Bluestreak I Bright AM Achieves CMMC Registered Practitioner Organization Status

Bluestreak Compliance, a division of Bluestreak | Bright AM, a quality management and manufacturing execution system software company, proudly announces its approval as a CMMC Registered Practitioner Organization (RPO) by the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Accreditation Body (Cyber-AB). This significant achievement enables Bluestreak Compliance™to offer expert consulting services to defense contractors and suppliers aiming to comply with CMMC cybersecurity standards and prepare for their Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) audits.

In January 2020, the Department of Defense (DoD) introduced the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program to ensure that contractors have implemented adequate security measures to protect sensitive data across its extensive 300,000-contractor supply chain, known as the Defense Industrial Base (DIB). The CMMC 2.0 framework includes three certification levels, from Foundational to Expert, covering 14 control families and 110 practices aligned with NIST SP 800-171 R2.
Although CMMC 2.0 has not been fully released, the DoD plans to implement the CMMC program under a four-phased plan starting as early as Q1 2025, with all new solicitations for contracts involving Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) and Federal Contract Information (FCI) by October 1, 2026, to secure DoD contracts.

“CMMC certification is critical for your business because it sets clear and rigorous cybersecurity standards, ensuring that all contractors meet essential security requirements to protect sensitive information and strengthen our national defense,” said Joe Coleman, cyber security officer, CMMC-RPA. “If you do any work for a DoD contractor or handle CUI in any way, you must become certified.”

Happy Charles Taylor Day!

Charles Taylor, who was the Wright Brothers’ mechanic and is considered the father of aviation maintenance, was born on May 24th. AMT Day is celebrated each year in the aviation maintenance industry and honors Charles Taylor on the date of his birth. Like Taylor, aircraft mechanics are truly the unsung heroes of the aviation industry. Congress passed a resolution supporting the goals and ideals of National AMT Day in 2008. After several years of continuous effort, Senate Resolution #SRES335 passed in December 2016, joining Congressional Resolution #RES#444, recognizing May 24 as AMT Day, and the day is now observed in many states in the U.S. Here’s to all the people who work selflessly to ensure the safety of our air transportation system.

Barnbrook Sets New Sights on Airshow

A global engineering solutions firm for the aerospace industry is set to showcase innovations at the Farnborough International Airshow.

Barnbrook Systems, of Hampshire, UK, will unveil new and upgraded technology and services when it attends the world famous event for the 14th consecutive time in July 2024.

They will include its market-leading refueling switch for helicopters and the next generation of its BlueCube remote monitoring systems. 

Its team will also unveil more details about its work on hydrogen energy solutions, fire suppression systems, ultra-high pressure monitoring ranges and innovations in AI and machine learning.

Andrew Barnett – director at Barnbrook Systems of Fareham, Hampshire, UK

“All at Barnbrook Systems are excited about this year’s airshow,” said Andrew Barnett, director at Barnbrook. “We may have been attending this event for nearly 30 years but we are also a modern, forward-thinking company which focuses on growth and continuous improvement through creativity and innovation. We are looking forward to showcasing our new and upgraded engineering systems aimed at delivering bespoke solutions to meet myriad requirements of today’s aerospace, aviation and defence sectors.”

Barnett, who is member of the board at Farnborough Aerospace Consortium (FAC), added: “Sustainability and the drive to net zero are proving to be major dynamos as the pace of the digital revolution continues to accelerate. We’re keen to demonstrate how our applications, including our work on hydrogen projects, can harness the power of change at the airshow and share ideas with other innovators from across the world.”

Independent, family owned Barnbrook Systems will be in the main hall at the airshow on July 22 to 26. It will be on stand 1317, close to the FAC marquee. 

It recently won a repeat, six-figure order in for its inflight refueling switch for aerospace giant Leonardo. The first deal for this system was signed at the 2016 airshow.

Robinson Helicopter Company Acquires Ascent AeroSystems, Adding Tactical Uncrewed Solutions Portfolio

Robinson Helicopter Company (RHC) has acquired Ascent AeroSystems, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Robinson Helicopter Company. This acquisition reinforces Robinson’s dedication to scaling innovation, accelerating new rotorcraft developments, and supporting diverse missions worldwide. By leveraging the expertise and resources of both companies, Robinson reinforces its leadership in the future of vertical flight systems and utility missions.

Ascent AeroSystems, recognized for its efficient and compact coaxial helicopter drones designed for industrial, public safety, and defense applications, brings a wealth of technological synergies that align with Robinson’s strategic vision for growth and expansion into new markets. Through the acquisition, Ascent can now grow and scale by building its UAVs at Robinson’s cost-effective, vertically integrated manufacturing facility in Torrance, CA.

