in Defence / Business Aviation / General Aviation / Maintenance
New deal to reduce downtime on Mid East helicopter operations
Performance worries over military and commercial helicopter operations in the harsh conditions of the Middle East deserts could be eased with a new distributorship deal signed today.
Honeywell Aerospace has signed the deal — the first of its kind in the Middle East — with Transworld Aviation (TWA) in Dubai to distribute its line of health and usage monitoring systems (HUMS) across the Middle East markets. The partnership agreement with TWA, one of the largest distributors of aviation-related products and services in the region for over 19 years, ensures that Honeywell’s defense and commercial helicopter operators in the Middle East will benefit from decreased maintenance costs, increased availability and quicker turnaround on orders, technical support and parts delivery.
HUMS is a condition-based maintenance (CBM) system that monitors the health and usage of an aircraft’s drivetrain to addresses any maintenance and safety problems. The system increases availability for flight planners, enhances logistics for maintenance and inventory managers, and enables strategic planners to decide on fleet availability and cost containment measures.
Khamas H. Al Sulaimani, TWA’s logistics and operations director said: “This distribution agreement will allow operators suffering from the Middle East’s high temperatures and dusty, sandy conditions the ability to prevent environment-related and other faults before they become serious and costly failures. The experience and know-how of TWA staff in HUMS products and aircraft vibrations, and our proximity to customers, will ensure a high level of service.”
HUMS continuously checks aircraft health and usage by monitoring vibrations at numerous points throughout the drivetrain to pinpoint mechanical faults. Monitoring up to 36 different elements, it identifies signs of stress and fatigue before they become serious issues. The system stores data on any faults, allowing operators to make informed maintenance decisions. This is particularly valuable for helicopters operating within the Middle East where the stress on drivetrains can be exacerbated due to the region’s hot, sandy and dusty conditions.
The HUMS have been used on thousands of commercial rotorcraft including a wide variety of platforms from AgustaWestland, Sikorsky, Bell Helicopter, Eurocopter and MD Helicopters. Honeywell claims its HUMS products have helped U.S. Army AH-64 Apache helicopters reduce mission aborts by 30 percent, maintenance test flights by 20 percent and scheduled maintenance by 5 to 10 percent.
Honeywell Aerospace regional director Anthony Azar, said: “The UAE represents an important partnership for Honeywell, and our customers in the Middle East demand the best. We are committed to continuing to meet and exceed their expectations.”