Ground Support Equipment

Aircraft safety is serious business. From how many hours till the next hot section inspection or engine overhaul to how many cycles till the aircraft’s tires are replaced, every little thing involving the maintenance and repair of an aircraft has to be strictly regulated and monitored. And while it would be cool if all the service and maintenance was done in the sky, it’s usually done on the ground with aircraft ground support equipment.

Aircraft ground support equipment, or GSE, are specialized tools and devices used to service military and commercial aircraft while they are down on the ground. Found usually in the service area by the terminal of an airport, GSE are used for both routine maintenance and unscheduled repair to ensure the various systems on the aircraft are working properly.

These tools and equipment can be grouped in several different ways: for example, aircraft handling and aircraft servicing. If you group GSE’s into handling and servicing, handling equipment would include tow tractors, cranes, and dollies while servicing equipment would include power generators, cabin pressure test units, fluid servicing units, munition loading systems, and electrical testers. Servicing equipment, for maneuverability and mobility, are usually self-propelled, trailer mounted, or towed.

For commercial airplanes, most ground support doesn’t pertain to flying the aircraft in any way, but rather in cabin services. Catering vehicles, cleaning services, lavatory service vehicles, passenger boarding equipment, belt loaders, and so on are also considered GSE.

In most cases, aircraft servicing and handling is a quick and routine process that doesn’t affect the passengers in any way. However, if pre-flight checks reveal any problems, the plane might have to be towed to the hangar for further inspection and repairs, and the passengers will have to wait.


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Lisi Aerospace News

Lisi Aerospace, regarded as a leading manufacturer of fasteners and structural components, holds a core business in metal deformation, which is accompanied by heat-treatment, machining, and coating. The company has the ability to accomplish any kind of assembly requirement, which can range from preliminary project to designing sub-assemblies. The high operating standards, such as on time delivery and quality, supports Lisi Aerospace as a leader in the industry.

Lisi Aerospace has been a long-term supplier of Airbus since the inception of the aircraft manufacturer. Recently receiving two “Best Improvement” awards from Airbus Group of Industries as part of their SQIP approach, Lisi was rewarded for the company’s progression in performance. The first reward Lisi received was for the company’s fastener department, which applies to the 11 factories that organize the effort to delivering over 10,000 different fastener parts on time and meeting quality expectations.

The second award is in regard to Lisi’s structural parts, such as A350 frames and A320 NEO air intake lipskins. Airbus hoped to reward Lisi’s efforts to support the ramp-up and expected performance levels set by Airbus. Jean-Louis Colders, the chief executive officer of Lisi Aerospace, responded to these awards by mentioning Lisi’s great satisfaction for their recognition from Airbus. He stated that Lisi is determined to continue with their strategies to operate with further excellence and innovation.

Lisi Aerospace has also received many other accolades and awards. This further illustrates the company’s acceleration of their customer intimacy policy, innovation and excellence as a leader in the industry. Some additional awards Lisi has receive includes the Leap Together Award from Safran, AE Suplier of the Year from WESCO, Gold Standard from Pattonair LTD, and Team of Excellence for the Maiden Flight of C919 from COMAC.


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Boeing-KLX

KLX Inc, a worldwide known part and service provider, has been purchased by the great Boeing aircraft company. The purchase will include several divisions of KLX such as the solution group and a portion of KLX’s Energy Services Group if they are able to successfully integrate with the newly incurred changes. Their net debt is equaling an approximate $1 billion that contributes to the total cost at $4.25 billion.

KLX is also known for their all-cash transaction system that allows their company to bring their share up to $63. Not only does KLX Aerospace bring their assets but their services of different types amenities as well. KLX is also a wide provider of chemical composites that will be a create a new sector for their Boeings Aviall division to be distributed.

Creating the opportunity for Avail to be able to provide products such as the chemical composites will create a new entire source to add to the already existing variety of aviation parts that it sources.

As well as the great products and services that KLX contributes to the industry its revenue shows for its self with its 2017 fiscal year revenue amounted to 1.4 billion US alone.

Boeing is expecting for KLX to be able to maintain their current revenue at the same pace and is predicting that it will start to increase the year after.

As well as these predictions they forecast their savings to be able to grow up to 70 million US by year 2021 with the newly integrated features.

The sale of the company currently still underway and has been planned on being completed by the 3Q of 2018. Boeing is still confined to subject to customary conditions that will enable Boeing to be cleared for regulatory clearance as well as needing to receive the approval of the current KLX shareholders.


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Molex INC

Molex incorporated, an Illinois based electronic company has recently purchased Bittware Inc., through a recent acquisition in the computer industry. Molex incorporated is a leading company that provides connectors parts and electronics with high quality and service. Acquiring Bittware is going to help expand and grow Molex incorporation and assist with field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). Essentially, it is going to help expand Molex capabilities and its subsidiary Nallatech. Molex incorporated is constantly seeking ways to help provide better services and connector parts. As computer technology grows at a rapid pace, the need for bigger firms like Molex to absorb smaller companies is important to provide a wider range of products and services to meet clients need and requirements.

Based out of Concord N.H., Bittware is a leading company that specializes in FPGA that offer better responses to high volume level computing for large organizations in both private and public sectors. As companies are handling more data and information, the demand for more powerful computing platforms are on the rise. Molex incorporated aims to fill the gap by acquiring companies like Bittware and similar computer bases companies. Further, the need for stronger hardware components such as electronic connectors and connector parts will required to run such platforms.

