Montana’s firefighting Chinooks, new AStars in Nova Scotia, and the Robinson R66’s latest upgrades. Plus, find out what to expect during underwater egress training!
Advanced Composite Structures (ACS) announced completion of its Sanford, Florida facility expansion from 10,000 square feet to 30,000 square feet; with additional repair technicians, program directors and quality management personnel.
The recent expansion was necessary to accommodate repairs for ACS’ growing customer base as well as current and future programs for military and European helicopter operators.
“We have seen tremendous growth in the need for our rotor blade repair services over the past 18 months,” said Jeff Small, president of ACS Florida. “Customer feedback indicates that our quality, pricing and turn-around times are the best in the industry, and word of our reputation has led to the opening of new markets and additional platforms.”
To preserve these attributes that brought it to the forefront of the rotor blade repair industry, ACS committed not only to a significant facility expansion, but additional staffing at all levels from within the blade repair industry.
“We are fortunate to have brought aboard some of the best minds in the rotor blade repair industry that will be enhancing our quality, production and special programs,” added Small. “An official announcement of these hires will be made in early October.”
Although the recent growth in size and personnel brings the facility in line with current demand, additional expansion is expected for early 2018 to accommodate supplementary projects currently underway.
ACS recently completed implementation of its highly successful Dedicated Military Support (DMS) program. “Foreign Military operators of the UH60, AH1 and AH64 are seeing depot-level blade repairs returned to service eight to nine months faster, and with a tremendous cost savings via direct commercial sales with ACS,” said David Stone, director of business development for ACS.
“For operators who must follow FMS protocols, ACS has pending AED approval from AMRDEC on the UH-60 and AH-64 platforms, which will allow all foreign operators to send depot level repair to ACS and remain within AED guidelines,” Stone added.
In addition to support for its military customers, ACS is answering the need from its European customers by undergoing EASA certification. “As many European operators who accept an FAA 8130-3 Certificate already know, ACS is able to offer superior turn-around time and pricing even with overseas air-freight figured into the total costs,” said Stone. “In Fall 2017, ACS will be able to offer our superior economics and six week turn-around times for civilian model blades to all European operators by issuing FAA/EASA Dual Release Certificates.”
Although rotor blade repair demand is growing at ACS, it is not an indication of vibrant economic environments for the helicopter industry as a whole. “We know the helicopter industry, and it’s a tight business,” said Small. “Good pricing and quick turn-around times are more important to our customers than ever. ACS’ current demand allows us to expand, but it’s more important to us that we use this expansion to bring our good work to a broader industry audience. We’ll help them save more money and get more aircraft into the air, faster.”