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Sydney SME drives Boeing helicopter repair efficiencies

Sydney SME drives Boeing helicopter repair efficiencies

A local aerospace company has helped cut repair times for Boeing Defence Australia’s H135 helicopter starter generators.

A local aerospace company has helped cut repair times for Boeing Defence Australia’s H135 helicopter starter generators.

Sydney-based DC Roberts Aircraft has significantly reduced repair times for H135 helicopter starter generators since securing a contract to support Boeing Defence Australia’s (BDA) Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) team in May 2021.

The generators were previously sent overseas for repair under Airbus’ global H135 repair program, with an average turnaround time of 18 weeks — increasing to 24 weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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However, since joining Boeing’s repair program, DC Roberts Aircraft has helped repair 15 starter generators over an average of just seven weeks.

“We’re always working to bring more rotary wing component repair work in country and to grow the number of Australian small-and-medium enterprises (SME) supplying our program, and COVID certainly reinforced the importance of strengthening our sovereign repair network,” Ian Gibney, BDA’s HATS program manager, said.

“By working with our HATS teammate Airbus, we determined that DC Roberts Aircraft could overhaul starter generators two-and-a-half times faster than the overseas OEM, meaning less interruption to the training of our frontline helicopter aircrew.”

Christian Venzal, Airbus Helicopters managing director for Australia and New Zealand, said the company would continue to explore opportunities to bolster cooperation with local industry.

“This fast turnaround time on the H135 HATS program to BDA cements the Airbus customer satisfaction commitment and is testament to Airbus’ ongoing investment into the local aviation industry," Venzal said.

DC Roberts Aircraft managing director Bryce Roberts noted the benefits of the contracted work for the local economy.  

"As an Australian-owned and -operated CASA 145 Approved MRO specialising in DC starter generators, DC Roberts Aircraft is thrilled to be working closely with the HATS program in support of the H135 platform,” he said.

“This work is a win-win for all involved, investing into the local economy and ensuring ongoing employment and development of staff.”

BDA is contracted to maintain the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) fleet of 15 H135 helicopters at HMAS Albatross in Nowra.

The helicopters are used to train prospective ADF pilots, aviation warfare officers and aircrewmen.

[Related: Boeing opens new local training facility]

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