KerryDawesPresidentAmeritechInd-251Hartzell Propeller has appointed American Propeller Service as a Recommended Service Facility. American Propeller, of Redding, Calif., covers a large area of the western United States with its fleet of transport vehicles offering propeller pickup and delivery services.

“American Propeller and its parent company, Ameritech Industries, have excellent reputations and we are delighted to welcome American Propeller as a Hartzell Recommended Service Facility,” said Joe Brown, Hartzell Propeller president. “We have complete confidence that American Propeller’s professional capabilities will meet the needs of aviators who fly Hartzell props on their airplanes.”

“American Propeller is elated about its new status as a Hartzell Propeller Recommended Service Facility,” said Kerry Dawes, Ameritech president. “By teaming with Hartzell Propeller we are bettering American Propeller and the services it can provide through utilizing Hartzell’s excellent training programs,” he added.

easyJet has selected AJW Group to be the primary provider of the airline’s requirements for component maintenance and the provision, storage and distribution of spare parts. The new multi-year contract will support the airline’s growing fleet of Airbus aircraft. The award of the contract to AJW was the result of a thorough and comprehensive tender process.

AJW will be responsible for component repair and overhaul, supply of consumable parts such as filters and lubricants and management of the airline’s spares inventory including the storage and distribution of easyJet’s own extensive component inventory throughout its European network of 30 line stations.

The contract, which will start in October 2015, will cover easyJet’s fleet of 241 aircraft. During the course of the contract easyJet plans to take delivery of over 100 Airbus A320 family aircraft including 51 Airbus A320neos taking the fleet to 304 aircraft by 2020.

“This deal is the first stage of a program to re-tender easyJet’s engineering and maintenance contracts worth over £200 million annually and is an important part of the drive to deliver sustainable cost savings under easyJet Lean,” Warwick Brady, COO for easyJet, explains. “This new partnership with AJW will enable easyJet to realize significant savings compared to our current arrangements as well as support the airline’s aim of outsourcing its technical supply chain requirements. AJW are well known for their innovation and dynamism and the new partnership with them provides easyJet with a combination of value and cultural alignment which we believe will bring continuous improvement and high service levels.”

Boris Wolstenholme, CEO of AJW Aviation, comments: “This contract cements AJW’s position as the leading independent provider of component support program worldwide. We now have a global fleet of more than 900 aircraft under contract, which demonstrates the confidence that leading airlines like easyJet place on our capabilities and can-do approach. This is a ground-breaking achievement for AJW Group and I am justifiably very proud of our team.”

Singapore Technologies Engineering’s (ST Engineering) aerospace arm Singapore Technologies Aerospace (ST Aerospace) has signed a joint venture agreement with Tenryu Holdings to set up ST Aerospace Aircraft Seats (ST Aerospace Aircraft Seats). The joint venture will have a planned investment of $29.8 million. ST Aerospace will own 90 percent of ST Aerospace Aircraft Seats’ shares, with the remaining 10 percent to be held by Tenryu.

Based in Singapore, ST Aerospace Aircraft Seats will be responsible for the end-to-end design and manufacturing of a range of aircraft seating solutions. The company’s long- term business roadmap will include a series of economy class, business, as well as first class seats. It will be marketed as part of ST Aerospace’s global network, working in tandem with the other network members to deliver an integrated cabin interiors offering.

ST Aerospace Aircraft Seats says it will leverage both ST Aerospace’s and Tenyru’s experience in the aerospace industry, to produce innovative seating solutions which are both aesthetically and technically viable.

“With the addition of ST Aerospace Aircraft Seats into our global network, this new joint venture will allow us to strengthen our foothold in the aircraft product development sphere and add a new dimension to our integrated cabin interiors offering,” says LIM Serh Ghee, president, ST Aerospace. “Through a single trusted provider, airline customers will experience streamlined aircraft downtime during cabin interior reconfiguration, resulting in enhanced operational efficiency.”

Novespace251Having arrived in Hamburg as a former German government aircraft, this Airbus A310 has now left Hamburg again in a completely new role. Lufthansa Technik has delivered the new Zero-G aircraft to its French owner, Novespace, following extensive modifications. The former 10+21 "Konrad Adenauer" bearing the registration F-WNOV will operate in the future as a parabolic aircraft in the name of space exploration and technology - in true reflection of the spirit of Franco/German friendship.

Some 1,300 modifications were required in the framework of the conversion program in order to convert the aircraft back to its original factory default state as required by the European aviation authority EASA. The cabin refit then commenced, with the approx. 20 meter long "test area" proving particularly challenging.

This is the area where prospective astronauts will experience weightlessness for the first time and experiments will take place. Powerful light installations were required in particular for this purpose, with care being taken to ensure that these would not pose a hazard for the "weightless" passengers. Novespace will use the aircraft from its home airport in Bordeaux beginning in May.

