Manufacturing & new STC development signals growth for VIH Aerospace

VIH Aerospace, a leading provider of helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services, continued to experience growth in demand for its manufacturing services throughout 2017 and into 2018.

“For last year’s Heli-Expo, we announced a full offering of manufacturing services for fixed- and rotary-wing operators and frankly, we have been surprised with the high level of demand for our services,” says Arne Arneson, general manager of VIH Aerospace.

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Since 2015, VIHA has become a leading supplier of manufactured products for a variety of fixed-wing and helicopter fleet operators in Western Canada; providing services ranging from the manufacture of single-unit piece parts and specialty tooling to large run manufacturing, kit development and provisioning, custom panel fabrication, production of supplemental type certified products, and more. This is in addition to the development and manufacturing of STC equipment for a variety of Bell and Sikorsky helicopters that VIHA has provided to the industry for more than a quarter-century.

Arneson points to one of his company’s largest manufacturing customers, Boost Human External Cargo Systems as an example of the success his company has experienced. “In mid-2015, the principals of Boost came to us with a prototype for their external human cargo system for the Airbus AS350/355 helicopters, and engaged us to refine their technical drawings and designs, assist in obtaining Transport Canada approval and then, manufacture the product on their behalf. On reviewing their plans, we recognized this was a leading-edge project that was exceptionally-well designed and would quickly capture market attention, so we signed on.”

By the end of 2017, the Boost Human External Cargo System has been well-received among operators, and Boost has expanded the product to now include the Bell 407, with plans to continue developing their product for new aircraft types.

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VIHA experienced such demand for its manufacturing services that in October of 2017, Arneson had to increase his company’s manufacturing capacity with the addition of a new five-axis CNC machine to its current complement of in-house manufacturing equipment. He states that the company’s plan for 2018 is to grow the volume of manufacturing performed for existing Western Canadian customers while expanding into the United States Pacific Northwest.

VIHA offers a comprehensive suite of services that improve helicopter safety and reliability while increasing return on investment for operators including:
component overhaul; structural/airframe repair; ADS-B; avionics and electrical modifications, including night vision goggle upgrades and installations; manufacturing, aircraft refurbishment and completions; scheduled inspections; paint; product engineering and supplemental type certificate development; and parts and special operations equipment sales.

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