OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUpon completion of nearly two years of testing and validation, the U. S. Air Force has granted Intercomp first article approval to begin shipping automated force calibration systems to its Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratories (PMEL). In all, eleven systems will be delivered to PMELs around the world for verification and adjustment of portable truck scales, aircraft scales, and general purpose platform scales. Bases include Edwards, Ramstein, and Al-Udeid.

Intercomp’s automated force press provides complete hands-free operation during scale calibration. The press utilizes a communication capability that will automatically calibrate and adjust the scales by pressing one button. The company says the engineered stability maintains 0.02 lbs of force for the 5,000 lb range to 0.2 lbs of force for the 60,000 lb range. Integrating precision Tovey load cells into the system, Intercomp say sit provides an accuracy of ±0.025 percent or better to maintain a 4:1 ratio when calibrating scales to 0.1 percent of applied load.

“Many of the scales that PMEL calibrates on these presses are used for critical weight and balance checks of aircraft or the load planning of cargo shipped by air, sea or rail for rapid deployment purposes,” according to Eric Peterson, Intercomp vice president of Sales and Marketing. “These next generation calibration systems provide PMELs the ability to quickly validate accuracy of scales to ensure our military readiness in the aircraft and cargo they must weigh.”

Intercomp also developed new calibration press software to align press operations with the specific process needs of the Air Force. The updated software streamlines data flow to facilitate recall calibration and scale history while enhancing tracking and maintenance throughout a scale’s lifecycle. The 60,000 lb, automated, hydraulic presses expedite the calibration process, while reducing technician interface requirements.

Intercomp’s fully automated or manual test stands are available in capacities to 100,000 lbs (50,000 kgs) with an accuracy of ±0.025 percent, and maintain first echelon certification directly traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Signature Flight Support has acquired the assets of FBO 2000 including its locations at V.C. Bird Antigua International Airport (ANU), R. Bradshaw International Airport (SKB) in St. Kitts and Vance W. Amory International Airport in Nevis (NEV). Signature Antigua (ANU) will offer customers an executive terminal, lounge, offices and two hangars. Signature Antigua’s significant aircraft to yacht service makes the island a highly desirable luxury leisure travel destination.

Signature Nevis (NEV) and St. Kitts (SKB) offer passenger handling and coordination services to expedite clearance through customs and immigration to and from the destinations. Both locations have offices on their respective airports and provide services to assist customers and crew while they are visiting the islands.

This acquisition adds three new locations to Signature’s growing Caribbean network of locations including San Juan, Puerto Rico (SIG) and St. Maarten (SXM). Signature Antigua and St. Kitts both have extensive aircraft parking capabilities and during peak seasonal periods, offer a convenient option for remote parking for customer aircraft traveling to St. Maarten.

In addition, Signature recently announced a licensing agreement with Blue Heron Aviation of the Turks and Caicos, which is currently under construction and expected to open in the fall of 2014. “We are pleased to welcome three new Caribbean leisure and business destinations to our global portfolio with an established reputation for excellent service. We look forward to welcoming the staff at Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis to the Signature family and to providing Signature’s world-class service for our customers visiting the islands,” noted Maria Sastre, president and COO for Signature Flight Support.
This acquisition increases Signature’s network to more than 120 locations.


ChicagoSteakHouse200PM Prime, a Chicago area restaurant, is now open for business and the décor celebrates pioneers in the history of aviation. Lake Forest resident Steve Platcow, CEO of RPM Advertising in Chicago, has spent the last decade championing the fine dining experiences found at Caesars Palace, Horseshoe and Harrah’s nationwide.

Platcow has assembled a culinary dream team to help him fulfill his mission of bringing a great steakhouse to Chicago’s North Shore. James Beard award-nominated chef Dominic Zumpano has created a menu that has some steak house classics, and also some creative interpretations. Robert B. Bansberg, award-winning sommelier and wine educator, serves as General Manager/Sommelier.

While dining at PM Prime, guests will be surrounded by a collection of more than 200 black and white photographs that celebrate excellence in aviation. This is a rare opportunity to see a truly amazing assemblage of vintage images that honor the pioneers of flight, all under one roof. From the Wright Brothers, to Amelia Earhart, the Tuskegee Airmen and Jimmy Doolittle—the collection showcases the fearless and the brave. The heroes represented in the photographs pushed the boundaries of what was possible and demonstrated the power of the human spirit. These stunning historic images motivate the team at PM Prime to strive for excellence and the ultimate goal is encourage the patrons to pursue excellence in their lives as well. This engaging display will leave guests feeling nothing less than inspired.