Bittware will be a valuable and integral part of Molex Incorporated because it can leverage its machine learning capabilities and artificial intelligence (AI), enhancing computer performance and functionality. The ability to effectively use artificial intelligence is vital to stay on the cutting edge of technology and innovation.


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Ground Support Equipment

On April 2, 2018 Romes Ciampino Airport (LIRA) welcomed the reopening due to renovation of Universals ground aviation ground support area. Filled with members of Universals staff, esteemed clients, partners as well as airport administration.

The area of renovation is deemed the largest area in the newly renovated general aviation terminal. Universal will have a significant impact with all the new amenities it recently provided. Currently, Universal Aviation is the ground support in 20 different countries with over 50 locations worldwide.

Universal is well aware that by renovation of the Italy location will be a huge hit with the amount of people that it will affect. According the Managing Director of Universal Aviation Italy, Lorena Carraro , she states

“Rome Ciampino is the airport where general aviation is allowed to operate in the Rome area and we recognize this is as a high-traffic and strategic location for business aviation operators”

The new state of the art facility has plenty to offer for staff and passenger as well. Having operation offices with modern structure, staff business center, a lounge for staff to rest and an exclusive lounge for passengers. The lounge has an overlooking view over the ramp that will be departing. Along with the passenger lounge it also offers a staff lounge that is directly across from the operation office so they have direct access to enter into their flight briefing.

In representation of Greg Evans, Chairman of Universal Claudia Evans states this project has made possible with strictly their customers in mind and would like reassure that they will always come first by stating,

“The renovation of our facilities in Rome Ciampino reinforces Universal’s commitment and Greg’s vision to accommodate our customers to the highest standards, delivering not only a successful mission but a Universal experience provided by the Universal team and family in over 20 countries today.”


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Boeing Rolls Royce

Supersonic aircraft travel is about to become a reality. Reaction Engines just recently announced that their supersonic aircraft engines have received great interest by both Boeing and Rolls Royce. The UK based company is currently in route to developing and engine that will power an aircraft at 2,500 miles per hour, allowing you to get to your destination in no time. The project has already raised over 26.5 million dollars and has received several investments from big name companies.

BAE Flight Systems has been invested for over three years and the fundraising of this current project has already increased their stake in the company by 10%. The company has high hopes that other big-name companies will start to show interest as well. Reaction engines has titled the project “Sabre” standing for Synergetic Air Breathing Rocket Engine. The engine will be a cross between a jet engine and a rocket engine. This project will also allow for low-cost satellite launching by allowing a rocket to be fueled by liquid oxygen and to take off and land as a standard jet would. The company is constantly pushing the boundaries of current technology, a trait they are well known for.

Currently, Reaction Engines only has a team of 160 individuals but plan to expand their team with this new round of investment money. They currently plan to test their first Sabre engine in 2020 with hopes that all airplanes will be powered with their supersonic jet engines within the decade. Although this is a huge project, Reaction Engines and its investors are ready to take it head on. Reaction engines is an incredible company devoted to bettering the world with their technology.


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Aircraft Connectirs

When engineers are tasked with improving an aircraft they have to make sure that they are making a better product without compromising the rest of the aircraft, by adding weight, combustible materials or messing with the overall performance of the plane. It is critical to keep the plane as close to the original statistics as possible, in order to ensure that future flights will be smooth.

The urge to revert back to the basics, the tried and true parts, is always there. But one should always remember that just because it works doesn’t mean that it’s working in the best way possible. When picking out a new connector its important to keep in mind how the new mechanism will be used.

There are plenty of connector parts to choose from so making sure you find the right one for your specific aircraft is key. You need to take the diameter, the cruising altitude, how often the part will be tested on, etc. into consideration before making your purchase. You can find useful charts online that will show you the difference between popular connectors that are manufactured for commercial and military grade planes.

Some popular connectors include the Pegasus Series, 2M series or the D-sub series. These connectors come in a range of sizes and materials and can be fitted onto most pre-existing rigs. The bottom line is, whenever you are replacing a part on your aircraft, connector or not, always do your research to ensure that you’re getting the best product for your machine.


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Clamps

The theory of the olden days about the tighter a screw is, the more secure and dependable that mechanism becomes. Like many things from, “back in the day”, this theory was proven wrong because just because something is fitted tightly doesn’t mean it’s doing the job effectively. So, as it turns out, we were wrong about torque all along.

What is torque you may ask? Torque is the action of turning a nut, small round metal piece, onto a bolt of any shape or size. That motion and is what everyone in the industry, refers to as torque. This article will hopefully break down the difference between torque and its cousin, clamp.

While torque and clamp really aren’t the same thing they can help determine one another. While torque handles all the initial force applied to a bolt, clamp records the effectiveness of the joint that is being torqued. In other words, one can not exist without the other.

Clamp is the more reliable way to read and calculate the long-term effects that are taking place on a joint, the point where the bolt and nut meet. When you are able to monitor this area, you can understand the longevity of this connection and be able to determine if these two parts are a good match for one another in the long term.

While clamp can be very unpredictable, when it works, it tells us a lot about what is going on inside all of our machines.


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