Satair takes the lead on material management services for Airbus A220

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Satair, an Airbus services company, has taken the lead on global material support and services for A220 operators, working in close coordination with the A220 programme team in Airbus Canada Limited Partnership. Since July, Airbus Canada has officially transferred the overall A220 material management services offer to Satair, as part of the integration of the programme into Airbus.

The transfer represents a key milestone for Airbus and a significant step in the overall integration of the A220 programme. “All A220 customers will now benefit from the same level of service and global network offered by Satair on all other Airbus platforms”, said Rob Dewar, Senior Vice President, A220 Customer Services, Customer Satisfaction and Product Policy. “This will be a significant contributor to improving the overall satisfaction of our growing A220 customer base worldwide.”

“Satair’s footprint of service centres and warehouses will contribute to a greater scope of spare parts available for all A220 operators. Customers can look forward to leveraging Satair’s global presence”, said Bart Reijnen, CEO of Satair. “We are very proud to be supporting the A220 aircraft with our strong Satair organization.”

The official A220 material management services have smoothly been transitioned to Satair over the summer. Overall, Satair will now oversee a wide range of value-adding activities including: Planning & inventory; purchasing; quality inspection; certification; warehousing & distribution; customer order handling; 24/7 AOG handling; initial provisioning and tool lease. Over time, Satair will also develop the areas of parts lease, repair, and exchange for the A220. The customer order handling of the A220 programme is solely managed in the Satair | OEM parts and services channel with its global group of Satair companies.

The A220 programme headquarters are in Mirabel, Canada together with main customer services functions, such as engineering expertise and 24/7/365 Customer Response Centre.

Benefitting from the latest technologies, the A220 is the quietest, cleanest, and most eco-friendly aircraft in its category. Featuring a 50% reduced noise footprint compared with previous generation aircraft, 25% lower fuel burn per seat and 50% lower NOx emissions than industry standards, the A220 is a great aircraft for neighbourhood airports.

More than 100 A220s are in the fleets of seven operators flying on routes in Asia, America, Europe and Africa, proving the great versatility of Airbus’ latest family member. Satair in close interaction with Airbus Canada is committed to the success of the A220 and will secure the required support for the growing A220 fleet worldwide.

AM Craft expands 3D printing capabilities

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Latvia-based specialist aerospace additive manufacturing service provider, AM Craft, has purchased four large-scale production-grade Stratasys F900 3D Printers to provide certifiable 3D printed parts for a wide range of aircraft interior applications including aircraft seating and panelling.

“In recent years, we’ve seen an ongoing demand for 3D printed production parts among major aircraft OEMs,” commented Jānis Jātnieks, Co-founder and CEO, of AM Craft. “Although COVID-19 has shocked the industry in the last few months, we are seeing efforts to return to business by remodeling passenger planes for cargo shipments, as well as projects to increase customer safety measures and improve the in-flight customer experience – for example by providing mobile device charging stations and Wi-Fi infrastructures. In such cases, additive manufacturing is way ahead of slower and more costly traditional methods.

“One of the mainstay pillars that enables us to realise this business case into real-world applications is Stratasys’ highly-repeatable FDM-based 3D printing technology in conjunction with aerospace-grade materials like ULTEM 9085 resin. Crucially, this gives us the capability to meet strict rules and regulations around certification that require the highest level of repeatability and traceability with every part manufactured,” he added

The flame-retardant, high-performance ULTEM 9085 resin meets stringent flame, smoke and toxicity (FST) criteria and retains traceability required by the aerospace industry. Certified to Airbus material specifications, ULTEM 9085 resin allows the company to produce strong yet lightweight aircraft interior parts at significantly reduced manufacturing cost.

AM Craft’s investment will compliment an existing hardware line-up of four Stratasys Fortus F450mc 3D Printers. Collectively, the battery of eight FDM-based machines will provide the heartbeat of a dedicated new additive manufacturing facility in Riga that will focus specifically on fulfilling the application requirements of the company’s customer base of aircraft suppliers and airlines.

AM Craft’s investment will see the company become one of the largest independent aerospace-focused 3D printing service providers in EMEA. The business will operate as a sister company to Baltic3D, an established 3D printing service provider that has worked closely with companies within the aerospace supply chain since 2017. Baltic3D has an ongoing collaborative partnership with certification company, Magnetic MRO, under whose POA it was granted authorisation to produce certifiable aerospace parts.

AM Craft’s Riga facility is expected to be fully operational in Q4 2020.

Image: AM Craft Co-founders Jānis Jātnieks (right) and Didzis Dejus in front of the service provider’s four large-scale production-grade Stratasys F900 3D Printers

GDC Technics completes head-of-state B777-300ER modification

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GDC Technics has delivered a B777-300ER completed with exterior modifications and a fully customised interior cabin for a confidential head-of-state customer.