The menu includes popular steakhouse favorites such as the filet mignon and New York strip, but it also has some more unusual cuts such as the wagyu hanger steak. PM Prime will feature the highest quality cuts of prime beef available. Chef Zumpano will incorporate modern techniques that will appeal to foodies, but also have some timeless classics for traditional steak lover. Diners will find interesting selections such as osso buco with saffron risotto or halibut with spaetzle and roasted beets. And they can always count on a getting a great steak.

Chef Dominic Zumpano’s culinary career has spanned from Maine’s Rose Garden Restaurant, one of only 47 five-diamond restaurants in the U.S., to Lake Forest’s popular Market House on the Square. Zumpano was nominated for the prestigious James Beard Award for Best Chef Midwest. He was nominated for Chicago’s Jean Banchet award as a rising chef and also featured in Best Chefs of America as one of Chicago’s top chefs for its 2013 book. Zumpano is well-known for the passion and creativity that he brings to his cuisine.

Zumpano is known for inventing innovative, seasonal menus based on fresh, local ingredients produced from a network of artisans and organic farmers. He also loves preparing a great steak and is particularly proud of his own signature steak sauce, which he describes as “being so rich that it deserves its own trust fund.”

fleetguideEastman Aviation Solutions has released a comprehensive, up-to-date guide of the world’s turbine-engine aviation fleets. Individuals can now preorder a free copy online.

The “Turbine-Engined Fleets of the World’s Airlines” guide has been produced every year since 1970 for customers of BPTO 2197, BPTO 2380 and the other Turbo Oils now offered by Eastman Aviation Solutions. The guide is made available to members of the aviation community on request. Eastman Chemical Company acquired the aviation turbo oils business from BP on June 1, 2014, and this year’s guide is the first to be published by Eastman.

The guide is based on data collected from an annual survey of the world’s airlines, and is the only free, in-depth listing of the 57,000 turbine-engine equipped aircraft flying commercially today. This unique fleet guide is meant to be a valuable and useful resource throughout the year to professionals in the industry.

The “Turbine-Engined Fleets of the World’s Airlines” guide has been used to pinpoint emerging trends and transitions within the airline industry through documented changes in the survey data. In recent years, the guide identified the substantial increase in the number of aircraft transitioning from standard engine oils to cleaner and more efficient options.

“Eastman’s products, such as Skydrol aviation hydraulic fluids, are already known for being high quality, so we are thrilled to bring that product together with BP turbo oils, and SkyKleen aviation solvents to form Eastman Aviation Solutions,” says Matthew Stockum, business unit manager, Eastman Aviation Solutions. “Eastman is also known for our technical expertise and superior customer service, so continuing the longstanding tradition of distributing the guide was an important objective for us.”

“We want to assure our customers that all of the products offered under the Eastman Aviation Solutions brand are indeed the same products they know and trust, and our new team will allow for even more improved product and service offerings to our customers,” says Rodger Harris, global commercial director, Eastman Aviation Solutions. “The 2014 turbine-engined fleet guide is just one such offering.”

To learn more or to order the 2014 Eastman Aviation Solutions turbine-engined fleet guide visit www.EastmanAviationSolutions.com/TEF.

Pentagon 2000 Software just released Pentagon 2000SQL version 9. The company says this new version includes a set of new user interface features as well as functional enhancements to the application.

Pentagon 2000 says the new look-and-feel is incorporated into the screens and menus that modernizes the interface while remaining instantly familiar to the user community around the world. Personalization features such as a favorites shortcut bar will provide an additional mechanism for fast navigation throughout the system that can be tailored to each user’s individual needs. A new set of graphical icons is provided that adhere to modern interface standards, and redesigned windows and tabs have rounded edges and shading that promote a shadow effect.

With a dedicated R&D lab, Pentagon 2000 Software continues to leverage the advantages of its partnerships with Microsoft and Intel. Utilization of the latest Microsoft .NET framework and SQL Server technologies allow continuous development of new features. And support for Intel multi-processor and multi-core capabilities ensures that small business customers can achieve the lowest cost of ownership while larger enterprises can scale up their deployments in a non-disruptive and unrestricted way.

