Cobham Mission Systems Wins $7.1 million NAVSUP Contract for Water Activated Parachute Systems

Cobham Mission Systems, the U.S.-based design and manufacturer of innovative aerospace safety and survival systems, announced it has been awarded a new $7.1 million prime contract from the U.S. Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support. This contract is for production and delivery of Universal Water Activated Release System (UWARS) components to be installed on various Navy and Air Force aerial platforms through 2022. This is the fourth consecutive annual award by NAVSUP to Cobham Mission Systems for deliveries of its parachute release assembly.  

“We value the trust that our country’s military and allied nations put in our team to provide the most innovative and dependable critical lifesaving aerospace components,” said Matt Miller, vice president of business development at Cobham Mission Systems. “Our proven UWARS devices are capable of providing enduring life support to our pilots for many years to come.” 

UWARS is a battery-operated, seawater-activated electro-explosive device that automatically separates the parachute canopy from the aircrew member upon immersion in seawater.  It supports various aerial platforms including B-1, B-2, B-52, T-38, F-15, F-16, F-22, A-10 and T7-A.  Since 2015, the Cobham Mission Systems team in Davenport has delivered over 16,000 UWARS on time or ahead of plan to military customers around the world with a 100 percent Lot Acceptance Test success rate.  

ATAC Honored with 8th Consecutive FAA William “Bill” O’Brien Diamond Award of Excellence

Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC), part of the Textron Systems segment of Textron Inc., announced it has been awarded the 2020 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) William “Bill” O’Brien Diamond Award of Excellence. The award recognizes exemplary dedication to the advancement of aviation safety and a commitment to continuous training across aviation safety, aircraft systems, and both aviation and FAA regulations.

“This award is a testament to our culture of professionalism and the caliber of
ATAC’s maintenance cadre,” said Scott Stacy, senior vice president and General Manager. “It’s a tremendous privilege to lead a company recognized for the excellence of its aviation maintenance technicians and leaders.” The award marks the eighth consecutive year that ATAC has been a recipient of the FAA’s William “Bill” O’Brien Diamond Award of Excellence.

Fostering a culture of continual learning and technical excellence is second nature to ATAC’s seasoned corps of maintenance professionals. Highly-decorated U.S. military veterans and civilian aviation maintenance technicians (AMTs) comprise ATAC’s maintenance team.

Working together, the ATAC team enables a robust flight operations tempo across eight permanent locations and multiple deployment sites in the continental U.S., Hawaii and the Western Pacific. ATAC’s entire aircraft maintenance organization consistently achieves 100 percent compliance with initial and recurrent AMT training requirements — which garners individual bronze, silver or gold awards for each member of the team. This level of dedication to safety and continuous learning demonstrates the team’s commitment to warfighter readiness, making ATAC the recognized industry leader in tactical aviation.

“The ATAC team is honored to receive this award from the FAA,” said Greg Guilfoyle, vice president of Maintenance and Logistics. “It is a team effort. Every supervisor and every technician at ATAC play key roles in the completion of successful flight operations. All of our staff members are committed to excellence while operating from a set of diverse operating locations in support of the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force.”

ATAC is the global leader of tactical airborne training, having pioneered much of what today are contracted air services industry standards. ATAC operates a fleet of over 90 aircraft, achieving over 65,000 flight hours, totaling 20 years of operating experience. ATAC has provided a wide range of contracted air support capabilities to the U.S. Department of Defense in locations world-wide, including the Continental United States, Hawaii and the Western Pacific region. ATAC has helped train crews from the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps and regularly operates out of as many as 25 different air bases per year.

Pinnacle to Provide Aircraft Maintenance for CH-47F Program in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Pinnacle Solutions has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Army Multinational Aviation Special Project Office (MASPO) under its Worldwide Logistics Service and Support – Contractor Logistics Support (WLSS-C) program to provide contractor logistics support (CLS) to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s (KSA) Royal Saudi Land Forces (RSLF) and the acquisition of their first eight CH-47F MY II aircraft. Pinnacle will be deploying roughly 80 personnel to the KSA to support the program over the next five years.

