The super-medium Bell Helicopter “Relentless” Model 525, announced at Heli-Expo’12, is not just an ambitious new program, it is a catalyst for changing the culture of the company, said Larry Thimmesch, Bell’s vice president of commercial programs. “There are many new things on this program, not just in terms of product but also in terms of process and cultural change,” he said.
Product lifecycle management
M1 Composites Technology recently opened an advanced composites repair facility “to meet increasing corporate, commercial and military demand,” Lorenzo Marandola, president and founder, told AIN. The 24,000-sq-ft facility features a certified clean room, large curing oven, paint finishing operation and a full complement of repair equipment.
The MRO also recently received its Transport Canada approval for composite and metallic repairs.
During his career as a pilot and operator of a charter/management company, Baker Aviation founder Stan Baker III was struck by the significant investment in aircraft maintenance required to keep an aircraft flying. He particularly remembers the aggravation of difficult maintenance issues that only seemed to compound as aircraft aged and manufacturers ceased production. Confident there was a better way to service aircraft, Baker set about building a team of experts in aircraft maintenance with backgrounds that complement one another.
Bell Helicopter is preparing to start assembling the first prototype of the 525 Relentless super-medium twin later this year at its facility in Amarillo, Texas. Four more prototypes are expected to join the test program before certification in 2015. Bell and its suppliers have begun manufacturing parts for the helicopter, which was announced in February last year and is slated to fly for the first time next year.
Dassault Systèmes, a 3-D design software, digital mock-up and product lifecycle management company, is displaying aerospace innovation solutions at the GIFAS (French aerospace industries) stands at the Dubai Airshow (Stands 640, 1445).
Five years after its founding in 2007, Amac Aerospace has significantly strengthened its credentials as a business aviation services group with the opening of its third hangar in Basel, Switzerland, and a new maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in Istanbul, Turkey.
Corpair Composites is in the process of renovating a 20,000-sq-ft facility in O’Fallon, Mo., and expects to begin operations there this fall. Avmats is the holding company for the new business aviation composite maintenance, repair and overhaul facility. “Last June I was approached by Butch Geissmen, chairman and CEO of Aviation Material and Technical Support [Avmats], about starting a composite shop. He said it was the missing piece of the Avmats puzzle,” Bill Kener, vice president of Composites for Corpair Composites, told AIN.
West Star Aviation has acquired the Messier Bugatti Dowty overhaul manuals and technical data for 192-month landing-gear restorations on the Challenger 604. “West Star has made a substantial investment in procuring these manuals,” said Steve Goede, accessories program manager for West Star Aviation. “No technician can perform a Challenger 604 192-month gear restoration without them so it was an easy choice for us.”
A J Walter Aviation is to buy the component repair business of Aveos Fleet Performance. AJW plans to develop an MRO operation and will establish Aveos’s Montreal facility as its new global aircraft components maintenance headquarters. The acquisition is part of a larger expansion program that has included establishing offices in Miami, Dubai and Singapore; additional spares hubs across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas; and the launch of a new engine division. A UK global headquarters and logistics center will open later this year.
Baker Aviation has purchased AeroMech and now operates from two Texas locations: Meacham International Airport in Fort Worth and Addison Airport in Dallas. “While Baker is known for its aircraft charter and flight management services, with the AeroMech acquisition we can now offer a full line-up of maintenance with a well stocked parts department,” Marty Dryer, Baker’s director of operations, told AIN.