Call for 2022 Aerospace Coatings Calendar Entries Announced by Sherwin-Williams

Sherwin-Williams Aerospace Coatings is now accepting submissions for its annual calendar to showcase the 12 best-finished aircraft of the year. Placement in the calendar is one of the industry’s most sought-after recognitions as it annually displays only the best aircraft paint schemes and exterior finishes gracing the sky.

The company is looking to again feature the finest looking aircraft in its 2022 Aerospace Coatings Calendar – whether it is a newly finished (or refinished) business or regional jet, commercial airliner, cargo aircraft, or a uniquely painted single/twin engine, kit plane, sport plane or helicopter – the calendar recognizes the outstanding work of designers, MROs and aircraft painters across the United States that rely on Sherwin-Williams aerospace products in their repaint and OEM facilities.

“The annual calendar program celebrates the scheme designs and paint craftsmen of the aviation industry and their incredible works of art – classic, custom or military – for all types of aircraft,” says Julie Voisin, Sherwin-Williams global product manager for Aerospace Coatings. “Each year our calendar program gains popularity as we provide a platform to highlight 12 outstanding examples of true design and aircraft paint production excellence.”

Entries must include professional photography of the aircraft showing multiple angles and any custom details as judging is based on finish quality, technical difficulty, design originality and artistic merit. Any aircraft submitted to the calendar must be exclusively finished in Sherwin-Williams brand topcoats. Submissions will be accepted through September 3, 2021 and winners will be notified in early November.

Download the Sherwin-Williams Aerospace Coatings Calendar entry form here. For more information about Sherwin-Williams Aerospace Coatings, visit Sherwin-Williams online or call 1-888-888-5593.

Zetec Webinar Shows How to Increase Effectiveness of Bolt-Hole Eddy Current Inspections

Zetec Inc. has published its latest on-demand webinar detailing a more effective approach to one of the most common and critical nondestructive testing applications in aerospace MRO (maintenance, repair and operations): inspections of bolt holes in multi-layer materials.

The 40-minute webinar will discuss and demonstrate how using high-resolution C-scans and dedicated analysis displays for rotating-probe and eddy current array data can increase both eddy current inspection productivity and probability of detection.

“Rotating eddy current probes and traditional impedance and sweep displays lack the resolution to identify the individual layer where a defect resides. This can make it challenging to determine whether repairs are necessary,” said Nicholas Cardillo, Eddy Current Sales Engineering director for Zetec. “This webinar will show how to use readily available eddy current technology to better recognize signals of interest, understand flaw morphology and identify layers where bolt-hole flaws are located without the use of encoders or secondary manual measurement methods.”

The webinar features:

• An introduction to eddy current inspections of bolt holes and the specific inspection challenges related to probability of detection (POD) in multi-layer materials.
• The principles and application of examination techniques, including those outlined in U.S. Federal Aviation Administration Airworthiness Directive 2020-24-05 for the wing spar inspections of certain Piper Aircraft and the canopy sill longeron failures on F-15 fighter jets.
• A detailed look at examination results including how C-scan displays, advanced filters and data-review mode can increase user performance, POD and confidence in the eddy current inspection of bolt holes.

Zetec says their on-demand webinar is intended for inspection service providers, NDT technicians and aerospace MRO professionals. It is now available for viewing.

Sherwin-Williams Aerospace SKYscapes Next Generation Exterior Coatings System Qualified by Textron Aviation

Sherwin-Williams Aerospace Coatings announced its SKYscapes Next Generation exterior coatings basecoat/clearcoat system has been qualified by Textron Aviation for its Cessna, Beechcraft, and Hawker aircraft.

Including both solid and effect colors, this new qualification expands the relationship between Textron Aviation and Sherwin-Williams. Textron Aviation previously qualified, and continues to utilize, the Sherwin-Williams Aerospace Acry Glo and Jet Glo Express systems for use in both Original Equipment Manufacturer OEM and repaint settings.

“We are honored to expand our relationship with a distinguished manufacturer like Textron Aviation and its iconic aircraft brands,” says Molly K. Moses, Sherwin-Williams Aerospace Coatings North America sales manager. “This additional qualification provides Textron Aviation’s customers with multiple options: they can continue to utilize a traditional, single stage system like Jet Glo Express or Acry Glo; or if they want to utilize a basecoat-clearcoat finish, Textron Aviation now offers SKYscapes Next Generation. Depending upon the complexity of the scheme and the customer’s preferences, this gives Textron Aviation an array of optimized solutions.”