Pinnacle will provide initial fielding and sustainment support to the RSLF as they develop their new rotary-wing heavy lift capabilities. The CH-47F maintenance augmentation ties together all aspects of aircraft maintenance, from integrated logistics and sustainment to ground equipment and training support, all to help ensure the highest possible RSLF operational readiness. 

Pinnacle’s teams will be comprised of subject matter experts with the experience to allow them to maximize their focus on fleet airworthiness while providing hands-on, on-the-job training to support the Saudi maintenance teams’ professional development. Pinnacle says they are “committed to innovation and the use of value-add cutting-edge technologies to provide the best operational and training support to our customers.” Their maintenance plan leverages the latest technology in aircraft enterprise resource management – a cloud-based Maintenance Management Information System (MMIS) to provide full-scope aircraft maintenance, logistics, and operations management capabilities, the company sasys. Additionally, Pinnacle is delivering its first CH-47F Virtual Maintenance Trainer (VMT) to support ongoing skills training. 

Three Cooperate to Power Europe’s Next-Generation Fighter (NGF)

MTU Aero Engines, Safran Aircraft Engines, and ITP Aero came to an overall agreement on the cooperation to provide a jointly developed, produced and supported engine to power the Next-Generation Fighter (NGF), which is a core element of FCAS (Future Combat Air System).

ITP joining the program as a main partner of MTU’s and Safran’s new joint venture EUMET will allow an equal workshare between France, Germany and Spain. EUMET will be the sole prime contractor with the nations for all engine activities related to the Next-Generation Fighter, with ITP Aero acting as main partner.

“We have set a reliable and solid framework for pragmatic and focused decisions among the partners over the entire life-cycle of the engine”, commented Michael Schreyögg, Chief Program Officer of MTU and first Chairman of the Shareholders’ Meeting of EUMET. He continued. “Having reached this we will jointly focus on the major next steps ahead: Securing the contract for the demonstrator phase during the next few months and ramping up development activities in line with our highly ambitious timeline until 2040.”

“FCAS is a highly strategic program, enabling to maintain our fundamental competencies in military engines, while also strengthening national and European defense capabilities”, noted Jean-Paul Alary, Chief Executive Officer of Safran Aircraft Engines. “As leader of the NGF engine design and integration, Safran Aircraft Engines is looking forward to building solid foundations and strengthening the partnership with MTU and ITP Aero teams.”

“Today’s agreement marks a very relevant milestone for ITP Aero and the FCAS program. We believe this program will be instrumental for ITP Aero moving forward, showcasing the role and capabilities of the Spanish defence industry within the future of Europe’s defence. We look forward to working with our partners Safran and MTU Aero”, commented Carlos Alzola, CEO ITP Aero.

Within EUMET, Safran Aircraft Engines will lead the engine’s overall design and integration, while MTU Aero Engines will lead the engine service activities. ITP Aero will be fully integrated into the design of the engine and develop the low-pressure turbine and the nozzle amongst other items.

According to the timetable defined by the national authorities, the next Research & Technology phase (R&T 1B/2) should pass the national approval processes by the middle of this year in order to move the FCAS program to the next level.

GROB Systems Introduces New G750 5-axis Universal Machining Center for Milling Large Parts

GROB Systems announces the availability of its new G750 5-axis universal machining center, which offers industrial manufacturing milling for large parts. The G750 provides high productivity, optimized availability and flexibility. It offers a compact design that features optimized access and superior maintainability, with available round-the-clock service.