Ascent AeroSystems’ expertise in autonomous electric flight technology and modular design philosophy will enhance Robinson’s offerings. The integration of emerging technologies and a diverse ecosystem of payloads, power sources, and launch methods will further enhance the company’s mission-focused offerings, including crewed-uncrewed teaming and interoperability across product families.

“This strategic acquisition is in line with our vision to broaden our offerings and meet increasing global demand for enhanced mission capabilities in law enforcement, public safety, firefighting, utility, and defense,” said David Smith, president and CEO of Robinson Helicopter Company. “Ascent’s advanced technologies and versatile designs complement our ability to be the preeminent choice in global rotorcraft.”

Ascent AeroSystems’ unique cylindrical, coaxial airframes stand out from competitors in each weight class, offering unparalleled flight performance, payload capacity, and reliability compared to conventional multirotor configurations. Included on the Defense Innovation Unit’s (DIU) Blue UAS Cleared List, the flagship Spirit is a compact, modular, rugged, all-weather platform engineered to operate reliably in the most challenging environments, including high wind, heavy rain, sleet, snow, and blowing sand. The larger NX30 offers more than twice the payload capacity in a heavy lift variant, or it can be configured with additional batteries for flights exceeding an hour.

“Drones based on consumer-grade electronics will never be able to provide the safety and dispatch reliability needed to support operations at scale,” said Peter Fuchs, Ascent AeroSystems’ CEO. “They will ultimately require a type certificate for the aircraft, a production certificate for the factory, an operating certificate for the network, and a maintenance certificate for the repair station. That is the standard that has provided the foundation for civil aviation for the last eight decades. It’s a rigorous process, and there are no shortcuts. The laws of physics and aerodynamics favor coaxials, and with Robinson’s fifty years of experience, there is now no better domestic source for reliable, mission-critical UAV platforms.”

UAS are increasingly integrated into traditional rotorcraft operations in sectors including defense, public safety, agriculture, energy, utilities, construction, logistics, shipping, and surveying. Ascent AeroSystems will maintain its headquarters near Boston.

Astronautics Providing Badger Pro+ Integrated Flight Display System in Bell BasiX-Pro Glass Cockpit Retrofit Kit for 412EP Helicopters

Astronautics Corporation of America’s Badger Pro+ is the integrated flight display system for the Bell BasiX-Pro Glass Cockpit RetrofitKit. Bell’s newest upgrade solution recently received supplemental type certificate approval from the Federal Aviation Administration for Bell 412EP helicopters with PT6T-3D engine types. The Bell BasiX-Pro Glass Cockpit Retrofit Kit with Astronautics’ Badger Pro+ display system will upgrade 412EP legacy helicopters from analog instrumentation to full-glass cockpits. The 412EP retrofit kit is offered by Bell Aeronautical Accessories and installed by Bell’s global completion centers of excellence. 

The Badger Pro+ system consists of four 6”x8,” high-resolution, smart displays providingprimary flight, navigation, and engine data, along with a control panel and an engine data acquisition unit.  Astronautics’ Badger displays have proven dependability with hundreds of fielded units and over a million hours of flight time.

“Astronautics is pleased to enable Bell’s ongoing mission of improving performance, reliability, and supportability for their medium-sized helicopter customers with our Badger Pro+ system,” said Eyton Zelazo, Astronautics’ director of displays and cockpit integration. “The Bell BasiX-Pro Glass Cockpit Retrofit Kit will provide Bell 412EP operators with modern flight-decktechnology to improve situational awareness and decrease pilot workload, while also offering the same look and feel of a new production Bell 412 cockpit.” 

Key highlights of the Badger Pro+ integrated flight display system, as part of the BasiX-Pro Glass Cockpit Retrofit Kit for the Bell 412EP, include:

• Common display unit hardware with new production medium-sized platforms (SUBARU Bell 412EPX and Bell 429), simplifying maintenance and pilot training for mixed fleets.

• Aircraft parameter, chip, and exceedance recording for 70+ hours of data, useful for maintenance tracking and planning.

• Full-screen presentation of external video with pan feature.

• Multiple high-definition digital video inputs (no conversion to analog).

• Weather radar / HTAWS displayed in both full and arc HSI formats.

• Route mapping with five levels of declutter.

• Two-second power-up time (not just in-flight recovery).

• Non-ITAR night vision goggle compatible.