Sherwin-Williams makes exterior coatings that deliver custom solutions for commercial, military, and general aviation aircraft, including a full range of specialized livery color options for an outstanding, durable finish. Its products and systems undergo stringent testing to demonstrate they deliver a lasting protective coating for any aircraft and have earned numerous AMS 3095 certification approvals.
Sherwin-Williams Aerospace is an industry leader in innovation and technology solutions with its certified products, top-rated service, and knowledgeable team of field technicians. For more information, visit Sherwin-Williams Aerospace Coatings.

JPB Système’s Smart Washer Technology Improves Efficiencies Across Helicopter Maintenance Operations

Airbus Helicopters is testing innovative and disruptive technology across its maintenance operations, leading to quantifiable efficiency gains. In some cases, this can lead to time reductions for certain activities from two days to just two hours.

The company is trialing JPB Système’s proof-of-concept Smart Washer solution, which is designed to improve efficiencies within maintenance, repair and operations by enabling touchless and wireless measurement of bolt axial load. Instead of the need to manually check the tightening torque level of traditional bolts within the helicopter, Smart Washer allows engineers to directly measure bolt tension in just a few seconds with no need for intervention on the bolted assembly.

According to Georges Devilliers, senior expert for Helicopter Maintenance at Airbus Helicopters, since trialling Smart Washer over several months, the company has identified the potential for significant efficiency improvements across helicopter maintenance activities. This is underscored by a more hassle-free process on the company’s helicopters.

An example is the periodic check of the tightening torque on the main gearbox suspension bar attachment – a procedure that first requires removal of the two engines, as well as the helicopter’s interior trim, before maintenance engineers can gain access and check the bolts. Once checked, the engine needs to be re-installed and a ground-run undertaken to ensure correct installation of the engines.

“Basically, this is a heavy maintenance operation that takes around two days and requires two engineers to check about 12 bolts,” explains Devilliers. “By comparison, using Smart Washer, the same task can be performed by just one engineer in about two hours; we don’t need to physically access the bolts to perform the checks, so there’s nothing to dismantle.”

Via its tests of Smart Washer, Airbus Helicopters believes that the device could monitor more accurately the tension in the bolted assemblies.

“To check proper tension of the bolts, we currently measure the tightening torque; this is very difficult and also very imprecise,” continues Devilliers. “Difficult, because you need access to the assembly, loosen it and then re-tighten it, which can introduce room for error in so far as the dismantling of parts to access the bolts, as well as the subsequent re-assembly. The issue of imprecision arises because of the dispersion of coefficient of friction between the nut and the bolt.”

As a result, when it comes to servicing, a substantial amount of time is required to undertake such checks, which for helicopters, can sometimes represent as much as 10% of the overall scheduled maintenance time.

For Airbus Helicopters’ customers, the speed at which such checks can be performed also helps to minimize helicopter immobilization, which drives further efficiencies. In such instances, Smart Washer technology has the potential to facilitate much easier, shorter and less costly procedures.

Big Data for a wider vision

For Airbus Helicopters, the attributes of Smart Washer have more far-reaching potential. Since the device can register tension, date, location, temperature as well as other parameters this data could feasibly be used to alert customers to the need to perform other maintenance procedures – be it immediate or just according to schedule.

“We’ll continue to work closely with JPB Système as they develop Smart Washer to see how it could be integrated with Airbus Helicopters and, perhaps even within the group as a whole,” continues Devilliers. “Importantly, it addresses our fundamental challenges insofar as the need to make maintenance operations safer, easier and less time-consuming, so for us, it’s definitely a box-ticker.”

Airbus Helicopters provides efficient civil and military helicopter solutions to customers in around 150 countries. From its head office and main facility in Marignane, near Marseille, in France, the company’s operations span an array of activities, including design, assembly, training, test flights and delivery.

Precision Aviation Group Acquires Keystone Turbine

Precision Aviation Group (PAG) announced the acquisition of Keystone Turbine Services (KTS) of Coatesville, Penn. KTS specializes in providing complete OEM-approved aftermarket Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services for operators of the Rolls-Royce M250 series of gas turbine engines, along with related Honeywell and Triumph accessories plus component, spare parts, and field service support.

