Retired Aircraft Mechanic Must Stand Trial

A retired aircraft mechanic, Andrew Lester, must stand trial for a shooting in Missouri in April 2023. 84-year-old Andrew Lester was at home when a person rang his doorbell. The person was Ralph Yarl, a teenager who was on an errand to pick up his younger twin brothers. He mistakenly went to the wrong house and rang the bell. That house belonged to Lester. Lester claimed that he felt threatened, got his gun and shot through the door, injuring the 16-year-old. Yarl was shot in the head. The injury put the teenager in intensive care but he survived.

Reports say after Yarl rang the bell, Lester came to the door brandished his gun, and said, “Don’t come here ever again.” Yarl backed away, but Lester allegedly shot him in the head, according to an NBC News report, then shot him again after he fell to the ground. Lester was initially released on bond. Lester is face one charge of felony assault in the first degree and another count of felony of armed criminal action.

Construction On Track at Textron Aviation’s Expanded Parts Distribution Facility

Progress continues on schedule for Textron Aviation’s parts and distribution expansion in Wichita, Kansas, the company says.  All flooring, exterior walls, windows and roof are in place for the company’s 180,000 square-foot parts warehouse expansion. Now, the company says it is focused on interior finishes, including wiring, painting and preparing the space for the thousands of Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker parts the company stocks and ships to support its customers around the world.

The project broke ground in October 2022 and is on track to be completed by the end of the year. The new footprint includes additional room for parts storage, warehouse space, offices and dedicated customer support analysts.

Textron Aviation has seven distribution centers and 17 stockrooms around the globe. This Wichita location houses more than 120,000 parts and employs a team of more than 350 people to support distribution operations. This growth in the parts distribution operations will better support customers who own and operate their aircraft says Textron Aviation.

AAR and Moog Sign Two Commercial Agreements

AAR has signed two multi-year commercial agreements with Moog Inc. AAR says the agreements are the first steps in a new strategic relationship that allows for potential future expansion of the scope of services provided.

Under the first agreement, AAR will distribute Moog products applicable to mature aircraft platforms to customers globally. This new OEM relationship complements AAR’s existing product offerings and customer base. Additionally, Moog will benefit from AAR’s value added services, which include a close-to-the-customer model that provides efficient delivery of inventory to the end customer, enabling Moog’s effort for further simplification.

The second agreement will enable AAR and Moog to perform reciprocal component repair services. AAR’s component repair facilities will receive support from Moog on manufactured piece parts and repair capability while Moog will receive components from AAR. 

“We are delighted to sign this reciprocal agreement with AAR for aftermarket repairs and distribution. We look forward to continuing to develop our relationship with AAR and build upon these agreements for the benefit of both parties,” says Lisa Domanowski-de Jong, general manager, Moog’s cCommercial aftermarket business. 

“The AAR-Moog agreements demonstrate a commitment to providing additional value to customers through improved product availability and outstanding customer service,” says Frank Landrio, AAR’s senior vice president of distribution. “AAR looks forward to growing our relationship with Moog by successfully executing on these contracts for the benefit of our collective customers.”

FAA Issues Alert to Prevent Injuries to Ground Crews

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) to prevent injuries while workers are towing aircraft and guiding them to and from gates.

The SAFO reminds airlines that it is important for workers to remain clear of operating engines until they are shut down. Workers also must remain clear of an aircraft until it comes to a complete stop and the wheel chocks are in place. Furthermore, it recommends that airlines review their Safety Management System to ensure their procedures follow these standards.

Jamco’s Business Class Seat Concept Combines Efficiency and Elegance

Jamco Corporation, one of the most experienced aircraft interior products supplier and turnkey integrator in the aerospace industry, highlights the “Quest for Elegance” seat, a business class seat concept that meets the demand for an inventive, spacious seat for high density business class interior cabins without compromising comfort. Featuring a new patented angled tilt monitor and an industrial design focused on providing an elegant premium hotel in the sky while maintaining competitive density, the Quest seat maximizes the passenger experience. In recognition of this design excellence, Jamco’s Quest seat was awarded the iF DESIGN AWARD 2022, one of the most prestigious international design awards.

