To sum it up in one word, 2018 was a truly ‘transformational’ year for StandardAero’s helicopter business. We experienced significant growth in our engine and airframe capabilities, with great success on many key programs. All along, our focus has been on providing superior customer service to those who rely on their machines, and on us, day in and day out, and we are already seeing how the transformation is helping to do just that.

Author:            Rick Stine, President

In 2018, StandardAero’s Components, Helicopters & Accessories business grew to nearly one million square feet of MRO and manufacturing space, with 2,000 team members across 12 global locations. Our existing Rolls-Royce M250 and RR300 engine capabilities were enhanced by the addition of several new helicopter engine and airframe capabilities across all of the major OEMs. And to close the year out, our combined Helicopter business secured roughly 10% market share on the platforms we compete on, capping a very successful launch of our ‘new’ enterprise.

Perhaps the most pivotal aspect of our transformation, however, was the creation of two dedicated Centers of Excellence which will now serve our helicopter engine and airframe MRO businesses. Following the announcement of these Centers in May 2018, a robust plan was set in motion to streamline the business and provide an improved experience for our customers. Eliminating duplicate operations and bringing together like products and our highly experienced technicians is allowing us to improve efficiency, while also better allocating our engineering, testing and technology investments to focus on growth areas that will ultimately deliver a more holistic support solution to operators.

Simply put, by maximizing the talents of our skilled workforce and building a more efficient operational model, we can provide our customers with an even higher level of customer service, with improved turnaround times and specialized, product-centric support.

Excellence in Helicopter Engine MRO

StandardAero has a deep-rooted history of providing helicopter engine MRO to the industry, and our Winnipeg, Manitoba facility has led the way, setting the benchmark for superior Rolls-Royce M250 engine service for over 50 years. During that time, the Winnipeg shop has gained a very strong expertise on the type, developing numerous improvements in repairs and technologies for the powerplant, including our EnduroCoat 3500, which reduces compressor case plastic breakout, and our modernized StandardAero PowerCheck™ application, which allows operators to track and monitor engine performance on their mobile device or desktop.

Building on this incredible legacy, the Winnipeg site has now been selected as our dedicated Center of Excellence for Helicopter Engine MRO. In 2018, the facility underwent a series of facility improvements to accommodate the growth it is now experiencing.

In addition to the Rolls-Royce RR300 engine services already conducted in Winnipeg, all Rolls-Royce M250 engine support seamlessly transitioned to this location in 2018, consolidating duplicate operations that had previously been conducted in both Richmond, British Columbia and Winnipeg.

We now look forward to the addition of two new engine lines transitioning into the Winnipeg Center – the Safran Arriel 1 and Arriel 2, and the Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) PT6T, both of which are expected to be fully operational in their new location later this year.

StandardAero celebrates 25 years of MRO experience on the Safran Arriel engine series this year and transition of this line to the Winnipeg Center, where we will maintain our Level 4 capabilities, has already commenced. The Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) PT6T engine line has also begun its migration to the Winnipeg Center, where we will continue to support both civil and military operators of the type.

StandardAero’s more than 40-year partnership with GE will continue growing as well, with full-service GE T700/CT7 engine support continuing from a new location in the greater Vancouver, BC area. From this new location, StandardAero will also provide Rolls-Royce M250 Service Center support, along with Safran Arriel 1 & Arriel 2 and Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) PT6T field service. Our new Vancouver area location will also support dynamic component repair for the Airbus Helicopters AS350 and EC130 series, provided by our OEM-qualified technicians who, combined, have over 100 years of experience on the type. This new, consolidated location will be fully operational later this year.

Our helicopter engine capabilities span the full scope of engine MRO, including engine and module repair and overhaul, borescope inspections, failure analysis, complete test capabilities, accessory overhaul, model conversions, Airworthiness Directive and Service Bulletin compliance, Foreign Object Damage repair, parts support, worldwide field service and engineering support. Helicopter engine MRO is the foundation of our business, and we will continue to improve on our offerings to keep customer’s flying for many years to come.