The wide-body aircraft was completed under the GDC cabin weight reduction initiative using innovative, lighter weight engineering solutions resulting in overall weight savings for the aircraft. In addition, GDC was able to achieve noise levels below 50 decibels in the VIP areas of the aircraft. Furthermore, the aircraft was customised with a GDC engineered and certified modular lower lobe crew rest compartment that comprises of six sleeping pods with full capabilities for the crew to utilise during longer flights.

The cabin also features in-flight data, connectivity, and passenger comfort capabilities for full range IFE functionality. The exterior modifications includes a full security system, forward- looking, quad, downward zoom, and tail fin cameras, and world-wide connectivity – including a duel satcom system, Ka-band antenna, Iridium system, and satellite TV antenna to provide live, 4K Television.

The aircraft was also equipped with lower lobe fly-away kits that contain all materials necessary for on-site repairs and/or interior improvements during travel. To comply with COVID-19 restrictions, the final certification and approval of the aircraft was facilitated via a live-stream video with the FAA to witness and complete its compliance inspection, resulting in the FAA Issuing an “Achievement Award” to the certification team.

Embraer commercial aircraft cleared for cargo transportation

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Embraer has developed cargo transportation solutions for its line of commercial aircraft to cater for the growing demand for air cargo capacity.

“Embraer’s engineers rose to the challenge when our customers asked them if they could find a way for their Embraer airplanes to carry more cargo payload,” explained Johann Bordais, President & CEO, Embraer Services & Support. “Today, customers can choose from a portfolio of solutions to carry cargo in the cabins of their EMB 120s, ERJ145s, and E-Jets.”

In response to ANAC, Brazil’s civil aviation regulatory authority, granting exemption for the carriage of additional freight on Embraer passenger aircraft, the manufacturer has published Technical Dispositions for the ERJ145 and E-Jets families of commercial jets, including the E-Jets E2s, which explain how to accommodate cabin freight. A Service Bulletin is available for the EMB 120.

Small packages can be placed in overhead bins and stowage compartments, and cargo items placed on each seat, subject to certain restrictions. A fully loaded 96-seat E190 can carry 6,720 lb (3 metric tonnes) of cabin freight in addition to under floor cargo. A 118-seat E195 can carry 8,260 lb (3.75 metric tonnes).

Customers can opt for a floor-mounted freight configuration if their cargo cannot fit on passenger seats. This solution permits the removal of up to 70% of the passenger seats, with the remaining areas accommodating for items on the cabin floor. Freight must be contained in approved netting that attaches to the inboard and outboard seat tracks. This solution has already been developed for a first generation E195 jet for Azul Cargo, in Brazil.

Cabin payload capacity for the ERJ145 is up to 1,750 lb (0.8 metric tonnes) and up to 5,194 lb (2.36 metric tonnes) for the E190-E2. For customers needing even more capacity, Embraer may offer a Service Bulletin for full cargo configurations, as has been done for the EMB 120. These layouts give operators the flexibility to carry larger floor-mounted freight items in the cabin.

Magnetic MRO completes ATR programme for Finnair

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Magnetic MRO has completed Finnair’s ATR programme. During the course of the near year-long programme, 12 aircraft underwent interior modifications and 11 of them received new liveries.

“Finnair ATR 72 interior and exterior refurbishment programme was a complex process which involved multiple Magnetic MRO departments, including painting, line maintenance and interior production. The synergy between them was outstanding thus we are extremely happy with the results and the positive feedback received from our client,” said Rihards Priedkalns, Aircraft Paintshop Manager at Magnetic MRO.

The contract for complete paint work, full interior refurbishment and maintenance on all 12 of the airline’s ATR 72 fleet operated for Finnair by its partner company Norra was signed in spring 2019 and the first aircraft was delivered from Magnetic MRO’s Tallinn hangars to the customer on 8 May 2019.

For Magnetic MRO’s Interior team, this project involved producing the largest number of new details for an aircraft that the company has ever manufactured for a single interior project, like new kick strips, stickers, latches and hinges for overhead bins, and other design elements.

MAC Aero Interiors receives Airbus approval for Tallinn facility

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The Tallinn production facility of MAC Aero Interiors has received approval from Airbus for the manufacture of literature pockets for A380 aircraft.

MAC Aero Interiors had previously been producing parts for Airbus in its plant in the UK, before its relocation in early 2020 to Estonia.

