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November 2017


CFM International has signed agreements with Lufthansa Technik and AFI KLM E&M to provide maintenance and overhaul support for the company’s advanced LEAP engine product line. CFM has long-standing relationships with both companies on the CFM56 family, and has granted them licenses to develop MRO service offerings to provide both on-wing and on-site support, as well as engine overhaul for LEAP.

CFM has three of its own shops with LEAP capability to support the engine’s entry into commercial service: Lafayette, IN, in the US, which can support both the LEAP-1A and LEAP-1B; Brussels, Belgium, which has capability for the LEAP-1A; and Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France, which will support the LEAP-1B. The company has also established worldwide On-Site Support capabilities to provide customers with extended on-wing support. These facilities can also perform lighter MRO workscopes. The new third party shops will provide additional LEAP-1A and -1B capacity as they come online over the next couple of years.

The first LEAP-1A-powered Airbus A320neo entered service with Pegasus Airlines in August 2016. Since then, the fleet has grown to include the LEAP-1B-powered Boeing 737 MAX. Currently, there are more than 20 airlines operating a total of nearly 100 aircraft. The fleet has logged nearly 150,000 flight cycles and 300,000 flight hours of highly reliable service.


Lufthansa Technik Sofia has opened a new hangar, office and multifunctional building at Sofia Airport, becoming the largest base maintenance facility in Eastern Europe. The Bulgarian subsidiary will also be the largest base maintenance site of Lufthansa Technik in Europe.

The total investment in the project amounts to approximately €35 million invested together with joint venture partner Bulgarian Airways Group. The funds were used for the construction of the new six-level multifunctional building, combining hangar, offices and workshop areas. The new expansion will lead to an increase in production lines and further growth of the central service departments which are serving the worldwide Lufthansa Technik network of base maintenance facilities from Sofia. That means a 60% capacity increase or 1 million man-hours in total per year, as well as a 30% increase in the number of employees in Sofia to 1,300 people.

The modern facility of Lufthansa Technik Sofia will be able to accommodate and service eight narrowbody aircraft for base maintenance simultaneously, as well as one aircraft in a nose-in position for services such as cabin modifications. The service spectrum reaches from line maintenance to IL/D checks and includes a full range of additional services, such as aircraft painting, special interior works and AOG support. Two of the bays have full paint capability.

The company specialises in the overhaul and maintenance of Airbus A320 family and soon to include A320neo, as well as the Boeing 737 (Classic and NG) aircraft series. Lufthansa Technik Sofia’s specialists also carry out line maintenance of various types of aircraft, including the Airbus A320, Boeing 737 and Embraer E-Jets.


(A feature on the hangar will appear in the December issue of MRO Management)


ATR has certified a new Vibration Monitoring System (VMS), which will allow airlines to constantly monitor and fine-tune propeller vibration. This innovation, which will be available on all new aircraft from March 2018, improves both aircraft reliability and passenger comfort. It will also be available to retrofit on in-service aircraft, via Service Bulletin.

The new VMS will be permanently installed on the aircraft and replaces the previous temporary ground tooling systems used to monitor engine vibration. This equipment, which will be supplied by Meggitt Sensing Systems, removes the need for airlines to organise regular ground testing or put maintenance personnel on revenue flights, therefore improving maintenance efficiency.

VMS measures vibration at engine level in real time, via an acceleration sensor, or accelerometer, placed on each engine very close to the propeller. The vibration analysis performed throughout the flight within the Vibration Monitoring Control Unit will be stored for easy access after flight by maintenance personnel through the MCDU (Multifunctional Control Display Unit). The resulting VMS report is then included in the Aircraft Condition Monitoring System, with precise directives to airline maintenance crews on how to balance the propellers.


Reducing propeller vibration improves the comfort for everyone on board by minimising vibration and engine noise in the cabin. It also improves the reliability of engine components and of the aircraft as a whole, and ultimately reduces Direct Maintenance Costs.

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