Clay Lacy Aviation’s FANS 1/A+ solution for the Gulfstream GIV and GIVSP has received FAA STC approval (STC – ST03423CH). The company says this comprehensive upgrade provides a feature-rich, low-cost solution with minimal downtime. Now accepting orders, the company will install the new technology at its Van Nuys, Calif. FAA repair station, as well as make the STC available to Universal Avionics authorized dealers.

“Our FANS program is designed to provide Gulfstream owners the most cost-effective and convenient solution with increased functionality and ease of operation to meet current and future worldwide mandates,” said Jim Lauer, director of Avionics for Clay Lacy Aviation. “It is the only certified upgrade that gives the client the option of using the existing Honeywell MCS-6000/7000 or an Iridium based solution that meets the current TSO-c159A.”

All Metal251All Metal MS has announced the release of custom maintenance stands for the UH72/EC145.

Utilizing feedback from their client, The National Guard, All Metal says it enhanced its existing MS-414/415 maintenance stands to better accommodate the EC-145 and UH-72 aircraft. The stands were lengthened, both fore and aft, to provide safe access to the hydraulics and avionics as well as the engines and exhaust sections. The decks were uniquely contoured to the aircraft to give a safer work surface. With the new design, multiple mechanics can now work in separate areas of the aircraft while utilizing the same maintenance stand at the same time. These new stands (part number MS-426/427) are another innovation, in a long line of innovative enhancements All Metal has made through cooperative engineering with clients.

JSfirm.com released their 6th Annual Hiring Trends Survey. "This year's results show that our industry is continuing to trend in the right direction. There will be more hiring in 2015 than any of the past 6 years," says Jeff Richards, JSfirm.com manager.

Some highlights from the report:
• 342 aviation companies across various sectors were surveyed
• 92% will hire in 2015
• 78% are projecting growth in 2015
• 72% did not cut jobs in 2014 (up from 68% in 2013)
• 55% experienced an attrition rate of less than 5% (up from 48%)
• Skilled maintenance technicians remain the most in-demand hiring need
• April, May, and June will likely be the busiest hiring months
• Companies report that lack of experienced candidates is their biggest hiring challenge

The entire results of the survey can be seen at jsfirm.com

Aircraft paint is probably one of the most underappreciated technologies in aviation. Everyone oohs and aahs over today’s jet engines and the electronics that dominate modern flight decks. But paint? Passengers think of it as a pretty face, not realizing its implications for safety, fuel efficiency and aerodynamics.

paintPaint protects the exterior surfaces of an airplane from the elements. An aircraft hurtling through the air at 500 miles per hour or more is exposed to high levels of ultraviolet (UV) exposure, rapid and extreme temperature cycling, expansions and contractions of the outer skin, high wind velocities, and the effects of air, rain, and manmade chemicals. Aircraft paint has to stand up to this environment, be flexible, adhesive and durable, maintaining gloss and vibrancy for the five- to 10-year interval between refinishings. It must also be as eco-friendly as possible. And it has to look good.

Typical fuselage paint must be able to withstand temperature swings of well over 100 °F, says Mark Cancilla, PPG Industries global platform director, aerospace coatings. In a matter of minutes the temperature around the aircraft’s exterior falls from ground levels to perhaps minus 60 °F at altitude. Temperature requirements typically range from minus 60 °F to 160 °F, he says. There are also high air velocities and changes in humidity to deal with. “Of course, the effects of UV light are also much greater at 40,000 feet, and so the exterior topcoat must be able to survive this to maintain the integrity of the livery colors,” he says. They also must resist chemicals such as deicing fluids, hydraulic fluids and industrial-strength cleaners.

Coatings for structural elements inside an airplane face a different set of challenges. These coatings must protect the aircraft from corrosion—in some cases for the duration—as some areas are difficult to reach for maintenance after the aircraft is assembled. Coatings for areas such as the insides of fuel tanks may need to last 25 or even 50 years, says Andreas Ossenkopf, director of aviation for Mankiewicz, a paint manufacturer headquartered in Germany. Structural components paints must resist chemicals such as hydraulic fluids and prevent the corrosion of aluminum from contact with water electrolytes as well as aggressive media, he adds.

Interior cabin coatings also must meet strict standards for flammability, smoke and toxicity, Ossenkopf says. And cabin coatings must be functional, durable and pleasing to the eye. Mankiewicz has delivered exterior, cabin, and structural element coatings to the aviation industry for decades, the company says.

AkzoNobel, a paint manufacturer based in Amsterdam, points out that aerospace is a qualification-driven market. Coating systems must pass the stringent specification testing requirements set out by the aviation authorities and aircraft manufacturers before they can be used in the market. It often takes years for products to go from development through qualification to commercial application on aircraft, explains Maud.

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I get a lot of interesting emails. Recently, one email from an Asian air carrier asked whether they could accept PMA parts without 8130-3 tags, and also whether they could accept PMA parts without a “criticality statement” in block 12 of the 8130-3 tag.

