The F-35 Joint Program Office has assigned landing gear maintenance for the F-35 fleet in Europe and the Pacific to GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business unit in the Netherlands. It’s the first time that F-35 maintenance work has been awarded, and the potential value amounts to tens of millions of dollars throughout the program.

The selection covers maintenance of wheels, brakes, and shock strut assemblies, starting in 2021. Fokker’s landing gear business also is involved in the design and manufacture of the F-35 arresting gear and in the development of its composite landing gear drag brace.

Lufthansa Technik, MTU Aero Engines plan joint maintenance company

Michael Schreyögg chief program officer of MTU Aero Engines (left) and Dr. Johannes Bussmann, chairman of the executive board of Lufthansa Technik, plan joint venture.

Lufthansa Technik and MTU Aero Engines are planning a joint venture for the maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) of Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan (GTF) engines. Each of the partners will hold a 50% stake with startup planned for the second half of 2017. The new facility will be up and running by 2020 with a workforce of more than 500 employees. The search for a globally competitive location will be completed within a few months, with a total of around $159 million to be invested.

The facility will accommodate more than 300 shop visits per year of PW1000G-family GTF engines.

In July 2016, Lufthansa Technik joined the aftersales service network for GTF engines that offers a range of MRO services for PW1000G engines.

MTU Aero Engines is a partner of Pratt & Whitney in the PW1000G engines selected as the propulsion systems for new aircraft programs launched by five different aircraft manufacturers. To date, airlines around the world have ordered more than 8,000 of the engines.;

Bombardier Business Aircraft establishes five line-maintenance stations in Europe

Bombardier Business Aircraft has established five new line maintenance stations across Europe. The facilities provide line maintenance support to customers in Europe, complementing Bombardier’s heavy maintenance service and support network.

The expansion is part of a strategy to enhance original equipment manufacturer (OEM) support to European operators, including the new heavy maintenance facility at London Biggin Hill Airport (pictured right), says Jean-Christophe Gallagher, vice-president and general manager, customer experience, Bombardier Business Aircraft.

The facilities are located in Linz, Austria; Nice and Cannes, France; and Milan and Olbia, Italy, and provide scheduled line maintenance along with unscheduled and aircraft-on-ground (AOG) maintenance support for Bombardier Learjet, Challenger, and Global aircraft in Europe.

The line maintenance facilities join Bombardier Business Aircraft’s nine service centers and 17 Customer Response Team mobile units worldwide. The network’s approximately 1,000 dedicated technicians have completed 45,000 maintenance events to date.

TRUEngine program reaches 15,000 enrollments

The GE and CFM International TRUEngine program has reached 15,000 engine enrollments, a 25% increase in the past year. More than 200 operators and lessors have enrolled their jet engines in the program.

“Customers understand the significant TRUEngine designation benefits, such as higher asset residual values, optimized product support, and the ease of remarketing their assets,” says Jean Lydon-Rodgers, president and CEO of GE Aviation’s Services organization.

The TRUEngine qualification process includes the customer submitting maintenance records and a review by GE or CFM to ensure engine configuration and overhaul practices are consistent with GE- and CFM-issued engine manuals and other recommendations. There is no cost to participate, and the TRUEngine designation is fully transferable.

With the TRUEngine designation, engine owners, potential buyers, lessors, and appraisers know an engine’s content and maintenance history have been verified by GE or CFM, enabling them to more easily evaluate engine configuration, asset value, and re-marketability. Engines maintained in the OEM configuration can have as much as 50% higher residual value versus engines maintained with parts manufacturer approval (PMA) content and/or designated engineering repairs (DERs). The TRUEngine designation is provided on an individual engine serial number and remains in effect until the next shop visit.

Launched in 2008 for the CFM56 engine family, the program has been expanded to include GE’s GE90, CF6, GEnx (shown above), and CF34 engines.