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The helicopter protection company, Air Covers, has won the contract to support the German Bundeswehr with environmental protection for NH90 aircraft. To be used in North Africa and the Arctic, the bespoke protective covers were requested to reduce the maintenance burden and increase aircraft availability on operators. This follows another Air Covers contract win for the Bundeswehr Tiger helicopters.
Using its laser scanners, five-axis milling and 3D modeling facilities, Air Covers engineers worked closely with the Bundeswehr to match its performance requirements. The result has been products which significantly reduce the maintenance burden for ground support engineers and increase aircraft availability.
Since 2006, Air Covers has supplied to 16 European and Middle East defense agencies, in particular those on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and has won long-term supply contracts with the U.K. Ministry of Defence.
“We could see how ill-equipped aircraft are to withstand hostile environments such as ice, humidity, sand, salt, heat and UV,” said John Pattinson, Air Covers CEO. “Aircraft maintainers and support engineers need fitted protection that is lightweight, east to fit, and made from fully tested technical fabrics. It needs to perform in the Arctic and Middle East, offshore and on trailer transit.
“It’s not hard to make a windshield wrap for an aircraft, but that won’t do much for you when the aircraft is lashed to the deck in 60 knots and the sea is running through skids. You need full protection. Sandstorms, 50 degrees below, and ocean crossings — this is where we work,” he concluded.
Air Covers technical expertise in fabrics and layering techniques to create convection cooling, its short lead times and ergonomic design have made the company the preferred supplier for many of the world’s defense agencies and utility aircraft operators.
In 2017, Air Covers was approved by the world’s leading helicopter manufacturer, Airbus Helicopters, for two of its best-selling platforms — the H145 and H175.
In addition, Leonardo Helicopters has approved the company for its AW101 heavy transport helicopter.