioneered on the A340) to the E-Jet fleet, AerFin will be the preferred partner of choice for regional E-Jet operators.”


Aero Norway has completed the 150th repaired CFM56 engine in the past 18 months. Aero Norway has recently moved to a shift work programme to increase its engineering capacity as the rate of engine inductions at the facility continues to grow. This engine left the workshop bound for Enter Air, a Polish charter airline and its CFM56-7B26 engine was in for a light shop visit encompassing repair and modification under a fast turn-around time to ensure quick return to service. Aero Norway’s customer service agreement with Enter Air commenced in 2015 with the CFM56-3 type and has recently been extended to cover the CFM56-7B model.


Aerostar, the Romanian aerospace company, is demonstrating continued strong growth in its commercial aircraft MRO business and is planning a further expansion to meet customer demand. The company is in the final stages of negotiating with the airport authorities at Ia?i in northern Romania to build a new four-bay MRO hangar for Airbus A320 Family and Boeing 737NG / Classic overhauls and anticipates this new facility will open for business in the summer of 2019. The new facility is 130km north of Aerostar’s exiting business operations at Bacau.


Since diversifying into commercial aviation MRO activities nearly 13 years ago, Aerostar has steadily built up a strong and growing customer base from airlines in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. During 2016, a total of 80 aircraft completed C and D Checks at Bacau. Since the company moved into commercial aviation MRO activities around 500 aircraft from around 30 airlines have been overhauled at Bacau. Airlines such as Royal Air Maroc and Pegasus Airlines are also among current customers who have contracted maintenance services from Aerostar for several years.


Aerostar’s aim is to develop, in addition to the current yearly maintenance contracts now usual with its customers, mid- and long-term framework agreements. As a regional centre of excellence, Aerostar has two hangars with over 10,000m² of space and six to seven aircraft bays. 


Airbus says a working group from company locations in France, Germany, Spain and the UK have developed an innovative process for composite repairs on aircraft, with the procedure validated on an A350-900 flight test aircraft. While the bonding technique used in the repair process is not new, the tools and level of automation are a departure. 


The working group developed a portable robotic repair jet that uses water mixed with an abrasive to remove up to 500cm² of damaged material for replacement with new carbon fibre. 

The replacement composite material is cured on site – at an airport or maintenance centre, for example – eliminating the need for the large autoclave traditionally employed in the manufacture of composites.


Sebastien Hanser, the major repairs Technical Project Manager, said: “The repair jet is a new, Airbus-qualified tool. The machine’s advantages include its ability to repeat tasks and contain carbon dust. It is suited to difficult locations on the aircraft, such as where an operator would be working upside down, and it has a development potential.”


Also new is an inflatable clean room, which brings the environmental specifications used in manufacturing plants close to the aircraft. Temperature, dust levels and humidity can be managed, to provide the clean and dry conditions that are required.


During the A350 XWB’s certification, the team used the full-scale test specimen and fatigue tests to qualify their processes and reach Technology Readiness Level 6 (TRL 6). At the end of last year, the team performed a repair on MSN003 in Toulouse to test out the techniques in real conditions.


Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air have each earned their 16th Diamond Award from the FAA for excellence in maintenance training. The FAA reserves the award for select carriers who complete the Aircraft Maintenance Training (AMT) programme with 100% participation from eligible technicians. Alaska Airlines is the only major carrier to earn this award for 16 consecutive years. Horizon has earned the award for 16 of the past 18 years. In addition to the company award, five aircraft technicians earned individual FAA Gold Awards for going above and beyond the AMT programme requirements: Nicholas Kula, Matt Grabowsky, Kevin Barrett, Vincent Estacio and Chris Pratt.


Anjou Aeronautique has obtained three EASA STCs for the replacement of 16g seat belts on the Recaro SL3510 seat and Sicma 1401, 3509 and 9147 seats on Airbus A340, Boeing 787 and Bombardier CRJ 100/900/1000. It has also received an STC for the redesign and modification of 16g seats in Airbus A330 aircraft. 


Atlantic Aviation Group, based in Shannon, has received EASA Part 21 Design Services approval. 


Aviation Technical Services (ATS) has been selected to install a Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS) on 49 Air Canada Airbus A319/A320s. ATS began the TAWS installations in May.


Avionica has been contracted by Icelandair to provide products and services to e-Enable Icelandair’s 16 new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Beginning this year and continuing through 2019 when final aircraft deliveries are made, Icelandair will install Avionica’s e-Enabled avionics that include satLINK MAX Iridium satellite communications system and aviONS Onboard Network Server. Avionica’s solution for Icelandair includes:


  • satLINK MAX Iridium satellite communications system 


  • aviONS Onboard Network Server 


  • avCM 4G cellular device 


  • avSYNC QAR download 


satLINK MAX is the industry’s only four-channel, FANS-1/A and ATC Voice Safety Service-approved Iridium SATCOM system. The multitude of Iridium channels enables Icelandair to maximise e-Enabled aircraft connectivity without restricting critical Voice and FANS-1/A safety services. 


aviONS provides an open-platform network solution supporting airline and third party e-Enablement systems. aviONS enhances airborne connectivity with global 4G Cellular using avCM and aviONS’s wifi connectivity for crew wireless applications including efficient inflight reporting of cabin discrepancies. 


To manage connectivity, Avionica’s avSYNC global data transfer network provides automated data transfer between aircraft and their operation centre. As Icelandair’s e-Enabled aircraft focus is efficiency, avSYNC’s ability to automate data synchronisation of onboard applications would become a key component of its strategy.

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