“Since Airbus already has experience working with MAC Aero Interiors, they are aware of our comprehensive approach and capabilities. Thus the approval process was smooth – and it also gave us the opportunity to introduce and showcase the newly opened Tallinn facility,” said Zuzana Obračajová, Sales Director at MAC Aero Interiors

First Praetor 500 conversion unveiled

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Embraer Services & Support has completed the first conversion of a Legacy 450 to a Praetor 500 for an undisclosed customer. The conversion was performed at the Embraer Executive Jets Service Center at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.

“Embraer-owned Service Centers are well prepared with parts kits and skilled labor and are ready to bring the most disruptive and technologically advanced midsize business jet ever made, the Praetor 500, to our existing Legacy 450 customers, with the company’s primary vision of delivering the ultimate customer experience,” said Johann Bordais, President & CEO, Embraer Service & Support.

The conversion was made possible by the expertise of structures and avionics specialists, A&P mechanics, logistics teams, and engineers from Embraer operations around the globe.

The cabins of the Praetor jets include a six-foot-tall, flat-floor cabin, with stone flooring, and a vacuum service lavatory. The class-exclusive turbulence reduction capability and 5,800-foot cabin altitude, complemented by a whisper-silent cabin. The largest baggage compartment in the class is complemented by a generous wardrobe and a full vanity in the rear private lavatory.

There is also an industry-exclusive Upper Tech Panel that displays flight information and offers cabin management features also available on personal devices through Honeywell Ovation Select. High-capacity, ultra-high-speed connectivity for all aboard is available through Viasat’s Ka-band, with speeds of up to 16 Mbps and video streaming capability, another industry-exclusive in midsize jets.



Inflite The Jet Centre expands Bombardier approvals

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Inflite The Jet Centre (ITFC), part of the Inflite group of companies, has added base maintenance capability for the Bombardier Global 700 series, at its London Stanstead base.

Capability for both line and base MRO is now active under ITJC’s Part 145 organisation EASA rating.  Further applications are in process to add the BD700 Series to all other NAA existing capabilities held by ITJC.

“This is another important strategic step for Inflite The Jet Centre, following our acquisition of Bombardier MRO specialist Excellence Aviation early in 2019,” commented Alan Barnes, General Manager, Inflite The Jet Centre. “This latest accreditation expands the portfolio of aircraft types we can support, and we look forward to working with, and supporting more Global Express operators in Europe and the Middle East.”

“This equips us well to serve demands for maintenance support on Bombardier platforms in the region – and at our London Stansted home too,” Barned added.

Collins Aerospace offering quick-turn cargo conversion

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A multi-tiered solution that converts passenger aircraft into a cargo configuration has been developed and implemented by Collins Aerospace.

According to the company, the quick-turn conversion, which involves the removal of seats on the main deck floor, can be completed in as little as seven days and can likewise be easily be reversed

“The current situation has increased the need for airlines to deliver critical medical goods to locations around the globe,” said Trevor Skelly, General Manager, Integration Engineering for Collins Aerospace. “Collins Aerospace is committed to using our cabin conversion expertise to assist our customers and ensure the important work of aiding the world in the fight against this pandemic continues.”

The company’s Integration Engineering facility in Everett, Washington is able to offer Engineering Order (EO) solutions for rapid conversion as well as Supplemental Type Certification (STC) for cabin modifications to carry greater weight and various cargo types for longer-term flexibility.

FAI completes Project Pearl Global Express refurbishment

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Germany-based MRO, FAI Technik GmbH, part of the FAI Aviation Group, has completed one of the most extensive refurbishment projects for a pre-owned Bombardier Global Express.

Project Pearl took approximately 10,000 manhours to complete and includes 15/30/60, 120 and 240-month inspections.

The Global features an all-new cabin with the latest cabin management and entertainment systems. This includes Collins Aerospace‘s Venue enabling passengers to watch HD movies and listen to enhanced digital audio throughout the cabin and Honeywell´s Ka-Band broadband technology.

The aircraft’s custom interior was designed by FAI’s design partner, award-winning German design specialist, Tim Callies, well known for his work on Boeing BBJ’s, Airbus ACJ’s and Global Express business jets.

The luxury interior features VIP seating for 12 passengers which includes two tone grey leather seating and two three-seat sofas covered in anthracite Armani fabric. The interior also features stylish heated grey-white marble stone flooring in the galley and VIP toilet areas which matches the granite countertops of the galley and bathroom. Galley appliances include a wine cooler, coffee maker and oven.

The interior is complemented by a customised exterior paint scheme, also designed by Callies, took six weeks to complete and features black and white stripes laid out in a unique pattern.

“FAI is proud to present this unique Global Express to the pre-owned Charter-Market. Ultimately, we believe it would appeal to a buyer looking for a striking pre-owned aircraft. I applaud Tim Callies for the first-class design work and would like to extend my thanks to the FAI Technik team for realising this challenging project,” said Siegfried Axtmann, FAI´s Group Chairman.