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65 S Aircraft Technology - Issue 125 S

INTRALOGISTICS | AVIATION | SURFACE TREATMENT


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However, Boeing says that corrosion is not a
major issue for the Next-Generation 737 fleet,
but it did make several design changes for the in-
stallation of wet area cabin floor panels and cargo
hold floors earlier on in the programme, where
with the introduction of gel tape, the structure is
kept free from moisture.
The general consensus among MROs is that
they are prepared when it comes to working with
composites but agree that the ever-increasing use
of them has resulted in necessary further invest-
ment. Tilson says ATS has adapted to new op-
portunities to support this area in the airframe
and components businesses.
While composite materials are not new, the
aviation industry is engaging in more composite
structures, according to AAR, inclusive of inspec-
tion and repair, as the 787 and other new air-
frames enter into service.
MAEL has its own composite facilities and an
in-depth knowledge of composites with both
base maintenance repairs and line maintenance
support, says Adams. When working with com-
posite materials the inspection methods are
born out of non-destructive testing (NDT) and
MAEL has the in-house capability for these tech-
niques. Adams describes the MRO as having a
really good relationship with suppliers who can
support it if need be and MAEL is regularly
called to support operators in various areas to
provide in line maintenance where there might
be NDT required.
With the increased use of composites on 737
platforms, MROs have had to adapt their services
in order to provide suitable component support,
on-wing composite repairs and processes. How-
ever, Boeing says that when working with com-
posites there should be little difference in
inspection techniques.
The increased use of composites will reduce
non-routine maintenance related to corrosion
and fatigue cracking associated with traditional
aluminium structures, says Jessup, adding that
when a composite structure is required AAR is
experienced in bonded repair techniques.
GoldCare
There are more than 4,300 Next-Generation
737s in operation throughout the world at airlines
using a wide variety of business models, says
Bernard Hensey, VP, fleet management, Boeing,
when explaining how Boeings aftermarket sup-
port GoldCare programme can provide cus-
tomers with improved technical dispatch