This raises a lot of interesting questions — so many that I will be examining the question in two articles (so look for the next issue on your newsstands, soon) — but let’s start by examining a question that was not asked. If an aircraft part is produced in the United States (under FAA production approval), then when is it considered to be exported (from the U. S.) or imported (into another jurisdiction)?

This is a tricky question because there can be at least two different answers based upon which government agency is asking the question.

For purposes of most import and export laws, when the part crosses the international border it is imported/exported. Import duties may be owed on the part at this point — however many countries allow the tariff-free import of aircraft parts, so the part may be imported on a duty-free basis into those nations. As an importer, you should always read the fine print on your own laws. I have encountered at least one country where the import laws stated that aircraft parts entered from the United States must be accompanied by an 8130-3 tag in order to be considered for duty-free entry. So that is one example of a situation where the 8130-3 tag has some value in the regulatory system of the tax collectors (not just the airworthiness authority)!

While import and export laws may look at an aircraft at the point of a border crossing, airworthiness authorities take a different view. The part is considered imported into a new system when it is identified for installation on an aircraft of the new country’s registration. This is a totally different standard and it frequently causes confusion.

Imagine that you have an aircraft part that is made in the United States under a FAA production approval (like a PMA). The part is shipped to Japan with the intent that it be installed on a U. S.-registered aircraft currently at Narita Airport in Japan. For purposes of export law, the part is exported (but it is probably imported on a duty-free basis). An export license might be required and licensing exceptions might apply. But for the purposes of the relevant aviation authorities (FAA in the United States and JCAB in Japan), the part is not imported into the Japanese system because it is never installed on a Japanese-registered aircraft. Instead the part continues to fall within the regulatory jurisdiction of the FAA. This also means that the installer of the part must meet the requirements of 14 CFR 43.3 and 43.7 to perform the work and sign-it-off.

From a documentation perspective, this aircraft part does not require an export 8130-3 tag because it remains within the US regulatory system.

Let’s change the fact pattern a little. Assume that you have an aircraft part that is made in the United States under a FAA production approval (like a PMA), but the part is shipped to Japan with the intent that it be installed on a Japanese-registered aircraft. Once again, for purposes of export law, the part is exported. An export license might still be required and the U. S. licensing exceptions that might apply become a little more limited. But the big change is that for the purposes of the relevant aviation authorities, the part is imported into the Japanese system because it is installed on a Japanese-registered aircraft.

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After 14 years as chairman of the board for Lufthansa Technik, August Henningsen is retiring. The company is celebrating its 20th anniversary and Henningsen has been at the helm for the majority of those years.

HennisonIn their first fiscal year, 65 percent of their revenues came from parent company business with Lufthansa. By 2014 this figure dropped to 38 percent and sales revenues have more than tripled to €4.3 billion. Henningsen oversaw worldwide expansion and acquisitions and now LHT ha≠s facilities in Shannon, Budapest, Sofia, Malta, Beijing and Tulsa. A new facility in Puerto Rico will open this year. In 1995 there were 10,337 employees and today there are more than 26,000 people worldwide. Described as a “typical pragmatic northern German,” Henningsen took the company on an upward trajectory, molding it into the world’s leading MRO provider. We sat down to talk with Henningsen one last time to get his thoughts about his tenure with the company and where it is headed.

AM: What is your education and work background? How did you come to be employed at Lufthansa Technik?
Henningsen: Well I am an aviation engineer. I studied aerodynamic flight, mechanical structures – all the basic stuff. Then I worked in the DLR, the German NASA so to speak for one year. Then there was a job availability for Lufthansa. It was a technical division and they were looking for someone with a background in aeronautics for incident analyzation and support between flight operations and Technik. This is what I did. And at the same time flight system engineer for DC-10 and 747 flight controls. I was also in line maintenance and became the section manager in the flight controls group, which was very interesting, During the time of control loss for the A320 and so on and so on during the 80s. Then I took over the whole engineering department and was in base maintenance so when the wall came down, the former Interflug technical base, due to the bankruptcy of Interflug, they had technicians – good technicians - and they needed jobs so at that time the big German companies requested to do something on the other side for our new brothers and sisters so we decided to shift the 737 from Hamburg to Berlin. I was manager of that company and developed 737 base maintenance in East Berlin. Very exciting job and from the personal viewpoint it was rewarding. Then for two to three years I ran the component business, integrated the materials planning, materials management, purchasing, engineering and production side into one product, more or less. After that I was in Beijing, China for three years as general manager of AMECO. Then came back and became member of the board of Lufthansa Technik responsible for production and services and then half a year later became chairman of the board.

AM: After your retirement, will you continue to support LHT in some way? As a consultant or in any capacity?
: Yes, in the supervisory board but not decided yet. 

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