“We are excited about adding KTS to the Precision Aviation Group of Companies. The addition of KTS increases PAG’s repair stations to 12 worldwide, and further diversifies our MRO Capabilities by expanding our services into the Rolls-Royce M250 Engine,” David Mast, president & CEO of PAG stated. “Like PAG, KTS has a history of delivering exceptional customer service, industry leading products, and cost-effective repair solutions for its customers. Through our strategically located Repair Stations that provide a vast array of Rotary Wing specific MRO Services worldwide, our combined organizations will now be better equipped to provide Rolls-Royce M250 operators additional support.” 

Rob Ruck, former COO of KTS, added, “KTS is very enthusiastic about joining PAG as they plan to further expand KTS’s product and service offerings, make significant investments towards new products, update processes, and introduce new repair capabilities. We have worked closely with PAG’s management team throughout this acquisition process and believe this partnership will provide significant benefits to our customers, vendors, and employees.” 

Bell Holds Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Manufacturing Technology Center

Bell Textron Inc. celebrated the start of operations at the state-of-the-art Manufacturing Technology Center (MTC) with a small gathering and ribbon cutting ceremony. Bell leaders and employees as well as local North Texas community leaders, including Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, were in attendance. This event marks the next milestone in the center’s development before its grand opening, targeted for summer 2021.

“Through the Manufacturing Technology Center, we can showcase how we will deliver the most affordable, capable and reliable aircraft for the warfighter,” said Mitch Snyder, president and CEO, Bell. “As we work together to define the next generation of Bell products, it’s been gratifying to watch this new facility become a reality.”

The MTC is an innovative proving ground where Bell plans to test and refine technologies and processes and demonstrate readiness and ability to successfully build and support Future Vertical Lift aircraft and other new products. It offers a digitally connected space for collaboration between Bell teams in an environment that promotes smart risk taking. New systems will be tested and vetted for production suitability before being introduced to Bell’s future factories. Bell broke ground on the facility August 2020 and anticipates the facility to be fully operational later this year.

Robinson Helicopter Company Service Center Targets Post-Pandemic Online Parts Sales Growth

Rotorcorp has announced the addition of Cody Stidham as the newest member of their leadership team. Stidham will serve as Rotorcorp’s e-commerce manager and will report directly to the CEO Sean Casey. In this position, Stidham will be responsible for the overall website and e-commerce performance of the company serving Robinson customers world-wide.

Stidham has worn many different hats in the world of e-commerce.  From his start dealing with rare coins to his most recent experience e-commerce demand analyst with Wilson Sporting Goods, he says he looks forward to bringing his experience to this new role in the aerospace industry.

Stidham says he is most excited about bringing the best customer experience to Rotocorp’s customers. Rotorcorp prides itself on customer service, and Stidham plans to make sure the service received from the website is no different.

In 2018 Rotorcorp became the first Robinson Helicopter Company Service Center to offer R22, R44 and R66 helicopter parts online. In that time, online parts sales have grown to represent a significant percentage of the Rotorcorp bottom line. As the COVID-19 pandemic spread globally in 2020, supply and logistics chains were stretched to the limits and forced many Robinson operators to explore alternative parts suppliers.

Through its e-commerce parts solution, Rotorcorp was able to engage with new and existing customers in critical industries like agriculture, commercial fishing, law enforcement, and energy and gas sectors in a way that was not possible through a traditional sales model.

“These critical industries keep us safe, keep the lights on, and keep food on our tables” Commented Rotorcorp CEO Sean Casey. “While these are dire times, we are filled with pride to keep these customers flying safely. As we emerge from the global pandemic, our experience  clearly illustrated the importance for Rotorcorp to be all-in on innovations like e-commerce.”

MTI Instruments’ PBS-4100+ Series Training Now Eligible for Credit Under Bill O’Brien Technician Awards Program

MTI Instruments’ training course on the PBS-4100+ engine vibration measurement and balancing system is now credit-eligible under the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) William (Bill) O’Brien Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) Awards Program.

With the new credit designation, MTI Instrument’s course, “Vibration Analysis and Engine Balancing Using the PBS-4100 System,” can earn an eligible individual up to 16 hours of credit towards AMT Awards issued through the FAA Safety Team continuous training program. With the completion of MTI’s course requirement, plus the core course (required through the AMT Awards program), the participating individual can earn Bronze Award level recognition. Continuous participation in the AMT Awards program for regulatory, airworthiness and safety awareness training reinforces a high level of professionalism and safety within the industry to maintain proficiency.