Nova Systems Selects FreeFlight Systems’ Advanced Weather and Airborne Aircraft Alerting System to Increase Crew Awareness

FreeFlight Systems announced Nova Systems selected their Dual-Band ADS-B receiver as part of an upgrade program for their customers to provide more efficient and better decision-making systems during flight. FreeFlight Systems Dual-Band ADS-B receiver provides critical weather and airborne traffic, significantly improving crew situational awareness and providing a well-informed operation, even under extreme conditions.

“We are thrilled to continue delivering a world-class mission system, and we are excited to have FreeFlight’s Dual-Band ADS-B system on board,” says Ronnie Trasler, general manager for Aerospace Integration for Nova Systems. “We selected FreeFlight’s Dual-band ADS-B Receiver because of leading-edge ADS-B technology for maximum crew situational awareness during critical life-saving work for search and rescue operators.”

FreeFlight Systems Dual-Band ADS-B Receiver is a mission-ready TSO-certified device designed to perform in the most critical environments, making it a strong choice for SAR activities. It provides pilots in all jurisdictions with critical ADS-B information while in flight, drastically improving situational awareness and creating a safer, well-informed operation.

“Nova Systems is a leader in modernization efforts for aircraft used for SAR programs, and this selection strengthens our collaborative partnership for creating safer skies,” says Anthony Rios, president, FreeFlight Systems. “Our ADS-B Dual-Band solution is a key component of our mission to provide progressive companies, like Nova Systems, the ability to upgrade critical aircraft with the most advanced technologies, bestowing crews with the most sophisticated airborne situational awareness.”

With its all-new air-to-air capabilities, FreeFlight Systems’ Dual-Band ADS-B Receiver leads the way with its small form factor, low weight and power, and multi-interface design. This compact device can provide all the required safety information for critical operations while keeping its footprint on the aircraft’s resources low.

Designed with safety in mind, the Dual-Band ADS-B Receiver improves situational awareness in applicable environments with its reception of traffic information, direct and rebroadcasts (TIS-B) on both the 1090 and 978 frequency bands, weather reports, and radar and flight information such as NOTAMs and TFRs.

Piranha Aerospace and First Aviation Services Partner to Expand Presence in Airbus Helicopter Aftermarket

First Aviation Services announced the addition of main rotor blade repair capabilities for the AS350/H130 model aircraft. Historically, First Aviation and its subsidiary Aviation Blade Services, are known for being the largest independent Sikorsky rotor blade MRO with a major presence in the Black Hawk market covering hundreds of parts. To expand main rotor blade repair capabilities for the AS350/H130 model aircraft, First Aviation has partnered with Piranha Aerospace as their preferred sales path to the Airbus Helicopter operating community. Piranha Aerospace is a membership-based distributor of aftermarket parts and services based in Boulder City, NV. Adding AS350/H130 main rotor blade repairs to its offering of over 200 parts and services demonstrates how Piranha Aerospace and its development partners are revolutionizing reductions in direct operating costs through predictable pricing and optimized product offerings.

“The addition of these Airbus Helicopter rotor blade capabilities marks a significant step in the company’s growth plan and is the first of multiple models to be added in 2024,” Paul Bolton, COO of First Aviation said. “We are very excited to be partnering with Piranha as we leverage both companies’ outstanding reputations in the industry.” Tony Bohm, principal, product development of Piranha added, “First Aviation has made a major commitment to the rotary wing MRO market. They are the right partner to expand capabilities in support of the AS350/EC130 operator.”

Safran and PhilJets Sign Support Contract for New Helicopter Engine in the Philippines

Safran Helicopter Engines and PhilJets Aero Services Inc (PhilJets) marked a milestone at the Singapore Airshow 2024 by signing a new Support-By-the-Hour (SBH) contract for the Arrano engine. PhilJets, the Certified Distributor Center for Safran in the Philippines, and Safran Helicopter Engines (Safran HE) have solidified their three-year collaboration through this strategic agreement.

PhilJets and Safran are partnering to launch the entry into service of the Arrano engine, set to power the soon-to-be-delivered first Airbus H160 in the region.

During the signing ceremony at the Singapore Airshow Thierry Tea, PhilJets’ founder and Valerie Patuel, Safran HE managing director for Asia Pacific, reiterated the firm commitment of both companies to deepen their collaboration in supporting helicopter owners and operators in the Philippines.

Valerie Patuel, said: “We are very pleased to have the first H160 customer in this region supported with our SBH® contract. Our teams strive hard to provide the best-in-class support for customers and ensure a smooth entry-into-service of the Arrano.”

