AeroTest America 2008 Announces Conference Lineup

FORT WORTH, TX-Showcasing the latest testing, analytical and inspection technologies and specialist services for the civil and military aviation, space engineering and airborne defense industries, AeroTest America 2008, to be held November 17 to 20, in Fort Worth, TX, will include a concurrent conference as well as off-site technical tour offerings.

Show organizers and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) have collaborated to bring attendees the SME Aerospace Measurement, Inspection & Analysis Conference, to be held on November 18 and 19 alongside the AeroTest America event.

The SME-facilitated conference will offer attendees the opportunity to receive education on quality issues affecting manufacturing in aerospace and other industries, as well as to engage in active dialogue with industry peers involved in application of development of synergistic manufacturing technologies.

The off-site tour offerings will give attendees the opportunity to visit both the Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control High-Speed Wind Tunnel and Bell Helicopter XworX facilities. The tours are scheduled for November 19 and 20.

Bell Helicopter produces commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical lift aircraft, as well as the tilt rotor aircraft. Since its founding, Bell has delivered more than 35,000 aircraft around the world, and was the industry’s first manufacturer to obtain certification for the commercial helicopter. Today, Bell continues to expand the scope of vertical lift technology. The Bell Helicopter XworX facility provides basic research through concept development, rapid prototyping and testing of these specialty aircraft.

In operation in Texas since 1958, the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control High-Speed Wind Tunnel (HSWT) facility provides a variety of high-speed tests for the commercial aircraft industry, educational institutions, military and other government agencies requiring high-speed wind tunnel test conditions. The HSWT is a blowdown-to-atmosphere, transonic-supersonic, adjustable-Mach-number facility, with a Mach number range of 0.3 to 4.8. The facility can accommodate highly specialized high-speed tests, such as aerodynamic force measurements, flutter, store drop trajectories, inlet performance evaluation, jet engine base-flow simulation and dynamic stability.

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MAMA Continues to Expand Member List

GRAND RAPIDS, MI-The Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association (MAMA) has added Troy, MI-based X-R-I Testing to its network of companies. MAMA is a consortium of experienced Michigan manufacturers dedicated to attracting aerospace business to the state. X-R-I Testing provides nondestructive testing services, including digital and film radiography, magnetic particle, liquid penetrant and ultrasonic inspection to the aerospace, automotive and other industries.

According to X-R-I Testing president Scott Thams, “We’ve served the aerospace industry for more than 65 years and are keenly aware of the fact that they are facing a critical shortage of qualified suppliers for many of the components and assemblies used in today’s high-performance aircraft. We’re delighted to be part of this initiative to fill that need by tapping the capacity, high-tech skills and experience of Michigan’s manufacturing base.”

With the addition of X-R-I Testing to its member list, MAMA now represents 24 diverse Michigan AS9120, AS9100 and Nadcap certified manufacturers. Capabilities of the combined MAMA companies include CNC machining; heat treating; welding; stamping; hydroforming; plastic injection molding; laser and waterjet cutting; cold, warm and hot forming; and nondestructive inspection.

Ametek Acquires Drake Air

PAOLI, PA-Ametek Inc., manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices, has acquired Drake Air, a Tulsa, OK-based provider of heat-transfer repair services to the commercial aerospace industry. The privately held Drake Air has expected annual sales of $15 million.

“The acquisition of Drake Air represents a further expansion of Ametek’s growing presence in the global aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul services (MRO) industry. This acquisition, coupled with the company’s recent acquisitions of Umeco Repair and Overhaul, Southern Aeroparts and B&S Aircraft Parts expands our global MRO platform,” says Ametek Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frank Hermance.

Nadcap Confers Awards

ROME-At the Nadcap meeting, which took place in February 2008 in Rome, several individuals were recognized for their commitment to the program. Nadcap is a worldwide cooperative program of major companies designed to manage a cost-effective consensus approach to special processes and products, and provide continual improvement within the aerospace and automotive industries. Nadcap is administered by the not-for-profit Performance Review Institute.

Chet Date of Honeywell Aerospace was awarded the Chairperson’s Award and jacket in recognition of his work as Nadcap Management Council Chair. Mark Rechtsteiner of GE Aviation is the new NMC Chairperson.

Recipients of the Mayben/Platonoff Nadcap Leadership Award were:

• Mark Gleason of GE Aviation

• Kevin Ward of Goodrich

• Martin Bridge, Nadcap auditor and PRI instructor

Two Nadcap task group chairs were recognized by the Nadcap management council:

• Ken Prather of Vought Aircraft Industries Inc. was recognized for his work as the chairperson of the chemical processing task group (January 2006 to February 2008). Bob Koukol of Honeywell Aerospace is the new chemical processing task group chair.

• Wayne Canary of Rolls-Royce Corp. in recognition of his work as the chairperson of the welding task group (July 2002 to June 2008). Ralph Kropp of MTU Aero Engines is the new welding task group chair.

Goodrich Partners with PRI for Quality Industry Development

PITTSBURGH-The Performance Review Institute (PRI) has announced that Goodrich Corp., supplier of systems and services to the aerospace, defense and homeland security markets, has become an eQuaLearn partner.

In April 2008, PRI launched, a Web site dedicated to professional development courses for quality industry professionals.

The courses offered on the site include such topics as internal auditing and root cause corrective action. Classes are held throughout the world with multilingual instructors to serve customers’ needs. Administration is handled by the PRI sector offices in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Kevin Ward, director of special processes at Goodrich, says, “Goodrich is taking a proactive approach in talent development at a time when there is much speculation about future availability of qualified aerospace and special processes personnel. By working with PRI we can make this training available globally in a cost-effective fashion.”

Meggitt Avionics Wins Multimillion Instrument Order

HAMPSHIRE, UNITED KINGDOM-Meggitt Avionics, part of Meggitt Sensing Systems and manufacturer of secondary flight displays, air data sensors and data acquisition systems, has been selected by Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. (KAI) to supply integrated standby instruments (ISIs) for the new Korean utility helicopter, the primary rotary transport for the Korean armed forces.

The fully integrated secondary flight displays (ISFDs) use LEDs, which deliver long life, power economy and brightness.

The program is the first collaboration between Meggitt Avionics and KAI on a rotary platform and is planned to extend to more than 200 rotorcraft over the next 10 years.

Zwick Opens Singapore Lab

KENNESAW, GA-Zwick has established an application laboratory at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. The laboratory is part of the new School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and the testing machines are being used for both R&D and student education.

Students at NTU study the course Failure Analysis of Aircraft Components, which includes the findings of investigations into two Comet aircraft crashes in 1954. The Comet was the world’s first passenger jet airliner, designed and built in Britain. After two fatal crashes within three months it was discovered that the aircraft was prone to metal fatigue.