“MTI Instruments’ conviction to the importance of training and skill development has resulted in the acceptance of our coursework for the FAA Safety continuous training program,” said Moshe Binyamin, president of MTI Instruments. “The FAA’s recognition of this important training on the PBS-4100+ series is truly encouraging, especially for our aviation customers. Aviation maintenance technicians proactively developing their knowledge in this technology benefits the industry as a whole.”

As a U.S. manufacturer, MTI Instruments’ products are designed, manufactured and supported in Albany, New York. Designed to swiftly pinpoint engine vibration problems and eliminate avoidable engine removals, the PBS-4100+ series are known for providing critical diagnostic tools to analyze and resolve engine vibration to assure maximum engine uptime and safety. The configuration and the intuitive user interface make the PBS-4100+ product line easy to use, while the built-in rapid diagnostics and traceability reporting help aviation customers reduce labor hours and minimize engine downtime by reducing maintenance needs.

MTI Instruments’ training program, which is held at customer facilities, emphasizes hands-on learning with the customers’ equipment.

“The objective for pursuing ongoing training on MTI Instruments is to ensure our customers, both military and commercial, are competent and confident with engine vibration measurement and engine balancing operations,” said Ken Ameika, global director of PBS Products of MTI Instruments. “With proper training, a post maintenance engine vibration test should be reduced to two hours or less; versus manual methods which require several hours of effort and thousands of pounds’ worth of fuel.”

The PBS-4100+ course is offered throughout the calendar year. For registration, contact MTI Instruments Support Team (518-218-2567) at support@mtiinstruments.com.

Kaman Measuring Announces New KD-5100+ High Reliability Sensor System for Fast Steering Mirror Control

The Measuring Division of Kaman Precision Products announced the KD-5100+, an upgraded higher reliability version of Kaman’s legacy KD-5100 measuring system. The KD-5100+ retains the proven performance of the KD-5100 system while incorporating upgrades to the circuit layout, ground connections, and sensor connectors. The upgraded system also features higher reliability diodes and capacitors.

The KD-5100+ is the ideal choice for laser communications, satellite and ground station applications, as well as directed energy (ground, shipboard, and airborne), and image stabilization systems.

Two matched sensors of a measuring channel are positioned opposite each other on the back of a fast steering mirror (FSM) in two axes at 90 degrees to each other. As the FSM actuators drive the mirror about the center flexure, the mirror moves away from one sensor of an axis and toward the other sensor an equal amount. The KD-5100+ output signal is used to actively control mirror position.

The upgraded KD-5100+ has a Mil-PRF-38534 Class H proprietary hybrid microcircuit. The system also features dual channel signal conditioner with two precisely matched sensors per channel.

Designed for thermal and long term stability, radiation tolerant, and suitable for vacuum applications, the KD-5100+ offers a small package size and low power consumption. It features isolated signal and chassis grounds and low outgassing components.

Signal conditioning electronics are available in the identical low profile enclosure as the KD-5100. Enclosure finish can be either black paint for low reflectivity or bright nickel finish for lower outgassing. Sensor and signal conditioner packaging can be customized for unique requirements.

 

Summit Aviation Adds New Partner for Interior Work

Summit Aviation announced that it is now partnered with New Jersey-based Cabin Crafters Inc. (CCI) to support fixed and rotor wing interior refurbishments.

Cabin Crafters has specialized in quality aircraft interiors for more than 35 years. As the first Federal Aviation Administration certified repair station specializing in aircraft interiors CCI is a pioneer and leader in the industry. The company’s 25,000 square foot facility is located in the tristate area adjacent to Teterboro Airport (TEB) in New Jersey.

“Cabin Crafters has robust capabilities and an excellent reputation for providing quality interior refurbishments and cabin reconfigurations,” said John Gonsalves, director of sales and marketing for Summit Aviation. “We believe our customer base will benefit substantially from its years of experience with both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.”

“Cabin Crafters is excited to partner with Summit Aviation,” said Mario Diaz, president of Cabin Crafters, Inc. “The extensive experience and history offered by each company will enhance our abilities to exceed customer expectations in interiors, paint and maintenance. Our teams have worked together in the past; however, this arrangement will streamline processes and offer advanced solutions and incentives for our loyal customers.”