The Quest Seat features a one-of-a-kind tilting entertainment screen with a wide-angle adjustment, allowing passengers to enjoy entertainment in reclined, sleep, or bed mode position. The tilting monitor option results in 30 percent more knee space than any other high density business class seat offered on commercial aircrafts.

For those traveling in pairs, the Quest Seat reveals a spacious full-flat bed when two center seats are combined. Also available for those seeking more privacy are easily deployable partitions and an optional aisle side door.Since the first Quest Seat was exhibited at AIX in 2019, Jamco has utilized feedback from airlines, aircraft manufacturers and lessors to redefine the Quest design for AIX 2023. Completely new trim and finish seat was exhibited at AIX 2023. The Quest was extremely well received by attendees and is expected to launch in the near future.

Jamco continues its development to have the Quest ready for installation in late 2025 or 2026.

David Bentley Announced as Divisional VP at Muirhead Avionics

AMETEK MRO Muirhead Avionics, a provider of aviation MRO) services, has appointed David Bentley as vice president and business unit manager in the UK. He was previously responsible for AMETEK MRO’s businesses in the American midwest.

With over two decades of MRO experience from previous senior roles at Dowty/Smiths/GE and NORDAM, Bentley’s focus is firmly centred on operational expenditure, and he will bring this expertise to the fore as he joins Muirhead Avionics at a dynamic time in the Company’s history. “The Muirhead Avionics business has an impressive 73-year history,” he says. “Our customer base is robust and we have experience on more than 7,000 avionic control components over a wide range of the world’s aircraft types including: instruments/indicators, weather and mission radar, audio and cockpit controls, ground support equipment, repair management, navigation and communication aids, flight data & cockpit recorder analysis and repair.”

AMETEK MRO Avtech will shortly be relocating its Florida business to the UK and this will fall under Bentley’s remit.  “This integration will significantly enhance our capabilities to include IRUs (Inertial Refence Units), MCDUs (Multi-function Control & Display Units), autopilot and cockpit displays,” he explains.

The Muirhead Avionics facility will soon be moving from its current location to a large high-tech new facility close to London Heathrow. The additional space will not only house increased repair capabilities but offer further scope to expand. Bentley is keen to observe that the opportunity to streamline processes and broaden the customer base is high on his list of priorities.

“We aim to solve our customers’ requirements through continuous improvements that save costs via our ‘repair versus replace’ philosophy. Muirhead Avionics already has multiple approvals from the world’s largest OEMs to repair their components and as we look to further enhance what we can offer we will search for opportunities to grow organically and through acquisitions.”

Muirhead Avionics already has a strong reputation in the commercial sector but is looking to extend its specialist MRO services in the military arena. “Supporting legacy aircraft is our core competence, together with ARC (Approved Repair Center) partnerships,” concludes Bentley. “I look forward to meeting these new challenges and to writing the next chapter with the team at Muirhead Avionics.”

Boeing and Michelin Renew Parts Distribution Agreement

Boeing announced a five-year renewal of an authorized distributor agreement with Michelin North America, Inc. The agreement identifies Boeing Distribution, Inc. (formerly Aviall) as a global distributor for Michelin’s full line of bias tires, radial tires and tubes supporting the Business and General Aviation, Commercial, and Defense markets worldwide. Michelin products are available to customers for purchase directly from the website, or through Boeing Distribution’s Wheel and Brake Repair Services program.

“The continuation of our partnership with Michelin enables us to leverage our robust product portfolio to provide global material availability, product repair services, and comprehensive solutions for our customers,” said Travis Sullivan, vice president and general manager of Boeing Distribution Services.

The agreement demonstrates Boeing’s support — which spans nearly a century — for the Business Aviation and General Aviation market with industry-leading product lines that help customers maintain their aircraft reliably, safely and cost-effectively. As a key distributor, Boeing delivers parts, chemicals, and supplies to general aviation businesses worldwide, including FBOs (Fixed Base Operators), MROs (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul facilities), and flight schools.

“The renewal of this agreement is a reflection of our strong relationship with Boeing Distribution,” said M. Scott Murray, vice president of Aircraft Tire Sales, Michelin North America, Inc. “With this ongoing agreement, we will be able to continue leveraging their global parts distribution network to serve customers around the world.”

