"According to a recent survey conducted by AIA of 23 Performance-Based Agreements to support various weapons systems, the average annual program cost savings was over $21 million and the average increase in availability was more than 16 percent. Fifteen of the cases examined had cost savings of around $300 million annually," wrote Dr. Daniel Goure in a Lexington Institute press release dated June 7.
He suggested that the U.S. Department of Defense should consider expanding the scope of PBLs and use them whenever PBLs could save programs money. In addition, Dr. Goure believes DoD should think of PBLs early in a program's life and improve methodologies used to assess a PBL's success.
Speaking of PBLs, the DoD issued a very big one to Boeing on June 7. The $258.5 million PBL covers 185 AV-8B Harriers for the U.S. Marine Corps, Italy and Spain. --Lee Ann Tegtmeier
Airbus and Boeing have again decided to join forces in reaching out to their suppliers to encourage the use of RFID technology where appropriate.
The two major airplane OEMs will help produce and support a full one day symposium on how RFID makes business improvements possible. Boeing & Airbus share about 70 percent common suppliers. So use and implementation of RFID for suppliers needs to be standardized across the board.
RFID Symposium Co-Located with MRO Asia 2007 and MRO Europe 2007
The event, titled: Enabling Business Improvements with RFID - A Global Aviation Update from Airbus and Boeing will be held the day before MRO Asia in Shanghai, China and again the day before MRO Europe in Milan, Italy. That would be Oct. 16 in Shanghai and Nov. 6 in Milan.
Participants will include:
Carlo K Nizam, Head of Value Chain Visibility and RFID, Airbus
Ken Porad, Associate Technical Fellow, Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Subjects will include Demystifying RFID – The Basics particularly to executives who have heard of RFID but need a primer. An RFID Chaos Scenario. The Airbus & Boeing; a Common Approach - Ensuring value through interoperability and common infrastructure. We will also have case studies, a look at the Airbus vision and strategy, and for part of the day will also feature hands on demonstrations of RFID technology as it would be use in commercial aerospace applications.
More details are available on the AVIATION WEEK conferences website that you can find here: http://www.aviationweek.com/conferences/index.htm
Lufthansa Technical Training has begun training aviation mechanics and electricians in Tianjin, China, in cooperation with the Tianjin Port Free Trade Zone. Select graduates of the course will work on the end assembly of Airbus aircraft in Tianjin. The training program was developed by Airbus and LTT. -- Frank Jackman
EASA issued AD 2007-0067R1 today that requires certain Airbus A319s and A320s to undergo
"repetitive internal inspection of the lower stiffeners, and a repetitive external inspection of the lower panels in center and outer wing box at level of Rib 1 junction."
EASA issued the AD because some taperloks used in the wing-to-fuselage junction at the rib did not meet specifications and resulted in loss of proper fastener tension.
This AD supersedes AD 2007-0067. The main changes are the wording in paragraph 2.1 of the compliance section.
While most of us in this MRO world think and talk about the massive increases in the use of composite materials in the new Boeing and Airbus airplanes I was astonished to see how far Trek is going in the use of composites on it latest bicycle.
Over at one of my favorite reads, Velo News, it's all about cycling, Lennard Zinn just came out with a technical review of the new Madone. The Madone is the bike that Lance Armstrong rides for those not in this loop. The composite technology allows fascinating things here just as it does in the aircraft and you can see why it is becoming the manufacturing material of choice.
Zinn calls the new bike "revolutionary" and points to what the composite is allowing Trek to do. Writes Zinn, "the frame will far outlast the bearings several times over. In fact, its tests showed that the steel of the bearing cartridges gets worn down and notched after enough time on the pedaling through water day and night at 85rpm, and the steel balls themselves crack. But the carbon fiber shows no sign of wear-a completely unexpected result. " http://www.velonews.com/tech/report/articles/12366.0.html
It made me think about all the claims for less maintenance on the future composite planes as well. A side note that doesn't make me too happy, Boeing and Airbus are running around the world buying up all the composite materials they can get their hands on. It's making the bicycle I want get a lot more expensive.
"Did you ever think you'd want to take a class in combustion thermodynamics?" asked coworker Ed Hazelwood this morning, after I told him about a two-day course in July that examines engine emission and gas turbine combustion research. Okay, if you would have asked me this question 15 years ago, I might not have answered affirmatively. The fact is, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is offering a interesting sounding course, "Combustion and Emission in Aircraft Engines," July 12-13 in Cincinnati that explores "fuel combustion and design issues in gas turbine combustors" and how those impact NOx emissions, and hence, greenhouse gases. AIAA also offers lots of other classes if this one doesn't interest you.
If engines aren't your thing, how about a hazmat class? Aviation Suppliers Association offers two-day hazardous materials training designed to meet U.S. Federal Regulatory Requirements 49 CFR 172 subpart H and 14 CFR 121.433a.
Or, how about maintenance human factors training? Grey Owl Aviation Consultants have been offering Human Factors in Aviation Maintenance workshops for years. They're practical, interesting and comply with Transport Canada, EASA and FAA requirements. The Aeronautical Repair Station Association also offers human factors training as well as courses such as "Complying With Part 145" and "Surviving Audits."
And last but not least, next week is WATS (World & Regional Aviation Training Conference & Tradeshow). It features a maintenance track moderated by Dr. Bill Johnson. Dr. George Ebbs, formerly the president of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and now president and CEO of Dubai Aerospace University, is the keynoter on June 12 and plans to talk about the aviation education's changing needs. --By Lee Ann Tegtmeier
Bombardier showcased the first NextGen CRJ900 out at Dulles today in launch customer Northwest's livery. The aircraft's revenue flight starts June 7. The aiframer unveiled its NextGen jets last week detailing enhancements in fuel burn, economics, environmental improvement and, of course, maintenance. A check intervals are being extended from 400 hours to 600 hours while C check extensions are from 4,000 hours to 6,000 hours. Bombardier is refining some maintenance task to boost efficiency as well as transferring some tasks currently done outside of check into those planned visits to cut down on aircraft downtime. Another tidbit, Northwest is introducing CMC electronic flight bags into its NextGen CRJs. There's also more bin space and larger windows --- an ever popular feature of new aircraft design. --Lori Ranson
The Aviation Suppliers Association reported in its latest The Update Report that the Federal Aviation Administration plans to close its suspected unapproved parts office this summer. Don't worry: The FAA isn't abandoning the program but rather distributing the work to other FAA offices.
"In conjunction with this realignment, the FAA plans to rewrite Advisory Circular 21-29 (Detecting and Reporting Unapproved Parts," wrote ASA in The Update.
In related news, the suppliers association is moving its own office on June 16 to 2233 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Suite 503, Washington DC 2007. --Lee Ann Tegtmeier
I was noodling around the GOL website earlier today and stumbled upon an interesting video tour of the Brazilian carrier's maintenance center. If you have 12 minutes, click here to get to the GOL investor relations website and then click on the Virtual Tour link on the left side of the page. -- Frank Jackman