Page 7 - AAA NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2015 Online Magazine
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           It takes Lufthansa Technik about five   are increasingly relying on the ability to   landing gear exchange programs for 777-
        to six weeks to conduct a full landing gear   exchange  or  lease  landing  gears  to  keep   300ER (Extended Range) and 777-200LR
        overhaul for a widebody jet, which the   their aircraft flying; except where the landing   (Longer Range) airframes, had announced
        company claims is faster than any other   gear overhaul cycle, typically eight to 10   late last year about Air Canada, the
        international maintenance and repair   years, can be made to coincide with a major   largest domestic and international airline
        organisation. Not too long ago, a job of   C or D check when an aircraft is inevitably   in Canada, becoming its launch customer
        this type could take up to 120 days, but   grounded for a considerable period.  for its ,landing gear exchange programs.
        this  has since been drastically reduced   At Lufthansa Technik, landing gear   Under  the  agreement,  Air  Canada
        by a continual process of optimising work   overhauls are almost entirely done on an   will receive fully overhauled and certified
        sequences, the processes employed and   exchange basis rather than in the closed-  landing gear shipsets for its fleet of 17
        modern computer-based planning.     loop process.   “Customers receive an   777-300ERs and six 777-200LRs during
           But with the industry bleeding, and   overhauled landing gear assembly at the   scheduled maintenance cycles.
        majority of airlines in the red, operators   agreed time and the unserviceable unit   “We are very pleased with the value
        can’t afford to leave their aircraft at the   is sent back for overhaul. The overhauled   being brought by Boeing on Air Canada’s
        hangars for even few days. In view of the   gear is then ready for the next customer   Boeing 777 fleet,” says Alan Butterfield,
        economic implications of landing gear   airplane. Landing gear spares are   vice president of Maintenance and
        maintenance, airline operators are looking   available for use by multiple operators,   Engineering, Air Canada. “By continuing
        at reliable access to landing gear repair,   eliminating the need to keep your own   to expand our partnership with Boeing,
        exchanges and overhauls, which greatly   spare shipsets and reducing your costs,”   we are assuring Air Canada of a quality
        reduces maintenance time and quickly   he says.                         solution for our 777 Landing Gear
        returns airplanes to revenue service.   Lufthansa Technik also has its   maintenance needs through Boeing’s
           “Since no carrier can afford ground time   integrated Total Landing Gear Support   proven performance and commitment.”
        for repairing or overhauling landing gear,   TLS which it says accompanies the   Boeing currently provides landing gear
        a set going into overhaul is immediately   customer’s landing gear over its entire life   overhaul and exchange solutions to more
        replaced by a spare,” says an official at   cycle. “TLS starts the moment the landing   than  80  customers  on  the  MD-11,  717,
        Lufthansa Technik. “Lufthansa  Technik   gear is put on the aircraft: operational   Next-Generation 737, Boeing Business
        has an exchange gear pool of hundreds of   times are monitored, life-limited parts   Jet, 747-400ER, 757-300, 767-300ER and
        spares – a capital-intensive service that,   are tracked, support for AOG events   the 777-200ER airframes.
        in conjunction with sophisticated logistics,   and Line Replaceable Units (LRUs) is   “With the expansion of Boeing’s
        keeps the aircraft in the sky and brings the   planned and scheduled, and overhauls,   Landing Gear Overhaul and Exchange
        budget down to earth.”              including exchange units, are processed.   program to 777-300ERs and 777-200LRs,
           Understanding  the   importance,  The service portfolio even includes the   we are giving more airlines access to a
        maintenance firms have initiated  landing   provision of leasing and loan plans up to   cost-effective and reliable alternative
        gear MRO services that include gear lease,   the final resale,” the official says.   to purchasing new landing gear and
        exchange and/or loan elements. Operators   Airframer Boeing, which has initiated   performing equipment overhaul,” says

                                                                                The vast majority of current
                                                                                overhauls are still being
                                                                                performed by non-OEM
                                                                                providers, who can offer a
                                                                                wider product range, as well as
                                                                                strict and innovative focus on
                                                                                developing new and smart repair
                                                                                schemes to salvage parts
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