Jerome Hernandez, sales and MRO support manager of PhilJets said: “It is our mission to keep our customer’s helicopter flying to meet their needs. We are pleased that this contract, in addition to the other 13 Safran engines in the Philippines currently under SBH contract, will allow the owner and operator to receive extensive support for their helicopter.”             

This SBH contract formalizes a long-term Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) and services agreement supporting two Arrano 1A engines, making it the first SBH contract signed for the Arrano in the South East Asia Region. 

Since 2021, Safran HE and PhilJets have joined forces to support a growing fleet of more than 100 helicopters operators flying in the Philippines, with 13 engines now covered under SBH contracts.

The collaboration aims to enhance the operational availability of helicopters in the Philippines, where PhilJets has been operating for 11 years, in order to increase customer satisfaction of helicopter operators.

The contract signifies a commitment to continue improving Safran HE’s services in the archipelago, with PhilJets managing the contract locally and receiving support from Safran Helicopter Engines’ regional office in Singapore.

Safran’s Arrano engine, a 1,300 shp new-generation powerhouse, offers about 15% reduction in fuel consumption compared to other in-service helicopter engines. Notably, it is certified to operate with up to 50% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), like all Safran’s engines.

The SBH program from Safran Helicopter Engines provides predictable engine operating costs, eliminates cash peaks, and offers flexibility for scheduled and unscheduled MRO coverage. The program also integrates digital services like engine Health Monitoring, Expert Link, and Online SBH. SBH is part of EngineLife Services, Safran’s range of solutions for helicopter engines.

Zulu Pods Awarded Phase 2 Contract by U.S. Army to Continue Development of its Loss of Lubrication Technology

Zulu Pods has been awarded a Phase 2 contract from the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Center (AvMC) via FirePoint Innovations Center. The award will continue the partnership between ZPI and the Army focusing on further development of ZPI’s novel loss of lubrication pod technology, the ZPod, aimed at enhancing rotorcraft combat survivability during loss of lubrication events for the next generation of military helicopters.

In Phase 1, ZPI conducted instrumented tests on its internal high-speed rig that culminated in the successful validation of its technology through a simulated loss of lubrication event. The tests demonstrated mitigation of bearing failure and performance degradation by delivering minimum oil over time through a static ZPod, upgrading the technology readiness level to TRL 5.

In Phase 2, ZPI will work closely with two major aerospace engine OEMs to continue lubrication testing on bearing hardware, begin digital product integration through engine interface design, and deliver an engine ready prototype for testing and evaluation by the end of 2024.

The ZPod serves as a small decentralized, self-contained, and self-energized emergency oil system independent of the oil pump’s ability to adequately circulate oil to critical mechanical components, thus offering pilots the necessary time to carry out evasive landing maneuvers to safely land the rotary wing aircraft in the event of loss of lubrication.

AEPA Seeks Congressional Legislation to Address Workforce Challenges 

The Aerospace Education Program Alliance (AEPA) is urging industry to support the enactment of legislation that would, for the first time, bring government, industry and education together to address critical shortages in the aviation and aerospace workforce. Support for the Aerospace Workforce Development Program would grow the workforce and increase access for those interested in aviation/aerospace careers.

The organization, which arose out of the Youth Access to Aviation Jobs in America Task Force, is urging aviation, aerospace and defense companies and associations to support the Aerospace Workforce Development Program which is on the cusp of being introduced in Congress. 

“While educational funding for aviation/aerospace education is a major issue for aerospace education programs, funding alone will not solve the workforce problem,” said AEPA CEO Dr. Ralph K. Coppola, in describing the reason behind the initiative. “The key to solving the workforce problem is a developing a process to focus resources on the programs that are successfully addressing the workforce issue.”

The Aerospace Workforce Development Program has two parts. (1) Modification of Department of Defense aerospace contracts to include aerospace education programs as subcontractors; and (2) Establish an Aerospace Education Program List on the DoD website where companies will find effective education programs to partner with and invest in as subcontractors. The list will rank aerospace education programs based on their contribution to the workforce.

The legislation grew out of the Congressionally mandated youth task force. To be eligible for education subcontracts, aerospace education organizations must show that they are effective in addressing workforce shortages in pilot, aircraft maintenance, aerospace engineering, manufacturing and other technically related fields. 

The proposed legislation is the second, industry-wide initiative bringing task force recommendations to fruition with the first being the creation of AEPA itself. 

AEPA is asking Aviation, Aerospace and Defense companies and organizations to join more than 20 organizations and businesses who have already signed on to a letter supporting this program which is below.

To view the letter click here

To support the introduction of this legislation: Click the link to the Google form to add your organization’s name to the letter.