Functional enhancements to the system are included based on ongoing customer feedback. New modules for credit card processing and mobile computing on Apple iOS devices are integrated to provide users with an expanding set of new capabilities. Purpose-built mobile applications for iPhones & iPads that have integrated bar code support are available for inventory receiving, inventory cycle counting, Kanban Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) and Direct Line Feed (DLF), inventory picking, stock release, order status, inventory status, ILS, aircraft heavy maintenance, electronic labor collection, and flight operations.

All Metal251All Metal has introduced the Canopy for Aircraft Maintenance (CAM) for the AS350. The CAM is All Metal’s approach to providing a solution for aircraft and mechanic protection in adverse weather.

The CAM is a multi-sectional cover that utilizes the main rotor system of a helicopter to secure protection from the elements providing a shaded environment for maintenance to be performed on the aircraft.

All Metal says the CAM is easily installed and removed by one mechanic and provides protection from inclement weather conditions to allow for maintenance to be performed safely and efficiently in a field or flight line environment.

“Our CAM’s utility is consistent will All Metal’s family of “safety first” products,” says Antionne Bower, All Metal’s sales manager. “We feel the versatility and portability of the CAM enhances the quality of life for the flight crew and mechanics when in a field environment.”

Duncan EV251Duncan Aviation’s Lincoln, Nebraska, facility is adding fuel to the electric vehicle era with five new charging stations for the company’s customers and employees. Duncan Aviation is the only business in Lincoln, Nebraska, to recharge, other than two car dealers who sell electric vehicles.

VP of Business Development Jeannine Falter says investing in the community and minimizing the company’s impact on the environment are two factors Duncan Aviation considers when upgrading, improving or expanding one of its locations.

“When we decided to break ground on a new 175,000-square-foot maintenance hangar facility, we considered the recommendations of our company “green team’ and chose to include as many environmentally friendly design elements as possible—LED lights, radiant floor heating, skylights and electric car charging stations,” says Falter.

Duncan Aviation devoted even more resources to remaining environmentally friendly when the senior team asked team members representing all areas of the business to research and implement green initiatives. As a group, the Green Team started a grassroots initiative to impact change at work and at home, because even small changes can have a sizable impact.

Five charging stations sit prominently outside the new maintenance hangar H, and the company has slotted space for five more stations, which will be added when more team members invest in electric cars.
Many Duncan Aviation employees commute from smaller communities, making a charging station not only convenient, but necessary for those who exceed the 60 to 260 miles per charge range of most electric vehicles.
The company’s Battle Creek, Michigan, location boasts two charging stations that team members have been using for more than a year.

As for the rest of Lincoln, two new charging stations will be available by the end of the month for public use in the parking garage next to Lincoln Electric System, near the Haymarket, says Anne McCollister, owner-manager of the Lincoln-based Electric Transportation Partners that sells charging stations.

by Rustom Sutiara

The mere mention of sourcing aircraft components from pooling silos to an aircraft lessor will be met with a somewhat pregnant pause and a firm yet professional response: “Not on our aircraft!” The question is, why there is so much caution with regard to the utilization of pooled spares? Let’s take a look at the concerns. Is a mutual lessor/operator balance possible?

The Leasing Perspective
The lessor’s mission is to maintain asset value. That means redelivering the aircraft with as many of the original titled parts as possible. Lessors recognize that operators dip into pooled spares in order to get out of an operational corner. The principle is even more prevalent with large fleets. To this effect, the regional and low cost carrier model, where cost control is critical, are more likely to utilize pooled parts than their somewhat more cash-rich legacy or full-service counterparts. In the main, lessors prohibit the use of pooled components onboard. However some lessors do cite notable exceptions to the rule, where pooling agreements are with Tier 1 OEMs and major international airlines, and do not reject pooled parts on their aircraft. If an operator wants to utilize a spares pool, there is no reason this cannot be incorporated into the leasing agreement.

However, the lessors’ main concern is the utilization of rogue parts, which demonstrates both safety and reliability issues when examined closely in terms of the component trace. Not least, the more commercial objective of “time-value and utility” forces them to avoid pooled parts on their aircraft. Low reliability and rogue status may not be entirely down to the human element but more so that of the issue of piece parts in terms of the quality and robustness of the components utilized during maintenance and repair. Regardless, a good level of approved aircraft maintenance may restore reliability levels, and hopefully elevate these components above rogue status.


