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From humble beginnings in 1911, StandardAero has developed the gold standard of excellence for providing high-quality aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO). For more than a century, the world’s largest independent engine maintenance company’s reputation for superior work on a variety of powerplants has led to continual improvement and growth.
In fact, it was StandardAero’s dedication to innovation that created one of the company’s defining moments 50 years ago, when it began servicing the Rolls-Royce M250 (then an Allison engine). Through collaboration with Rolls-Royce and focus on improving the M250 engine, StandardAero has evolved into the most trusted authorized maintenance, repair and overhaul center (AMROC) in the world for this series.
In 1967, StandardAero was contracted to provide MRO on the engine for the Royal Canadian Air Force’s CH-136 Kiowa fleet. Through this work the company developed a strong expertise on the engine, allowing it to improve build consistency and resolve several issues with the model, including gearbox vibrations, fuel consumption, compressor erosion and smoking.
In time, these improvements became a part of StandardAero’s stock overhaul for all M250 engines and modules, and together the improvements were packaged as the company’s Optimum Build standard.
Through its Optimum Build standard, the company quickly built a reputation for overhauled engines with higher performance and cooler running components, resulting in less heat distress to the turbine and increased time between overhauls.
Celebrating a golden 50 years of M250 overhaul and repair services in 2017, StandardAero continues to build and grow, both in size and reputation.
Today StandardAero provides extensive MRO services and custom solutions for business aviation, commercial aviation, military and industrial power customers in more than 80 nations around the world.
More than 3,500 professional, administrative and technical employees work in a dozen major facilities in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, with an additional 13 strategically located regional service and support centers.
For the M250 series specifically, StandardAero offers specialized service facilities in Concord, North Carolina; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Richmond, British Columbia; Singapore; and Sydney, Australia. The helicopter program has received Rolls-Royce’s Customer Satisfaction award for seven straight years.
“We’re excited to celebrate 50 years of servicing the M250 series, building the best engines at the best value,” said Brian Hughes, director of sales, marketing and business development for helicopter programs at StandardAero. “Our focus hasn’t changed from our dedication to create the most optimal fit and standards for the longest life, all with the lowest operating costs. We achieve this by continually finding ways to improve the engine. As Rolls-Royce enhances the M250, we provide repair solutions to further extend engine life.”
While the Rolls-Royce M250 series is now a tried and true engine, StandardAero’s core value to continue to improve engine reliability and life continues to lead to additional improvements.
Just last year, the company launched a new engine compressor case life extension program. Titled the EnduroCoat 3500 Solution, the program’s patent-pending coating system reduces plastic breakout problems common on M250 Series II compressor cases. The program is so successful, StandardAero backs it with a lifetime guarantee against plastic breakout.
Optimum build for each customer
StandardAero understands one size certainly does not fit all. An M250 engine used at sea level from a helipad does not face the same conditions as one working with heavy loads at extreme altitude in unimproved landing sites. To assure the best service to each customer, StandardAero sends an engineering team into the field to identify mission profile differences.
When an engine comes in for overhaul, the particular environment and applications it is used in are factored into the MRO decision-making process. And, depending on the specific needs, custom modifications and conversion kits for such things as enhanced turbine performance are assessed for potential inclusion.
“While we provide the Optimal Build, these aspects of our custom build model allow us to best serve each individual customer to assure the best engine for the lowest operating cost,” Hughes explained. “We don’t recommend conversions and modifications if a customer isn’t going to experience a viable benefit. Conversely, when we see ways a customer can get more out of their engine, we provide those options as a part of the overhaul.”
Another 50 years
It’s no question why the M250 series is synonymous with StandardAero, given the significant service and quality contributions the company has made over the past half a century. However, the company knows its reputation remains only through innovation.
As long as Rolls-Royce makes the M250 and RR300 engines (used in the Robinson R66), StandardAero will continue to strive to make the engine better through overhaul, conversions and modifications.
“Our current AMROC agreement goes through 2018 and we’re hopeful to renew for a new term after that. It’s safe to say we’re committed to the long-term sustainability of this program,” said Hughes. “Here’s to another 50 years.”