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.

Etihad Engineering steps up operations as maintenance schedules bought forward

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Etihad Engineering has bought forward maintenance work that was initially planned towards the end of the year on behalf of a number of operators from the world.

Current projects involve the delivery of cabin uplift, passenger to freighter conversion, longeron modification, heavy maintenance (C-check), major structural modification, parking solutions, painting and deep cleaning of aircraft for both Etihad Airways and third-party airline customers.

The MRO provider is currently collaborating with Etihad Airways on a major project to conduct a full cabin refresh on all 96 passenger aircraft. The refurbishment includes cabin renovations, interior detailing, seat repairs and a full sweep of the in-flight entertainment system. The refurbishment project is due to be completed by the end of June.

Frederic Dupont, Vice President Technical Sales & Customer Service, Etihad Engineering, stated: “While the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the aviation sector at large, we have been doing our best to find the opportunity amidst the crisis. We have taken advantage of the grounding period and used it to carry out maintenance services to ensure the entire fleet is operating at its optimal and will be uninterrupted by maintenance requirements as services return. The cabin refurbishment project is our most extensive collaboration with Etihad Airways to date, as we have been working on the entire passenger fleet of 96 aircraft within a concise time frame.”

Dupont added: “We will continue to go above and beyond to support all our customers during this challenging time and continue to deliver a differentiated customer experience for our airline clients. We understand that it may not be possible for some of our customers to be physically present with us as engineering work on their aircraft progresses, however we have embraced the technology available to communicate seamlessly with our clients based all over the world. Continuous footage of the maintenance progress is captured by GoPro cameras and shared back with our clients, and virtual meetings provide the latest updates. This is to ensure that we cater to our customers’ needs in the exact same manner as if they were here with us at our facilities”.

Every aircraft arriving at the facility for maintenance or parking undergoes a deep cleaning process by the disinfection team before any work commences. The team wear personal protective equipment and use a cleaning chemical well known for destroying viruses and bacteria, including COVID-19. It takes four hours to clean a narrowbody aircraft and eight hours for larger aircraft.

AAR to manage MRO services for BASF Deoxo

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BASF has appointed AAR as a preferred distributor of Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services for Deoxo aircraft cabin ozone/volatile organic compounds (VOC) converters in compliance with the new abbreviated component maintenance manuals (ACMMs) released earlier this month.

BASF updated its ACMMs for the Deoxo portfolio for the Airbus A320, and A330/A340, redefining the test procedures and service methods for maintaining the converters to ensure continued industry-leading performance. Proper testing includes functional checks of both ozone conversion efficiency and change in air pressure through the converter. These functional checks are currently included in BASF’s MRO services, which have been managed by AAR since April 2019.

BASF Deoxo ozone and ozone/VOC converters catalytically remove ozone and certain odorous VOCs to deliver quality cabin air compliant with government regulations.

BASF is developing new technology to further improve airplane cabin air quality for the health and safety of the crew and passengers. The air at high altitude contains significant levels of ozone. If left unchecked, atmospheric ozone enters the aircraft through air conditioning ducts. Ozone exposure is known to cause adverse health effects, including headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing, and irritation of the eyes, nose or throat.

VT San Antonio Aerospace

ST Engineering suffers cybersecurity breach at US subsidiary

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VT San Antonio Aerospace

Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering) has confirmed that its US subsidiary, VT San Antonio Aerospace, Inc., recently discovered a cybersecurity incident where a sophisticated group of cyber criminals, known as the Maze group, gained unauthorised access to its IT network and deployed a ransomware attack.

In an online statement, the company said that upon discovering the incident, it took immediate action, including disconnecting certain systems from the network, retaining leading third-party forensic advisors to help investigate the incident and notifying appropriate law enforcement authorities.

According to Ed Onwe, Vice President/General Manager of VT San Antonio Aerospace, Inc, the ongoing investigation indicates that the threat has been contained and is believed to be isolated to a limited part of ST Engineering’s commercial operations in the US. These businesses, including VT San Antonio Aerospace, continue to be operational.

ST Engineering’s IT network in Singapore and its other businesses has not been compromised.

Onwe added: “As part of this process, we are conducting a rigorous review of the incident and our systems to ensure that the data we are entrusted with remains safe and secure. This includes deploying advanced tools to remediate the intrusion and to restore systems. We are also taking steps to further strengthen the Company’s overall cybersecurity architecture.

Trust between our Company and all of our stakeholders – including our employees, customers and business partners – is core to our culture and business values. We are committed to responding to this incident transparently and proactively, and already have begun notifying potentially affected customers. We will be working with our customers and industry peers to share insights and any lessons learned so that they can learn from our experience.”

Dassault Falcon Service converts Falcon 900B to full cargo

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Dassault Falcon Service (DFS), a Dassault Aviation subsidiary based in Paris-Le Bourget, has completed the conversion of a Falcon 900B from passenger configuration to full cargo in record time.

The conversion, involving a company-owned aircraft, took eight days from reception of the order to approval by French Civil Aviation authorities, granted under a fast-track exemption. The project entailed stripping passenger seats and furnishings and installing equipment to stow and secure freight. No major modifications to access doors or other systems were undertaken and the conversion is readily reversible back to passenger configuration.

The modification involved customer service, engineering and operating teams from DFS as well as test and certification resources from Dassault Aviation.

The aircraft is being used to transport fabric needed for the production of face masks to a plant in Eastern Europe and to return completed masks for distribution in France, North Africa and other areas affected by the COVID-19 pandemic or recovering from the coronavirus lockdown.

Air Astana to launch cargo division

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Air Astana has announced plans to launch an international air cargo division in the wake of a strong increase in the demand for regional freight transport in the recent months and a strategic review of Air Astana’s overall fleet plans in the wake of the global health crisis.

The fleet will consist of three converted Boeing 767-300 aircraft, which had previously been in passenger service with the carrier since 2013.

The first Boeing 767 is already undergoing conversion into semi-cargo configuration at Air Astana’s technical centre in Almaty, with the removal of all seating and other passenger amenities. Associated amendments to technical documents and approvals for freight operations from local aviation authorities are also in process.

“Air Astana has rapidly met the immediate heightened demand for air freight by operating a Boeing 767 passenger aircraft, but we must strictly enforce European Aviation Safety Agency weight and volume regulations regarding cargo placed on seats,” said Zhanna Shayakhmetova, Director of Freight, Air Astana. “Once we start operations with the converted semi-cargo Boeing 767 aircraft, we’ll be able to considerably increase the volume of transported goods and offer our customers more flexible conditions.”