The G750’s unique machine concept includes a horizontal spindle position that permits the longest possible Z-travel path and optimum chip fall. The arrangement of the three linear axes offers maximum stability by minimizing the distance between the guides and the machining point (TCP). The G750’s tunnel concept allows the largest possible component to be swiveled and machined within the work area without collision – even with extremely long tools. Three linear and two rotary axes permit 5-sided machining, as well as 5-axis simultaneous interpolation, with a swivel range of 230 degrees in the A-axis and 360 degrees in the B-axis.

The G750 is available with a variety of powerful tilting rotary table versions with the latest torque motor technology and optimized dynamics. Users can choose between models with T-slots arranged in parallel (standard) or optional pallet clamping system.

A broad range of spindles are offered, ranging from 6,000 to 30,000(rpm) and 47 to 575 (Nm). The GROB motorized spindle with cross-feed allows complex internal and external contours to be manufactured with controllable tools. It offers convincing system rigidity, high cutting speeds for machining contours, and low tool costs. The GROB chip-in-spindle detection system (SiS) detects tool clamping faults, optimizing the machining process and avoiding damage. Additional single and double disk type tool magazines are available for the G750, providing fast chip-to-chip times, a smaller space requirement and optimized accessibility.

Available automation options include a pallet changer system and customer-specific automation solutions. GROB software solutions are available to optimize and analyze the machine kinematics of the G750 and minimize deviations down to the finest detail.

An extensive range of accessories increases the G750’s flexibility and productivity. Examples include a high-pressure fluid cutting system, decentralized work area mist collecting system, and an oil skimmer that helps keep cutting fluid as clean as possible.

King Aerospace Team Honored by the DOE and GSA/ICAP

King Aerospace was among the honorees at the FY 2020 Annual Department of Energy Aviation Awards, held March 22 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The event celebrates superior aviation programs and professional management.

The U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, Office of Secure Transportation (DOE/NNSA/OST) team – consisting of the OST Aviation Operations Division and King Aerospace – was recognized as the best aviation organization within the Department of Energy for FY 2020.

Craig Campbell, King Aerospace flight operations specialist for the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Secure Transportation (DOE /OST) Aviation Operations Division (AOD), received the Federal Interagency Committee for Aviation Policy (ICAP) Aviation Professional Award for Operational Support. Earlier Campbell had won the DOE’s Operations Award, which automatically entered him into the Federal Aviation Awards.

“I share this honor with our entire team of dedicated pros, and I thank those who make these awards possible,” says Campbell. “Fostering the highest aviation standards saves lives and protects mission-critical, federally owned aircraft.”

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) joins ICAP in sponsoring the annual Federal Aviation Awards. An independent panel of aviation experts judge programs and star performers. This year’s judges include Jim Viola, HAI; Doug Carr, NBAA; and Jim Daum, FAA. They had a record-breaking number of applications for the 10 program and professional awards given.

“It means a great deal to be recognized by professionals who are so in the know,” says Jarid King, president of King Aerospace. “Craig exemplifies outstanding professionalism in the pursuit of safety, efficiency and effectiveness. We couldn’t be more proud.”

Arthur Ray, King Aerospace chief inspector and nominee, earned the DOE’s Maintainer Award.

“The urgent nature of the aircraft support services we provide as a government prime contractor makes these honors extremely meaningful and gratifying,” says Greg Mitchell, King Aerospace vice president of government services. “Our no-excuses culture and proactive problem solving uphold the DOE’s overarching mission to ensure America’s security and prosperity. It’s a role we proudly fulfill.”

In March 2019, the DOE/NNSA named King Aerospace, Inc., (KAI), prime contractor for supply chain and aircraft support services on behalf of DOE/NNSA’s Albuquerque, NM-based aircraft maintenance operations. The contract has a total estimated value of $28 million. Its one-year base includes four one-year renewal options until 2024. Contracted services include aircraft maintenance support and logistics for DOE/NNSA’s fleet of Boeing 737-400 passenger/cargo (Combi) and DC-9 Combi aircraft with work performed by a dedicated King Aerospace program team.

NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear explosive testing; works to reduce the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad. The DOE/NNSA’s fleet transports nuclear weapons components, nuclear limited-life components and federal-agent taskforces.

SAE International Publishes New Standard to Improve Aerospace Engine Supply Chain Quality and Control

SAE International announced today the publication of a new technical standard, SAE AS13100: AESQ Quality Management System Requirements for Aero Engine Design and Production Organizations, to simplify and harmonize the various requirements of aerospace engine manufacturers into a single set of requirements to improve understanding, efficiency and performance of aerospace engines.

“With the globalization and diversification of the aerospace industry, assuring manufacturers produce and continually improve safe, reliable products that meet or exceed customer and regulatory authority requirements is complex,” said David Alexander, director of aerospace standards at SAE International. “The AS13100 standard represents a major step forward in the harmonization of the engine manufacturer supplier requirements and provides a clear focus on defect prevention processes that will help the supply chain to achieve the goal of zero defects.”

The SAE G-22 Aerospace Engine Supplier Quality Standards Committee, in conjunction with the Aerospace Engine Supplier Quality (AESQ) Strategy Group™, a program of the SAE ITC, developed the AS13100 standard with the intent to improve the overall product quality of aerospace engines by focusing on the key systems and processes currently deterring consistent quality products. In support of the AS13100 standard, the AESQ Strategy Group also developed a series of 13 Reference Manuals that provide guidance material and additional detail on subjects to aid users with implementation.

“In total, we have engaged with over 100 subject matter experts from across our companies and the industry to create Reference Manuals that capture the current best practice on the key quality tools,” said Dr. Ian Riggs, group quality executive at Rolls-Royce Aerospace and chairman of the AESQ Strategy Group. “We will continue to engage with the industry through subject specific Communities of Practices to help develop the capability of the entire supply chain.”

To support adoption and understanding of the standard requirements, SAE and the AESQ Strategy Group are launching a professional development course, titled AS13100 Supplemental Quality Management System Req, that will provide a walkthrough of each section of the standard, providing knowledge on key concepts, background and intent, best practices and recommendations, demonstration of compliance, and reviews of guidance material. Through this self-paced course, participants can gain key insights about a common quality language, how to gain compliance to AS13100 and the business value and benefit of the standard.

“Through collaboration with the AESQ Strategy Group, the professional development course supports the intent of the AS13100 standard by helping participants assess, design and maintain the business processes to add value to their business,” Elizabeth Melville, director of learning at SAE International, said. “By enrolling in the course, participants will be able overcome the common barriers by assuring the quality of and integration of products throughout the world and at all levels within the supply chain.”

Royal Navy and US Navy to Give Aviation Safety Updates at Defence Aviation Safety 2021

SMi Group Reports attendees can expect to hear navy aviation safety updates at the 3rd annual Defence Aviation Safety conference this April.

Defence Aviation Safety 2021 will bring together leaders from around the world to focus on strategies that aim to enhance the protection of lives and capability for aviators and ground crew operating in today’s battle environment.

With a range of international safety briefings, this virtual conference is the ideal opportunity to stay up to date on safety within defence, as well as network virtually with experts within the field.

The conference will also feature presentations from UK and US navy aviation safety leaders, who will be sharing safety updates from the Royal Navy and US Navy, along with insight on how they measure and promote safety.

