Flexjet Adopts Maintenance Insight from GE Digital

Global provider of fractional private jets Flexjet adopted GE Digitalof the Maintenance Insight software solution for its fleet operations. Maintenance Insight can detect aircraft and component degradation that might otherwise go undetected until scheduled maintenance. This allows aircraft to be serviced at Flexjet maintenance stations rather than third-party service stations, further reducing costs and delays.

The Maintenance Insight program generates analytics used to optimize performance and reduce inefficiencies that lead to excessive fuel burn and carbon emissions, enabling Flexjet to reduce its carbon footprint when operating the aircraft.

“We began using GE’s wireless flight data transmission across the Flexjet fleet in 2019 and we’re thrilled to also be early adopters of this new maintenance innovation,” said Megan Wolf, Chief of Flexjet’s operation.

Bii buys spare parts stock from Aircraft Finance Germany

British International Industries (Bii)a supplier of aircraft parts and services to the commercial aviation industry, acquired a significant share of Aircraft Finance Germany (AFG) stock of improved spare parts for the Boeing 747-8, 767 and 777.

Hardware, including high-priced rotating components, will go into Bii’s stock after full inspection.

Bii CEO Francis Cradock says, “We need to constantly enrich our stock with modern, high-quality parts for the Boeing and Airbus platforms. AFG’s material matches our purchase criteria perfectly.

AFG CEO Christian Nuehlen comments: “This agreement complements the flexible support programs they already provide to us for rotating materials and consumables, as well as repair management services for our aircraft in control, at the end of rental or in transition”.

NIAR WERX Expands MRO Program with Erickson Precision Ventures

WSU-NIAR and Erickson Precision teams. Top (left to right): Stacia Boden, WSU General Counsel; Steven Thomas, President, Erickson Group; Allison Bonitati, NIAR WERX Program Director; Louis Valdes, Valdes & Associates; Tamra Dereiko, Precision; Jillian Thomas, Precision; Jessica Skladzien, WSU General Counsel. Bottom (left to right): John Tomblin, WSU senior vice president for industry and defense programs/executive director of NIAR; Jack Erickson; Dave Jones, Executive Director of NIAR WERX; Gary Warner, President, Precision Aircraft Solutions.

Photo credit: NIAR

The WERX Laboratory at Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aeronautical Research (NIAR) and Erickson Precision Ventures will work on the modification, maintenance and engineering of various Boeing and Airbus aircraft.

NIAR will soon complete conversions and maintenance – which began last year – for the Erickson subsidiary, Erickson Aero Tankerbased in Hillsboro, Oregon, which operates a fleet of MD87 firefighting aircraft.

In Q3 2022, NIAR WERX will begin passenger-to-cargo (P2F) conversions for Erickson, adding two new aircraft to its conversion portfolio with the expectation of performing 12 to 24 per year for Precision Aircraft Solutions at NIAR WERX.

Boeing delivers new A-10 wings

In partnership with Korean Aerospace Industries and other key suppliers, Boeing delivered the first new set of wings for the A-10 Thunderbolt II fleet to the US Air Force. The wing assembly arrived at Hill Air Force Base, Ogden, Utah, where the Air Force began integrating the aircraft.

Boeing won the contract in August 2019 to supply the Air Force with 50 wing assemblies, each consisting of outer wings, center wings, control surfaces and a fuselage integration kit. Improved wings are more durable, efficient and easier to maintain, extending the life of the A-10 to 10,000 hours

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The A-10 wing program was previously a dry line, with tools and equipment stored in long-term storage. Boeing Global Services restarted the tooling and activated the supply base within 12 months of contract award. The company’s previous experience with the A-10 includes delivering 173 upgraded A-10 wing sets under a separate contract.

Canada awards $800 million contract to support Bell CH-146 Griffon helicopters

CH-146 Griffin

Photo credit: NW Group/Public Services and Procurement Canada

The Canadian government awarded a contract worth nearly $800 million to Bell Textron Canada Ltd (BTCL) of Mirabel, Quebec, to extend the life of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s fleet of 85 CH-146 Griffon helicopters until at least the mid-2030s.

Under the contract, the company will perform modifications on the first 9 helicopters and manage a competitive process to subcontract vendors to install modifications on the remaining 76 helicopters.

BTCL created Team Griffon, a Canadian-made solution for this project, which includes CMC Electronics and Pratt & Whitney Canada. BTCL is engaged in business activities that will provide opportunities for the entire Canadian supply chain, including small and medium-sized businesses.

CH 146s, militarized Bell 412 CF helicopters, were delivered between 1994 and 1998 and performed multiple mission requirements, including tactical transport, emergency response, and search and rescue.

The first upgraded helicopter is expected to be delivered in 2024 and the others will be upgraded by 2028.

US Army continues Airbus logistics support contract

Airbus UH-72B.

Photo credit: Airbus

Airbus was awarded a follow-on subcontractor logistics support (CLS) contract with the U.S. Army to provide spare parts, equipment, and engineering support for the Army’s fleet of 482 UH utility and training helicopters -72A and UH-72B Lakota.

The contract includes a 6-month base and 4.5 option years, with a potential value of over $1.5 billion. Airbus will provide support at 67 Lakota sites in the United States and overseas. This includes National Guard bases in 43 states and Fort Rucker in Alabama, where the UH-72A flies the Army Initial Entry Rotary Wing (IERW) mission.

The CLS contract with the US military is the largest helicopter performance-based support contract managed by Airbus worldwide. It will be managed by Airbus US Space & Defense headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, with logistics handled from Airbus facilities in Dallas, Texas.

Abdul J. Gaspar