Excellence in Helicopter Airframe MRO

Our industry leading helicopter engine MRO support was further amplified in 2018 by the addition of an extensive array of helicopter airframe support capabilities that encompass platforms from major helicopter OEMs such as Airbus Helicopters, Bell and Sikorsky. We now have an extremely capable, experienced workforce of technicians that have been supporting various helicopter platforms with extreme aptitude for decades.

This support will continue from our newly minted Center of Excellence for Helicopter Airframe MRO, located in Langley, British Columbia. This modernized facility opened its hangar doors in late 2017 and boasts 84,000 square feet of office and shop space, with a versatile design that can accommodate all sizes of aircraft.

All Airframe work is currently being conducted from this site, and we continue to evaluate the addition of new capabilities to this location. Currently, our Langley Center provides extensive support capabilities on the Airbus Helicopters AS350/EC130 series and the AS332 Super Puma, along with Sikorsky S-76 and S-61 support. The facility also has a long history of supporting several Bell models, including the 206, 412, 230, 407, 427 and 430, amongst others. From structural repairs and modifications, to completions, avionics and specialized equipment installations, the Langley Center is uniquely qualified to provide Airframe MRO to the industry at large.

One of the unique capabilities our Langley Center claims is our world-class Engineering team, experienced in developing advanced, cutting-edge Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) solutions for various helicopter platforms. With more than 50 FAA-approved STCs over the decades, our Engineering group has a deep understanding of the industry’s aftermarket needs and has a proven track record in developing solutions to address them.

One such example of this is the StandardAero SAFECRAFT portfolio, developed in response to the unprecedented demand from the market for increased safety solutions for legacy platforms. The SAFECRAFT portfolio consists of a number of technologies, many of which are currently certified and several others in development, designed to be added as a comprehensive safety upgrade or as standalone safety enhancements, based on operator requirements.

These technology solutions are initially targeted for the popular AS350 helicopter, and the highly successful crash-resistant fuel tank, developed in partnership with Robertson Fuel Systems, serves as the cornerstone of the portfolio. Other approved technologies within the portfolio include the L3 Lynx NGT-9000 ADS-B transponder which provides 1090ES Out plus 1090 MHz and 978 MHz In, and the BLR FastFin, which provides improved operational performance and stability. Additional work is currently being done on an advanced autopilot system and crashworthy crew and passenger seating as well, two critical solutions that we believe have the potential to monumentally impact the legacy helicopter fleet by addressing some of the most prevalent safety concerns facing operators today.

In 2018, we delivered more than 100 crash-resistant fuel tanks to the industry, and the first international tank deliveries are set to enter Europe and Australia early this year. Following this success, we anticipate additional progress on the SAFECRAFT portfolio in 2019.

A Global Leader in MRO Excellence

From facilities spanning across four continents – in North America, Europe, Singapore and Australia – we offer a wide array of helicopter engine and airframe MRO services to our customers, expanding our coverage to support strategic markets in all corners of the world.

StandardAero maintains various maintenance approvals from civil aviation authorities in multiple countries, including Transport Canada, FAA, EASA, Chile DGAC, Mexico DGAC, Russia RCAA, Thailand TDCA, China CAAC, Singapore CAA and others.

StandardAero is also building on their strong background in supporting European operators by leveraging their Almondbank facility to provide easier access to exchange assets for Airbus Helicopters dynamic components. Units have recently been added to inventory in Almondbank to better serve customers outside of the Americas.

With expanding coverage across the globe, StandardAero is staking its position as the world’s leading helicopter MRO provider, offering expert support in all aspects of helicopter maintenance.

Customer Driven Transformation

As the Centers of Excellence for Helicopter Engine MRO and Helicopter Airframe MRO continue to progress, customers can rely on StandardAero for the same quality support they have come to expect, and look forward to expanded capabilities and improved customer service from one of the industry’s most experienced partners.

For StandardAero, expanding our capabilities and global reach, maximizing our skilled workforce and implementing improvements to our already industry-leading operational efficiency – all of these changes center on one primary purpose – delivering second-to-none MRO solutions and customer service to our valued customers in the helicopter industry.