Interested parties can register online at £999 for commercial organizations and for free for military and government personnel on

Presentations from the Royal Navy and US Navy will be as follows:

‘The Royal Navy Update: How the Navy Are Delivering Safety Across All Maritime Platforms and Systems’
• Priorities for the Royal Navy Safety Center
• Measuring safety and reducing risk: reporting tools that enable greater safety across the fleet
• Managing a variety of complex platforms and systems whilst ensuring safety
• The rise of unmanned and autonomous systems – overcoming the Safety and oversight challenges
Presented by Commodore Stuart Henderson, Navy Safety Center Director, Royal Navy
‘US Navy Safety Center: Maximizing Safety for Naval Platforms And Systems’
• Maintaining safe operational readiness
• Measuring success: data management tools and analytics used to oversee efficient safety delivery
• Promoting safety across the Navy
• Current projects and initiatives to improve safety culture across the US Navy
Presented by Rear Admiral Fredrick Luchtman, Commander, US Navy Safety Center
As the only conference specifically dedicated to aviation safety in the defence and military environment, Defence Aviation Safety 2021 will be an essential date for those who prioritise safety within their organization.

8tree’s Research Center in Germany Achieves ISO9001 Certification

“Every crisis presents an opportunity. Although the aviation sector – one of 8tree’s core markets – was adversely impacted by the COVID-19, our intention was to emerge stronger coming out of the crisis. The ISO9001 certification sends a clear message to our customers and stakeholders saying ‘8tree is still here – stronger than ever,’” says Erik Klaas, 8tree’s CTO.

8tree performs R&D, product design and manufacturing in Constance, Germany. ISO9001 certification for this site took effect on March 19th 2021.

“Alongside the adoption of 8tree’s products by major OEMs, airlines and MROs like Airbus, Delta, SIAEC and Lufthansa Technik, the independent ISO9001 certification marks another significant milestone for us. The certification emphasizes that 8tree’s products are developed and manufactured under highest quality standards,” says Arun Chhabra, 8tree’s CEO.

GKN and Partners Launch ASCEND to Accelerate High Volume Composite Technologies

GKN Aerospace is heading up a new UK industry consortium called ASCEND (Aerospace and Automotive Supply Chain Enabled Development) to develop and accelerate composite material and process technologies for the next generation of energy efficient aircraft and future mobility.

The £40m ($55.65m) consortium, funded by a £20.0M ($27.82m) commitment from industry and a £19.6M ($27.27m) commitment from the UK Government via ATI, will focus on greater adoption of composite technologies today, the industrialization of new technologies, as well as accelerating aerospace production rates to meet future high-volume requirements. The collaboration will help develop technologies from across the UK supply-chain to develop the advanced materials and automation equipment required to manufacture lightweight structures for the sustainable air mobility, aerospace and automotive industry.

Assyst Bullmer, Airborne, Cobham Mission Systems Wimborne, Cygnet Texkimp, Des Composites, FAR-UK Ltd, Hexcel Composites, Hive Composites, LMAT, Loop Technology, McLaren Automotive, the National Composites Centre, Rafinex, Sigmatex (UK) and Solvay Composite Materials will join GKN Aerospace in the consortium with collaboration and investment support from Axillium Research. Through a 3-year commitment, the partnership, backed by the UK government, will bring together expertise, capabilities and resources from across the wider UK aerospace and automotive supply chain.  In doing so, ASCEND will strengthen the UK’s position as a technology leader in future lightweight structures and help to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions in the aerospace and automotive industry.

The consortium will be led from GKN Aerospace’s Global Technology Centre in Bristol and will support up to 130 jobs through 2023/24. GKN Aerospace will use its long-term experience and in-depth knowledge of composite engineering for integrated airframe structures throughout the project.

“GKN Aerospace has deep knowledge and expertise in composite technology and we are proud to lead this consortium. Accelerating the next-generation of lightweight, cost effective advanced composite technologies is critical for the aerospace and automotive industry and its move to more energy-efficient aircraft and vehicles,” said John Pritchard, president Civil Airframe GKN Aerospace. “Ensuring we can not only develop these technologies, but also manufacture them at high-rate across the UK supply chain, will maintain our position as an industry leader and underpin our commitment to sustainability. Combined with the Aerospace Technology Institute, which is providing vital support for the UK’s position on the next generation of aircraft, we will be able to deliver breakthroughs in technology as well as benchmark levels of price, quality and repeatability.“