Pexco’s AirShield Earns FAA certification

Pexco Aerospace (Pexco) announced its AirShield technology, designed to prevent airborne germs and odors entering the personal space of every airline passenger, has received STC certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for use on the A320 family of narrowbody aircraft.

What is AirShield?

Retrofitted over the existing passenger air vents above every seat, AirShield works in harmony with existing HEPA filtration systems to create protective air barriers between and around every passenger in the cabin, restricting unwanted germs and odors from entering their personal space. It maximizes passenger wellbeing by reducing shared air by at least 76 percent (in a full narrowbody cabin with no facemasks) and increases the speed at which contaminated particles are expelled and replaced by freshly purified air by 230 percent. 

Droplets from each breath, sneeze, and cough are captured, contained, and sent down to the HEPA filters before they reach other passengers or flight crew – something of extreme importance given the proximity of people in a narrowbody cabin.

Rigorous research 

Pexco completed one of the most comprehensive independent assessments of cabin airflow (using more than 60 million data points of computational fluid dynamics) to maximize the design and performance of AirShield. This included undertaking on-wing tests in collaboration with major airlines and aircraft lessors, including American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Avolon.

Pexco’s research demonstrated aircraft cabins are highly efficient at exchanging and cleaning the air in considerable volumes, with the HEPA filtration system removing bacteria and viruses as the air passes through. But existing airflow in narrowbody aircraft sees airborne particles and odors – that could potentially be contaminated with viruses from stray breaths, coughs, or sneezes – inadvertently pulled across neighboring passengers’ seats before exiting through the HEPA filters. AirShield prevents this cross-contamination from happening.

Since the inception of AirShield, Pexco has invested in more than 8,000 subject matter expert person-hours, generated more than 60 million data points of CFD, created more than 30 prototypes for more than 100 lab tests, and completed 22 on-wing tests in the aircraft of three major airlines to ensure AirShield has the efficacy to set a new gold standard for passenger wellbeing in the narrowbody cabin.

Engineering expertise

As part of the rigorous FAA certification process, Pexco engineered AirShield to be extremely durable – able to withstand abuse and manual interference, while also streamlined enough not to obstruct passengers’ line of sight to emergency signage and lighting. AirShield does not impact smoke evacuation of the existing HEPA filtration system, and as each AirShield is not located in the ‘head strike’ zone, there is no need for airlines to recertify their seats. 

AirShield is extremely lightweight (weighing less than a pound) and engineered to be simple to manufacture and quick to install. With its unique design, consisting of a three-piece clip-together assembly, each installation takes less than a minute and an entire aircraft can be completed during standard overnight aircraft maintenance. The design also benefits airlines who lease aircraft as they can remove AirShield equally as quickly, with no remodifications needed to the aircraft to return it to its original state.

As an additional layer of hygiene protection, Pexco also uses an antimicrobial additive to manufacture AirShield. This destroys 99.99 percent of bacteria (even antibiotic resistant strains such as MRSA, VRE and CRE) upon contact – supporting airlines and OEMs to maintain high standards of hygiene onboard.

Anthony Ciringione, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Pexco Aerospace, comments: “In the last twenty years the global airline industry has faced SARS, Swine Flu, MERS, as well as COVID-19 and influenza. If history teaches us anything, there will be another airborne pandemic or epidemic – it is only a matter of time. We need a fresh approach to passenger wellbeing in the cabin, implementing long-lasting and proven innovations that improve hygiene onboard today, so it is effectively prepared for what will come tomorrow.”

Passengers keen to fly AirShield

An independent passenger survey ² of leisure travelers in the United States has showcased the growing demand for AirShield:

·       91 percent agreed that AirShield makes them feel like an airline is taking care of them.

·       89 percent would feel more comfortable flying with AirShield post-pandemic. 

·       86 percent of respondents also stated they would choose to fly with an airline with AirShield installed over one without.

·       71 percent would also pay more for a ticket if an airline equipped its planes with AirShield.

