Flexjet adopts GE Digital’s Maintenance Insight

Departments - Maintenance, Repair, & Overhaul

Bii purchases Aircraft Finance Germany spares inventory; NIAR WERX expands MRO program with Erickson Precision Ventures; Boeing delivers new A-10 wings; Canada awards $800M contract to support Bell CH-146 Griffon helicopters; US Army continues Airbus logistics support contract.

June 30, 2022

Global fractional private jet provider Flexjet adopted GE Digital’s Maintenance Insight software solution for its fleet operations. Maintenance Insight can detect aircraft and component degradation that otherwise might not be caught until scheduled maintenance. This enables aircraft to be serviced at Flexjet maintenance stations rather than third-party service stations, further reducing costs and delays.

The Maintenance Insight program generates analytics used to optimize performance and decrease inefficiencies that lead to excess fuel burn and carbon emissions, allowing Flexjet to reduce its carbon footprint while operating the aircraft.

“We began using GE wireless flight data transmission across the Flexjet fleet in 2019 and are pleased to become the first to adopt this new maintenance innovation as well,” says Flexjet COO Megan Wolf.

Bii purchases Aircraft Finance Germany spares inventory

British Int’l Industries (Bii), a provider of aircraft parts and services for the commercial aviation sector, acquired a significant portion of Aircraft Finance Germany’s (AFG) inventory of enhanced spares for Boeing 747-8, 767, and 777 aircraft.

The material, including high-ticket rotable components, will be integrated into Bii’s stock following full inspection.

Bii CEO Francis Cradock says, “We need to constantly enrich our stock with high-quality modern parts for both Boeing and Airbus platforms. The material from AFG fits our purchasing criteria perfectly.”

AFG CEO Christian Nuehlen comments, “This deal supplements the flexible support programs they already provide for us across rotable and consumable materials, as well as repair management services for our aircraft in check, coming off lease, or in transition.”

NIAR WERX expands MRO program with Erickson Precision Ventures

WSU-NIAR and Erickson Precision teams. Top (left to right): Stacia Boden, WSU general counsel; Steven Thomas, president, Erickson Group; Allison Bonitati, NIAR WERX program director; Louis Valdes, Valdes & Associates; Tamra Dereiko, Precision; Jillian Thomas, Precision; Jessica Skladzien, WSU general counsel. Bottom (left to right): John Tomblin, WSU senior vice president for Industry & Defense Programs/NIAR executive director; Jack Erickson; Dave Jones, NIAR WERX executive director; Gary Warner, president, Precision Aircraft Solutions.
Photo credit: NIAR

The WERX lab at Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) and Erickson Precision Ventures will work on modification, maintenance, and engineering for various Boeing and Airbus aircraft.

NIAR will soon complete conversions and maintenance – which began last year – for Erickson’s subsidiary company, Erickson Aero Tanker, based in Hillsboro, Oregon, which operates a fleet of MD87 firefighting aircraft.

In Q3 2022, NIAR WERX will begin passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversions for Erickson, adding two new aircraft to its conversion portfolio with the expectation of performing 12 to 24 per year for Precision Aircraft Solutions at NIAR WERX.

Boeing delivers new A-10 wings

In partnership with Korean Aerospace Industries and other key suppliers, Boeing delivered the first new wing set for the A-10 Thunderbolt II fleet to the U.S. Air Force. The wing set arrived at Hill Air Force Base, Ogden, Utah, where the Air Force has started aircraft integration.

Boeing won the contract in August 2019 to provide the Air Force with 50 wing sets, each consisting of outer wing assemblies, center wing assembly, control surfaces, and fuselage integration kit. The upgraded wings are more durable, efficient, and easier to maintain, extending A-10 flying life to 10,000 hours

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The A-10 wing program was previously a dry line, with tools and equipment housed in long-term storage. Boeing Global Services revived the tooling and activated the supply base within 12 months of contract award. The company’s previous experience with the A-10 includes delivering 173 enhanced A-10 wing assemblies under a separate contract.

Canada awards $800M contract to support Bell CH-146 Griffon helicopters

CH-146 Griffon
Photo credit: NW Group/Public Services and Procurement Canada

The Canadian government awarded a contract worth nearly $800 million to Bell Textron Canada Ltd. (BTCL) of Mirabel, Quebec, to extend the life of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s fleet of 85 CH-146 Griffon helicopters until at least the mid-2030s.

Under the contract, the company will perform modifications on the first 9 helicopters and will manage a competitive process to sub-contract suppliers to install modifications on the remaining 76 helicopters.

BTCL established Team Griffon, a made-in-Canada solution for this project, which includes CMC Electronics and Pratt & Whitney Canada. BTCL has committed to business activities that will ensure opportunities for the broader Canadian supply chain, including small- and medium-sized enterprises.

The CH 146s, militarized Bell 412 CF helicopters, were delivered between 1994 and 1998 and have fulfilled multiple mission requirements, including tactical transport, emergency response, and search and rescue.

The first upgraded helicopter is expected to be delivered in 2024 and the remaining will be upgraded by 2028.

US Army continues Airbus logistics support contract

Airbus UH-72B.
Photo credit: Airbus

Airbus received a follow-on contractor logistics support (CLS) contract with the U.S. Army to provide spare parts, material, and engineering support for the Army’s fleet of 482 UH-72A and UH-72B Lakota utility and training helicopters.

The contract includes a 6-month base and 4.5 option years, with a potential value of more than $1.5 billion. Airbus will provide support across 67 Lakota sites in the U.S. and overseas. This includes National Guard bases in 43 states and Fort Rucker in Alabama, where the UH-72A performs the Army’s Initial Entry Rotary Wing mission (IERW).

The CLS contract with the U.S. Army is the largest helicopter performance-based support contract managed by Airbus worldwide. It’ll be managed by Airbus U.S. Space & Defense headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, with logistics managed from Airbus’ facility in Dallas, Texas.