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RF System Lab welcomed new customers last month in a multitude of industries. RF System Lab’s most recent client list includes companies in power generation, oil and gas, energy, casting, and food processing.
One of RF System Lab’s newest customers in the food processing industry is MillerCoors. MillerCoors is a leading U. S. brewing company that is a joint venture between SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing Company. They required a high-quality borescope to complete processed piping sanitation inspections and ensure that their pipes were clean and had no leakage. With a reputation of quality products on the line, MillerCoors needed to make sure to invest in a borescope that could help them complete sanitation inspections with confidence.
Husky Energy is another company among RF System Lab’s newest customers. Husky Energy, representing both the oil and gas and energy industries, is one of Canada’s largest integrated energy companies. Husky Energy was looking for a reasonably priced, fully-functioning video borescope to perform asset integrity inspections on pumps and valves. They have provided nothing but positive feedback about their 6.9mm – 5m borescope purchase. The 5 meter length makes the VJ-ADV perfect for a crucial part of their integrity inspections; examining longer pipes.
Another new VJ-Advance video borescope user is National Mechanical Services. National Mechanical Services, a well-known power generation field service company specializing in generators, heavy rotating equipment and outside machinery repairs, purchased the 6.9mm – 3m VJ-Advance video borescope to assist with power generator service and repair. One notable use of the versatile 6.9mm VJ-ADV is complex stator end winding inspections to ensure that they are not melted or damaged.
RF System Lab is proud to have world leader in superalloy, aluminum and titanium investment casting, PCC Structurals, as a new customer. PCC Structurals purchased the 2.8mm VJ-ADV to take advantage of the benefits that a super-slim articulating video borescope provides. Having the ability to easily ensure that holes in casted parts were not blocked and that internal passageways did not contain any foreign object debris (FOD) after removing the casting mold is crucial to any casting business. For this reason, many casting companies struggle with rigid-style borescopes, so investing in a video borescope with 360 degree articulation and a high-resolution camera with video capabilities was an easy decision for PCC Structurals.

Air New Zealand Technical Operations has selected the PinPoint Tool Control System from HABCO to facilitate a wholesale maintenance and operational changeover to RFID technology to manage aircraft tools, improve efficiency and deliver greater safety across the operation.

“Tool control has long been recognized as a vital element in aviation safety. The PinPoint Tool Control System from HABCO minimizes the potential for foreign object damage while allowing us to realize substantial operational benefits. This new technology provides the potential to make a step change in the way we operate, and to improve our efficiency and safety margins,” stated Tech Ops GM of Aircraft Maintenance, Viv de Beus.

Pinpoint Tool Control System from HABCO is a comprehensive tool control product offering that has been designed and developed by aviation professionals for use by airline operators, maintenance depots and aerospace manufacturers to allow for the ultimate 100 percent solution in tracking predictability and accountability of tools, ground support and other devices. The PinPoint tool control system is offered in four fully-customizable configurations for use in aircraft line maintenance, MRO and depot-level maintenance and throughout a multitude of aerospace manufacturing applications. Air New Zealand plans to initially purchase 30 units in the AeroMASTER product configuration.

“Air New Zealand has used bar-coded electronic tool tracking technology for several years. This broad experience was used to develop real-world tests for the extensive testing and evaluation of new generation tool control technologies. While some solutions proved less than desirable, the PinPoint Tool Control System was the clear choice,” stated Auckland Performance improvement manager Murray Courtier.

Pinpoint Tool Control System brings together in close collaboration the talents and capabilities of three aerospace companies to deliver on a product that decreases FOD, increases efficiency and lowers cost. The PinPoint Group – a business unit of Sikorsky Aircraft – developed the product concept in close collaboration with IDZ Technologies, with IDZ providing the technology and HABCO Industries leading the design, manufacturing and integration implementation efforts through the company’s asset management business value stream.

“We’re pleased that Air New Zealand has chosen Pinpoint Tool Control System from HABCO for their maintenance requirements on the B787-9 Dreamliner as it enters into service later this year. It validates the extensive thinking and hard work that has gone into development of the PinPoint Tool Control System over the past two years. It’s a product that is truly right for the aerospace industry,” stated Simon Gharibian, MD of the PinPoint Group.

Pinpoint Tool Control System is the first in a series of products that HABCO Industries is planning to develop and manufacture to help aviation companies – operators and manufacturers alike manage their assets more efficiently and cost effectively. “We see Air New Zealand as being at the forefront of using products like PinPoint Tool Control System to manage their assets throughout their enterprise. HABCO plans to be a leader in the development of cutting edge asset management solutions that are aviation and aerospace relevant,” remarked Brian Montanari, president and CEO, HABCO Industries.