By preventing unwanted odors from entering passengers’ personal space, AirShield enhances the inflight experience by offering a ‘virtual distance’ in the cabin where a physical one is impossible. While it reshapes air flow, AirShield does not alter the cabin’s temperature or the volume of air supplied, and air is not blown directly onto passengers’ faces or bodies but around them – creating a protective cocoon. The technology is even 50 percent quieter than standard aircraft air filters, helping create a relaxing ambience onboard.

“Bringing blue-sky innovation to the cabin interior is a challenge that requires investment of time, money, and engineering expertise. Achieving FAA certification was the last hurdle for AirShield. There is now nothing stopping airlines using AirShield to enhance the inflight experience and protect the personal space of millions of passengers who step onboard every day – something economy travelers have wanted for a long time,” adds Page.

Pexco is currently in discussions with airlines across the US, Europe, and Asia with the aim of having AirShield installed on A320 aircraft in early 2023 – supporting the continued recovery of the airline industry and its long-term focus on enhanced passenger wellbeing in the cabin. Pexco is also exploring certification options for AirShield on other narrowbody aircraft types, including the B737, as well as line-fit versions of its technology. 

Power Flow Teams-Up with Maple Leaf

Power Flow Systems reports that it has been receiving enthusiastic feedback from customers for their new high performance exhaust system that is designed for Cessna 180, 182, and 185 airframes. Many of these pilots are also fans of the performance improving speed mods for the same aircraft produced by Maple Leaf Aviation of Brandon, Manitoba, Canada and which are now available through Power Flow.

For several years, Maple Leaf Aviation has offered a well-proven exhaust fairing for the single tailpipe configuration of the original Cessna-designed exhaust system. This fairing improves the airflow through the cowling, consistently reducing engine CHTs by 10⁰ to 15⁰ Fahrenheit.

With the advent of the dual-exhaust pipes on Power Flow’s new design, those long-time customers wanted to retain the clean looks and performance benefits they enjoyed with their Maple Leaf upgrades. Now, they can.

Satisfying this demand was not as easy as it may seem at first glance. It required the design teams at Power Flow and Maple Leaf to collaborate closely throughout a months-long development effort. The compound curves and tight quarters of the cowling meant that several iterations of the additional fairing were required before the optimal fit and finish could be achieved.

During the process, it was determined that the most cost-effective solution was to replace the current, single fairing configuration with a completely new dual fairing kit optimized specifically for the Power Flow system.

Leveraging their decades of composite manufacturing experience, Maple Leaf will continue to produce this new set of exhaust fairings. However, Power Flow is now offering the specialized set at an “attractive combined package price” to its tuned exhaust system customers.

HAECO and Liebherr Boost Landing Gear Service Agreement in China

HAECO and Liebherr-Aerospace are pleased to announce the expansion of their ARJ21 landing gear service offer in China. As the popularity of the ARJ21-700 Xiangfeng continues to grow in China, with 100 aircraft in operation and its first customer outside of China in Indonesia, HAECO and Liebherr-Aerospace are collaborating to meet the increased demand for landing gear maintenance services.

The partnership combines Liebherr-Aerospace’s OEM expertise as the design and product responsible company for the COMAC ARJ21 landing gear system with HAECO Landing Gear Services, a well-established and mature MRO partner with vast experience in landing gear maintenance services. Located in Xiamen, HAECO will work with Liebherr-Aerospace’s service center in Shanghai to provide support to Chengdu Airlines, Genghis Khan Airlines, China Southern Airlines, One-Two-Three Airlines, Air China, Jiangxi Air, China Express Airlines, and TransNusa.

The two companies say this teaming approach has already been demonstrated by the services provided to the Embraer E-Jet E1 family fleet operated in China. With the expansion of Liebherr’s and HAECO’s service offer to ARJ21 operators, both partners aim to support the success of the COMAC ARJ21 program in China and beyond. The landing gear service will also be available for the newly certified ARJ21F cargo version, which will be operated by YTO Cargo Airlines and Longhao Airlines.

To further optimize slot availability for all ARJ21-700 and ARJ21F operators, Liebherr-Aerospace plans to expand its landing gear service capacities with its manufacturing partner in China. This new MRO capability will add local capacity to the Chinese market and ensure that operators of the ARJ21 have access to exceptional as well as reliable landing gear maintenance services.