Sydney SME slashes H135 helicopter repair time for Boeing

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Small business DC Roberts Aircraft has helped Boeing Defence Australia shorten the repair time of H135 helicopter starter generators. 

Boeing Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) team contracted the Sydney-based company in May 2021 to perform repairs and overhauls of 15 starter generators. 

Work was done locally and was finished in an average of just seven weeks, Boeing said in a media release

For the past four years, H135 helicopter starter generations were sent overseas for repair under Airbus’ global H135 repair program, taking an average of 18 weeks before work is completed. 

This increased to 24 weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic due to border closures and freight delays. 

Ian Gibney, Boeing’s HATS program manager, said the aerospace giant is working towards bringing more rotary-wing component repair work and boosting the number of Australian small-and-medium enterprises that supply Boeing programs. 

“By working with our HATS teammate Airbus, we determined that DC Roberts Aircraft could overhaul starter generators two-and-a-half times faster than the overseas OEM, meaning less interruption to the training of our frontline helicopter aircrew,” Gibney said. 

Bryce Roberts, managing director of DC Roberts Aircraft, said the contract will benefit local jobs and the economy. 

“As an Australian-owned and -operated CASA 145 Approved MRO specialising in DC starter generators, DC Roberts Aircraft is thrilled to be working closely with the HATS program in support of the H135 platform. This work is a win-win for all involved, investing into the local economy, and ensuring ongoing employment and development of staff,” Roberts said. 

Airbus Helicopters’ managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Christian Venzal, said the company looked forward to working closely with partners to better serve their customers in the region.

“This fast turnaround time on the H135 HATS program to BDA cements the Airbus customer satisfaction commitment and is testament to Airbus’ ongoing investment into the local aviation industry,” said Venzal.